CC Cohort Visits Cuba: The Ultimate Curbsidelandia

One of the CC Cohort beat me to it. I was trying to put together a trip to Cuba this winter, but it just got away from me. But Flat-Black66 sends us a few delightful shots of that land that automotive time forgot, to rub in the salt a bit. Even our backup, a week in southern Arizona got washed out, thanks to Allegiant Airlines. And looking at these pictures isn’t exactly helping either. A significant number of old Chevys dominate this shot, with a re-modeled Buick on the left.

We’re all pretty familiar with the amazing ingenuity that Cubans employ to keep these old cars in daily use, often as taxis. Many of them, especially the taxis, have long had their engines replaced by Russian diesel engines or such. This old Buick looks like it’s sitting on VW-sized tires.

This is an interesting rig. It’s obviously a 55-57 Chevy, but that body is not an original Suburban – panel truck affair, starting right with the lack of a dog-leg windshield. Wait a minute! As I look at it closer, it’s obvious that the whole front end is a tilt-up; probably a fiberglass re-creation. I don’t have the time this morning to jump down a convoluted wiki/google rabbit hole, but maybe someone out there does. Is this a Barzilian or other South American version, or is it something else? Inquiring minds want to know.

This Austin Somerset is the real thing. Nice the way it’s sitting on a hill, to make it look level despite its obvious forward rake. Makes for a superb shot. Yes, I’ve often called Eugene the Havana of the West Coast, but it takes a pretty distant second place, at best.

Thanks, Flat-Black66. If you have any more shots from Cuba to share, we’ll gladly post them.

And since we’re on the subject, I’ll post this picture of a Cuban craftsman making brake cylinder seals out of an old solid-rubber tire. Recycling indeed.

[Update: Flat-Black66 has posted a number of more excellent shots in the comments below. Click them on for full size]