It is inevitable when on a trip to Cuba that you will talk about the cars. The old glorious American vehicles.
If you also go there with a men’s department who are extremely interested in cars, your experience will be like this:
You will find incredible creativity here to make things work and last
Ruth and I walk along the street chattering, when suddenly we realize that we are alone. Way, way back we see two snouts peering into an engine bay, asking the owner of the car a thousand questions about what he had there and how he had done it. Cuba is a destination almost exclusively worth travelling to for cars, if that is your thing. Not least because the US embargo and the Soviet Union’s withdrawal meant that Cubans had to make do with what they had at hand. You will find incredible creativity here to make things work and last. Recycling at a high level (in our consumer society here at home, we could really learn a thing or two). Therefore Chevrolet cars drive with engines from a Mitsubishi for example. There are also those who use marine engine in their vehicles!
As it is today, the streets of Havana are almost like a museum for automobile enthusiasts. When the men’s department disappeared again another day it was due to this:
There are of course newer cars as well on the island, which is a welcoming change from the old smelly diesel engines. We also saw many electric mopeds,
Although Cuba (hopefully soon) should see better days economically, I think nevertheless the American cars will continue to roll in the streets. They are such a large part of the Cuban image that visitors would expect to see them.