RiveraNotario spotted a rare beast Cuba, in more ways than one. I’ve never seen images of a Saab in Cuba, but then it’s not that surprising that a few would have made their way there. But this one is clearly showing the same creative engineering that so many old cars do in Cuba after the original engines wear out: It’s quite obviously had a conventional engine with a driven rear axle transplanted; most likely a diesel engine out of a Lada or such. Its rear axle is sticking out noticably, and it looks to be set further back too, and covered with a home-brew fender.
Here’s how the original looks:
Its rear axle is narrower, and the rear wheel tucks nicely into its tapering body back there.
It’s hardly surprising that this swap took place, as these two-stroke Saab engines weren’t exactly pillars of longevity, and getting parts for them in Cuba would have been next to impossible. I’m sure there was some interesting surgery that went on to make this happen, but the Cuban car doctors are in a league of their own, as we’ve seen here over the years.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
What have lost in our prosperous and affluent throw-away society?
And yes, I’d rather live here than in Cuba, but would also love to be as ingenious as the Cuban mechanics who always seem to find a way.
A friend who served in the US army in Vietnam in 1966 told me that he was impressed with what Vietnamese mechanics were able to do to keep old Fords and Citroens on the road.
With what looks like VW Beetle front indicators mounted on top of the bonnet.. Wish this photo came with a sound clip. So inventive!
This piqued my interest so I googled “Saab Cuba” for images. Some interesting stuff came up – this is not the only 93 on the island. And even after just a few hours this CC post showed up near the top.
Pretty neat to have survived .
Pops had two of these in wagon form in the 1960’s……
I assume the 3 cylinder (don’t think.. not the V4) was removed and the front was converted for storage space? I know the shifter was column mounted, I think a 4 speed. That had to be quite a major project to say the least.
It could be anything but judging from front suspension & rim style poss is a 60’s falcon chassis with saab body added… 1st Scania xtra cab pickup in cuba -_-
actually more i look @ it it’s definitely hodgepodge say a morris under bonnet or quite possibly a rambler 2wd xcab pickup
It warms my heart to see that gray 93 up there, as I had one just like it (minus the snappy auxiliary driving lights). Note the red fender welting. But the hood vents are a mystery indeed. That tiny engine couldn’t possibly need extra ventilation—unless maybe someone snuck a small-block V8 under there . . . ?
By the way Paul, though the 93 gives the appearance of narrowing at the rear—and the body does indeed taper—the inset of front wheels, which descends from the 92, whose front wheels hid behind diminished wheel openings, leaves the car with identical track front and rear.