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Old 16th September 2010, 09:54   #1
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I am told several times that there are lot of Vintage American cars still running everywhere in Cuba especially in Havana and more surprising it are the regulars there.Our own India has a place called as Dhoraji in Gujarat where there are still US Fords running as regulars and Dodge Kingsway 56 in Ramnagar,Karnataka(about 150 kms from Bangalore) as regulars.have anyone here has a info on the cars in Cuba as I am curious to know something about Cuba, how people there procure the parts as US has lot of trade restrictions with Cuba and many other countries off late has started trading with Cuban people.
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Old 16th September 2010, 17:37   #2
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Well a lot of cars run on a lot of ingenuity. However, a lot of cars now have russiona Lada engines inside. Bit like our dieselised Plymouths
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Old 16th September 2010, 18:00   #3
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I remember seeing a Jeremy Clarkson program on Cuba once where he uncovered a 300Sl gullwing rotting away. I hear the car has long since disappeared.
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Old 16th September 2010, 19:40   #4
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I remember seeing a Jeremy Clarkson program on Cuba once where he uncovered a 300Sl gullwing rotting away. I hear the car has long since disappeared.
I too have seen that program in mid 2003 or so and there was also a huge american car which was supposedly used by the CUBAN dictator Batista featured and the present owner asking half a million dollars for that!!
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Old 16th September 2010, 21:02   #5
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Originally Posted by piyush shah View Post
I am told several times that there are lot of Vintage American cars still running everywhere in Cuba especially in Havana and more surprising it are the regulars there.
have anyone here has a info on the cars in Cuba as I am curious to know something about Cuba, how people there procure the parts as US has lot of trade restrictions with Cuba and many other countries off late has started trading with Cuban people.
The old Yank Tanks of Cuba are a popular worldwide attraction! Here is a nice blog featuring various old US cars in Cuba still sojourning on:

CUBANCLASSICS

Note that nearly all these cars however, are from what you'd expect in a classic! Due to the US embargo on the country has been in place after 1960, access to spares for these cars is much like what we experience in India (strange coincidence indeed!)
And apart from that these cars are still used as daily drivers, far from classics, because 90% of Cubans are not allowed to have cars. If your family had one before the 1959 revolution though, you could still inherit and keep it. And most such cars were old US cars (although the occasional Brit/European cars also exist) so the owners have no choice but to do whatever it takes to keep them going.

Most have engine transplants with Russian Diesel engines (Soviet vehicles are somewhat freely available there) besides many other cosmetic and body mods!

The economic situation there makes it difficult for people to afford even things like tyres, oil and fuel for the cars. Here is one guy who makes his own brake fluid!

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Old 17th September 2010, 22:51   #6
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Another video of Jeremy Clarkson in Cuba:

Check out all the interesting cars in the background, '57 and '56 Chevy's at 1:22, Beetle at 1:27, '56 Plymouth or Dodge Kingsway at 1:46, Karaman Ghia at 2:18, W123 Mercedes at 3:47. then some footage of a beat up Porsche 356, a Aston Martin and some other awesome classics.
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Old 17th September 2010, 23:50   #7
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Cuba, like India does not permit export of these cars. They not only had an engineless gullwing, but also a D type Jaguar which was somehow taken out. There are also examples of some rare cars.
Cubans were forced to keep on renewing their vehicles, hardly anything is left of their originality, maybe the body shell. And most cars are 1950's classics. They just do not throw anything away.
BTW, a great movie to see is Bueno Vista social club, the story of Ray Cuda and his son travelling around in Cuba searching for old Cuban musicians. Great movie, great music. And a number of cars seen in the background.

Cheers harit
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Old 18th September 2010, 00:47   #8
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A video about Porsches in Cuba:


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Karaman Ghia at 2:18,
Just realized i spelled Karmann wrong in my last post
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Old 18th September 2010, 22:36   #9
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Please also check this link. The fact that Americans visit Cuba to get the retro look and feel of the streets of the 1950's is quite noteworthy.Also this link states that there are much more classic cars in the US than all those in Cuba combined but when it comes to density of classic versus the new age ones Cuba takes the lead. That means that in the US, if there are some 100 new age cars there may be one classic spotted alongwith.But in Cuba almost all the cars sighted are American classics. That makes the difference!

Classic Cars In Cuba | Ford Automotive News
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Old 20th September 2010, 12:36   #10
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Yes,have heard several times that even after several efforts people in Cuba find it difficult to maintain their Vintage cars primarily as a result of scarcity of parts.are any one from here know any guy who have ever been to Cuba and any contact of any parts dealer there?
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Old 20th September 2010, 14:51   #11
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nice post. yes it is true that Cuba has a large number of rather old and decrepit 1950's pre-revolution classic american and european cars.

largely because pre 1959 in the Batista era Cuba was the playground of the American and European rich as well as the Mafia. Once Batista was wiped out and Castro came in the only new cars that came to Cuba were the Russian made ones.

Hence this interesting divide on the automobile front.

the movie Buena Vista Social club features some lovely cars as you said;
Also worth seeing Havana (Robert Redford), Cuba (Sean Connery) and Lost City (Andy Garcia). Also that bit in Die Another Day where Pierce Brosnan is hanging around Cuba. add Tailor of Panama to the list. these movies also feature some nice classic automobiles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
Cuba, like India does not permit export of these cars. They not only had an engineless gullwing, but also a D type Jaguar which was somehow taken out. There are also examples of some rare cars.
Cubans were forced to keep on renewing their vehicles, hardly anything is left of their originality, maybe the body shell. And most cars are 1950's classics. They just do not throw anything away.
BTW, a great movie to see is Bueno Vista social club, the story of Ray Cuda and his son travelling around in Cuba searching for old Cuban musicians. Great movie, great music. And a number of cars seen in the background.

Cheers harit
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