Expert automotive photographer Piotr Degler has a Kickstarter for a coffee table book with over 200 magnificent images of Cuba's car culture.
- Seyth Miersma
- Aug 14, 2015
This week we kicked off our Cuban miniseries from the country's culture of cars. Future wheeled exploration of Cuba is bright, with Kerry's historic visit.
Cuba is known as a nation that loves its cars. After the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the government made it nearly impossible to obtain a new vehicle. So Cuban drivers kept their '50s classics on the road even through today. Given this automotive enthusiasm, you might be surprised to learn that since the country began freely allowing new vehicle sales in January just 50 cars and 4 motorcycles have been sold through its 11 national dealers.
From the 1959 Cuban Revolution until just recently, it was illegal to buy or sell cars in Cuba without government approval. There were also very few new cars brought into the country. At the same time, racing was also banned on the island nation because it was considered an elitist sport. Of course, a government can do its best to prohibit whatever it wants, but that's not always going to stop passionate people from pursuing what they want to do. And that's exactly what has happened with racing
Havana, Cuba is well known for its collection of vintage American cars. But even with a classic Chevrolet or Ford on every corner, personal vehicle ownership on the communist island nation is still out of reach for most citizens. Like many cities where owning vehicles is either impractical or unaffordable (or downright banned), Cuba has a public transit system. Based on this video said to be from Havana, though, we'd imagine walking to be the most comfortable option.
One could hardly blame Cuban consumers for suffering from a bout of 'sticker shock' when new car shopping this week – after all, they haven't had the opportunity since 1959. But it isn't just a half-century of inflation that buyers are having to wrap their heads around this week, it's massive markups.
Cuban citizens will be able to freely buy new and used cars for the very first time since the island country converted to communism in 1959. Previously, citizens were only able to buy and sell cars without government approval if they were built before the revolution, which accounts for the spectacular array of vintage American metal on the island, according to a report by Automotive News.
As car enthusiasts, we all know the little gem about classic American cars driving around the streets of Cuba, but few of us will ever be able to see these sites first hand. Fortunately, Motor Trend recently spent some time in the land of cigars, mojitos and Yank Tanks to create this incredible mini-documentary about the cars and the country for the latest video in its Epic Drives series.
The last car Ernest Hemingway ever owned was a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible. After the legendary writer shot himself in 1961, the car effectively vanished from public view. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, the convertible was in Cuba, getting passed around between the members of one family. Some 50 years after Hemingway died, a determined writer unearthed the car and began the laborious process of restoring it to its former glory. Here in the States, that would be as simple as calli
Raul Castro is changing the way life works in Cuba, lentamente. According to Reuters, the island ruler sent several hundred reforms to the annual Commuist party congress, and one of them just approved now allows Cubans to buy and sell cars made after 1959. Previously, only cars that predated the island's Communist revolution could be commercially traded by anyone not specifically given permission by the government.
As you're probably aware, we've imposed some pretty heavy trade embargoes against Cuba since just after Fidel Castro deposed Fulgencio Batista, and we've encouraged our friends to do likewise. As a result, there's a dearth of post-1960 cars running around the island nation. Pistonheads have long viewed Cuba with some interest, figuring that once Fidel and his brother Raul go bye-bye, the now closed, Communist nation will open its doors and sell some of all of the 1950s "Yank Tanks" that have bee
Now that the seemingly immortal Fidel Castro has finally stepped aside in Cuba, a whole new set of questions arises. At some point, the U.S. trade embargo my finally be lifted after more than four decades, opening the possibility of trade with the island nation. In the years B.C. (before Castro) Cuba was the world's sugar producer but the intervening years have not been kind to the industry. Cane production is one tenth of what it once was. The development of a whole new market beyond crystalliz
So, it turns out that the debate on whether ethanol is a good or bad alternative fuel stretches not just across our readership, the the whole world. That is the argument being made by Cuban President Fidel Castro. Castro writes in an article published in Cuban state media on Thursday that the use of food crops for fuel use is robbing many developing countries of nourishment. Instead of using corn, sugar cane or any other food crop for fuel use, Castro would rather see the U.S. and the rest of th
After closing 70 of the island's 156 sugar mills as part of a restructuring plan in 2002, Cuba recently changed course and plans to triple sugar production to 3 million tons in order to produce alcohol from sugar cane. The plan means a huge increase over the 1.2 million tons of sugar to be harvested this year, and is brought on by the surge in sugar and ethanol prices, and expectations of further increases. Half of the land that was occupied by sugar cane before the 2002 restructuring has since