All photos by Eric Clem. My apologies if there are some duplicates or certain cars are out of order. It’s Cuba!
Wow, how did that Traction Avant make it to Cuba? Reminds me of Hanoi…
Nice to see that there are still a few Moskvitches lurking about too — it’s not all Ladas and Chevys out there. My personal favourite (of this installment): the Nash.
Muchas gracias por todo. Tienes mas?
Wow, those 49-54 Chevies are everywhere!. And how could you cheat us with those two distance shots of that gorgeous red 59 DeSoto convertible?!?!
Also, in that 16th shot (with the blue Renault Dauphine) – what is the black car at the curb. It vaguely resembles a 55 Studebaker, but the front end is way off. An Audax Minx?
Yes, I noticed that Stude too. I like it. If it’s a ’55 it’s better looking than the original.
I do remember seeing an Audax Minx in a TV Travel programme in the ’90s. What’s been done there is very similar to the late Minx update, excepting they haven’t reworked the actual bonnet to lower it.
If it’s a Studebaker, it would be an early 1955 model – prior to the wrap around windshield. S-P called it Ultra Vista. Seems to have the correct hood ornament. About the Dauphine, some were built other than in France much more recently with some differences. Under different names. Argentina? Israel?
A wonderful assortment of pictures and cars!
One does perk my curiosity – the mid-60s Buick in the third picture looks rather out of place as it’s too new. The story on how it got to Cuba would be interesting.
That one jumped out at at me too! ?
Yes, I was wondering how that got there!
Could possibly have been a diplomat’s car that was eventually sold/provided to a Cuban….
[ After the 1959 US National Exhibition in Sokolniki Park in Moscow (from which the infamous Nixon – Khrushchev “Kitchen Debate” emanated), several of the US cars which had been on display (there were about 20 in total, top – of – the – line models from GM, Ford, and Chrysler – plus a Rambler that was parked in the driveway of the US model home on display) were sold. I recall seeing on a website that the Chrysler Imperial was sold to the Japanese Ambassador, and there was a pic of the 1959 Plymouth secreted away in a Moscow film studio, and who knows where the rest ended up…]
Really unusual: the 1965 (?) Buick Wildcat (?) 4-door hardtop in the third image just behind the pink 1957 Chevrolet station wagon. How did that get there?
Loved the images Mr. Clem. I’m an architect so I also enjoyed seeing some of the great buildings in the backgrounds too. Thanks.
The 1965 Buick Wildcat (?) sedan in the first pic… How did post 1961 embargo American cars arrive in Cuba?
I wonder if that mid-sixties Buick 4-door hardtop got to Cuba as its third country of residence? That’s the only thing that makes sense due to the embargo. Maybe it’s a recent import? I also like that hot pink ’57 Chevy wagon behind which it’s parked at Curbside.
That’s the most plausible explanation. There in fact quite a few 90s (and later) US made trucks in Cuba which got there having been exported to other South American countries initially.
Love the Traction Avant as well. I imagine that the ’65 Wildcat must have come from a third country – maybe Canada or Mexico, or somewhere in Central or South America. All great shots – I laughed at the stretched Lada.
’57 Chevy Two-Ten 4-door wagon? Yeah…I’ll take that.
If it’s a Two-Ten, it looks like it has Bel Air bright work on it….
Interesting to see the 65-66 Buick Wildcat there, as that is definitely post-embargo. And I think that’s an Argentinian Falcon in the shots as well.
A lot of fun sighting these, as I have on my 2 trips to Cuba. Apparently, a large number of the old Yank cars have become mutants, with transplanted engines and other parts from Soviet trucks and cars. I do remember hearing exhaust notes that definitely weren’t Detroit. Though I bet the Caddy here is original.
A similar stuff could be found in Uruguay back in the late 80s and early 90s.
That country seemed to be a endless source of very interesting American and European classics for a very reasonable price. It took just a few years for the Brazilians collectors to deplete their “stock”.
The percentage of convertibles seems to be much higher than in the U.S.
It would be interesting to know what is under the hoods.
I’ve read that a lot of these cars end up with european diesel engines in them
Eric, you are the man. Thank you, yet again! Terrific stuff.
I love that black and teal ’56 Nash Rambler. Thanks for all these wonderful colorful cars!
3 posts filled with great pictures, thanks for sharing
These cars are interesting from the point of view of the ingenuity & resourcefulness involved in keeping them running, but they are basically scrap. Agree 100% with LF in the first post.
Would love to see some of them, to marvel at the adaptations involved in keeping them running, and that’s where my interest in these end. Although, my interest in visiting that country is exactly zero.
Love the all the pastels, two-tones, and bright jaunty colors, quite a contrast to the sea of monotone modern cars in America today. So are the 49-54 Chevys the most common cars of all the Yank Tanks in Cuba today — these photos show lots of them? Then again, any Chevy from 55-59 seems easy to spot as well.
Lots of convertibles, fitting for a land without winter, and it’s interesting that so many of the cars have been dechromed on their sides (but certainly not all, as is clear from that yellow 57 Pontiac that still sports full wheel covers as well).
Amazing ! .
Some are cherry, others look thrashed .
An old Lady Friend called me this afternoon and said she’d gone to Cuba around year’s end in some Delegation, she thought of my love of old beaters when she was there .
I expect it’d make an interesting visit but I’d want to hop on a Moto and zip off to tour the countryside .
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