Cuba: Havana – More Classic American Cars
Cuba is a real world time-warp – classic American cars from 1940-60s are everywhere. Cadillacs, Fords, Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevys, Lincolns – often in pristine condition – ply the streets of Havana. Many offer tourists rides and some would be absolute jewels of collectibles if they were in the US. Many are just used for normal transportation. The history of vintage classic American cars in Cuba is quite interesting – Cuba had the highest per capita car numbers in the first half of the 20th century and it was flooded with the latest models American luxury vehicles, and also almost all American models were initially tested in Cuba before being available in the USA. Then the revolution happened in 1959, and the embargo closed the door shut both way – no new American cars and no way to export them out of the island. All the car parts fell under the embargo as well. From there on and until today, the Cuban car owners had to improvise and keep their cars running and in pristine shape by stuffing them with self-made or Soviet car parts ripped from Ladas and Volgas. Classic cars in Cuba are one of the most noticeable cultural element of the country.