Cuba (Havana in particular) exudes old-school glamour. Brightly coloured buildings with wrought iron balconies flank the streets of the old city, the sound of Latin music fills the air and 1950s classic cars line every street corner – it’s almost like stepping onto a movie set. If you fancy a day away from your Cuba holiday rental and want to travel in style, a classic car is the way to go.
The Cuban streets are reminiscent of a car museum, they add a unique blend of classic sophistication and nostalgia to the streets and squares of Havana. Prepare to see and photograph lots of old-school American vehicles from the Buick and Ford to the Chrysler Plymouth and the Oldsmobile. These classics would be worth a small fortune to American collectors, yet in Cuba they are the day-to-day cars of the people.
The reason they all still exist in Cuba at all is due to the ban Fidel Castro placed on foreign vehicle imports for decades due to the country’s conflict with the United States. This made it pretty impossible for any Cuban to purchase a new foreign branded vehicle. It also hindered fixing the ones they had, as parts for the old American classic cars were hard to come by. However, they managed to get by with a lot of improvisation and at times little to no fuel. These days’ times are changing and the stringent import laws have been relaxed. It may not be long before these striking vehicles are over-run by their foreign, more modern counterparts. It may be difficult to imagine Cuba without the classic American 1950s-style cars. The buzz they create on the streets will certainly be missed should they phase out in favour of contemporary vehicles.
If Cuba is on your to visit list and you want to see these wonderful cars on the road, then visit sooner rather than later – take a tour in one and immerse yourself in old school Cuban nostalgia. Don’t delay in booking your Havana villa, a few years from now they may have swapped the dusty Cuban roads for a back street Havana classic car museum.
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