Cuba’s Classic American Cars – Uncommon Attraction
Why do you want to visit Cuba? For uncommon travelers, the answers to this simple question are endless. History, architecture, rum, music, dance/nightlife, culture, cuisine, spiritual attractions, natural wonders… It’s all just tip of the iceberg! Then, of course, there are amazing classic American cars like this one.
It’s estimated that one out of every eight cars in Cuba is an old American-made automotive beauty. They bear such familiar brand names as Ford, Chevy, Chrysler and Cadillac. There’s even a few Packards still around!
Pre-Castro American Auto Invasion
Cuba’s classic American cars date back to the pre-Castro days of the 1950’s. Cuba was a prime overseas playground for U.S. travelers at the time. American pleasure-seekers came in droves back then, freely sampling Cuba’s many charms. All the while, they bounced around the island in the same cars they had parked in their garages back home.
While the United States Government embargo against Cuba has largely kept Americans off Cuba’s streets for 50+ years, Made in the USA cars have lived on and thrived here as no one could’ve predicted during the earliest years of the Castro regime.
I’m absolutely fascinated by this.
There’s a whimsical romance to these old cars that accentuates the “walk back in time” nature of the Cuban experience. On the more practical side, though, you gotta’ wonder…
How do Cuba’s Classic American Cars Keep Running?
Undoubtedly, these cars were never meant to operate for more than half-a-century under perfect conditions. So how, then, do they continue racking up miles amid an embargo has prevented the importation of American-made spare parts for years?
Just imagine the level of MacGyvering Cuban mechanics must perform to keep these cars on the road!
To me, there’s an incredible story in these cars and how they’re cared for that I’m just dying to sink my teeth into. I’m no gearhead myself, but there’s got to be a lot to be learned about Cuba – the ingenuity and spirit of its people to persevere and overcome all obstacles – just by hanging out at a mechanic’s shop.
Have you ever driven or ridden in one of these classic American cars in Cuba? Share your story with us by leaving a comment below and let us know what we can expect…