Cuba

Cuba’s Classic Cars: Much More than Postcard Fodder

Panning shot of white classic car in Havana, Cuba

I had to mull this post over.

I asked myself: was a photo-essay showcasing the sexy (and perhaps not so sexy) classic cars that I saw in Havana too cliché?

My conclusion: Probably, but what the hell.

I’m not a car person. As far as I am concerned, they’re just a mode of transportation; a means to an end. Yet on my recent trip to Cuba I found myself drawn to the colorful silhouettes and sensual curves that were zooming around Havana at lightning speed. (I’m not kidding, lightning. They drive crazy there.)

Red classic car in Havana, Cuba

I realized that in addition to being incredibly photogenic, the cars represented far more than an iconic promo for holidays in Havana, they are a metaphor for the Cuban people.  Colorful. Stylish. Resilient. And Vibrant, in both heart and spirit.

Cuba’s fleet of classics are a source of pride and accomplishment and a symbol of resourcefulness. Everyday, I saw men tinkering with their wheels on side streets and along the avenues, modifying spare parts that weren’t meant for cars. The island is populated by a sea of McGyver’s working miracles with bits of steel, rubber and wire.

So cliché be damned. They’re worth a salute.

I bring you Havana’s vintage cars!

Early morning shot of red classic car in Havana. Cuba

Just before sunrise in Havana Central.

Turquoise classic car in Havana, Cuba

Stopping for a light near the capital building.

Red classic car in Havana, Cuba

I found this bouquet of flowers on the corner. Sad. But the car is awesome, don’t you think?

Red classic car with sexy hood ornament in Havana, Cuba

A little worse for wear, but just looking at this car you know it must have been stunning in its day.

Red classic car with sexy hood ornament in Havana, Cuba

I love the this sexy wooden hood ornament. Just gorgeous.

Steering wheel of red classic car in Havana, Cuba

A peek inside the interior.

Front seats of red classic car in Havana, Cuba

Another vantage point.

Colorful classic cars in Havana, Cuba

View from the roof of the Parqué Central hotel.

Black and red classic car in Havana, Cuba

I saw a lot of this walking around town. Parts of people jutting out from their cars as they worked on them.

Black and red classic car in Havana, Cuba

How cool is this baby? It was parked in what looked to be a bombed out lot.

Green classic car in Havana, Cuba

A green machine in Old Havana.

Blue classic car driving in Havana, Cuba

One of the main drags in Central Havana.

Beat up classic car driving in Havana, Cuba

This guy has  a lot of work ahead of him.

Man working on a beat up classic car driving in Havana, Cuba

This guy just couldn’t get his car started, so….

Man working on a beat up classic car driving in Havana, Cuba

He asked another guy with a truck to pull it with a rope (see it on the lower left of this image) and then he revved the engine.

Steering wheel inside a beat up classic car driving in Havana, Cuba

A glimpse of the inner workings…

Man shows engine inside a beat up classic car driving in Havana, Cuba

The guy offered to show me is vieja (old) engine. I have no idea what I was looking at. LOL

Blue classic car with sexy hood ornament in Havana, Cuba

I loved this hood ornament.. snazzy!

Line up of colorful parked classic cars in Havana, Cuba

A park in Central Havana where a lot of taxi drivers hang out in the a.m., their cars all lined up in a row.

Red classic car in Havana, Cuba as seen through a rainy window

Even obscured by the rain and a bus window, this car still looks hot.


Pin To Share

Fabulous Photos of Cuba's Amazing Vintage Cars

~Taken while an invited guest of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop: Seeing Cuba: Discovering the Culture and People of Cuba


Sign up for email image


Up Next A List of Havana Dos & Don’ts

IMAGE DESCRIPTION

115 replies »

  1. I’ve always dreamed of visiting Cuba just for the collection of incredible cars! I am a car person thanks to my dad dragging me to car shows when i was younger. I dream of owning an early 50s Chevy. Or anything from that era! Thanks for sharing!!

    Like

    • What I loved was that the experience was real, not some major car show. The cars were held together by band aids but absolutely amazing. While I’m sure they’d love to have access to newer models, I’ll be bummed when the time comes that they give up those old gems. Glad you liked the post. Please share if you think friends or family will enjoy. Have a great weekend. 🙂

      Like

  2. Your perspective is brilliant. Your work here strongly corroborates the point that silence speaks. Photos are mere a still unlike the motion pictures photos are open to individual interpretation and learning.

    So, absolutely brilliant and yes indeed the thirst for all of this is Insatiable

    Like

Please feel free to comment, contribute or ask questions. I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s