Classico Chevys de Cuba
by Gary Porter

For car enthusiasts, a trip to Cuba is a step back in time. The last American cars that you see in Cuba are 1960 models. You will see the odd newer American car that may have been brought in by a Cuban who was outside of the country for a time or by a person moving to Cuba. Sure, there are lots of older cars that can been seen here in the summer, but they are in pretty presentable condition. However, in Cuba. cars from the 50's are everyday transportation for many of those fortunate enough to own a car. Most of the cars, while generally rust free, show signs of 50 years of use.

With no ties to the U.S. keeping these cars running is a major accomplishment. All we have to do is go to our local parts store for most regular items such as plugs, starters, ball joints, etc. A call to Classic Chevy in Florida, Jegs or Summit and we can get virtually anything we need. For Cubans, they must use whatever they can find. Some certainly fall into the Heinz 57 variety!

Here are some everyday Classic Chevys found on the streets of Varadeo.

As you can see, most cars are four door. You rarely see a convertible or two door car. I did see a ‘55 Nomad this trip that looked pretty good. These cars are considered heritage and cannot be exported from the country. From my discussions with the locals, old cars cannot be sold, they just get handed down to family members.