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(The New York Times)   See world, Cuba is not stuck in the past driving around cars from the 50's, they're evolving and they've put new transgenders in the mix   (nytimes.com) divider line 3
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7185 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Mar 2013 at 10:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-16 12:19:56 PM
1 votes:

theflatline: Silverstaff: I liked that Cuba drove lots of vintage cars from the 1950's.

To me it kept driving home how US carmakers used to make things that would last, and with proper care and a good mechanic a car could last for decades, a lifetime maybe. . .instead of falling to crap after a couple hundred thousand miles.

It does not attest to quality but it attests to supply, they have none, so they have had to jury rig those old beasts to keep them running, manufacturer parts for them, spit and duct tape hold them together.

It used to be that when an american car got into 40-50k on the odometer it was time to look for a new one because they would literally fall apart, and this was up until the mid 1980s.  It was not proper care, it was sloppy work and planned obsolescence.

Then the japs really got on board with inexepensive cars that were well made, and needed little upkeep that American car makers actually started making quality cars again in the mid 90s until now.

While older cars might be easier to fix, they are far less reliable than cars of today.


I'm a gearhead, who spent some time in Cuba, mostly in and around Havanna (beautiful city !), but also out in the coutryside.

Here's what I noticed: Very, very few of the older US cars in Cuba are original. Most use a large percentage of adapted parts from Soviet trucks, including engines and transmissions.

The image of Cubans driving around in 1950s US cars is misleading. Yes, there are a a relatively large number of them in and around  the main tourist areas where they can be a source of revenue for their owners, many tourists being willing to pay for a ride in one of them. The truth, though, is that the traffic in Cuba is mostly made up of an eclectic mix of '70s and '80s eastern block cars (mostly Soviet Lada and Moskvitch) and brand new European (Fiat and Peugeot mostly), Korean, and Chinese cars. There are also lots of motorcycles many with a sidecar attached.  Those with a sidecar are mostly recent Czech Jawas, with a small number of tired old Russian Urals. Those without are usually new small-displacement Chinese bikes.  One of my favourite scenes was an older gentleman on his old East-German MZ sans sidecar.

For a Quebecer, the strangest thing is the large number of our old 1980s school buses, with all their markings still intact,  ferrying tourists around. There is also a goodly number of our old tractor-trailers, complete with "centre du camion Gamache" (French for Gamache truck center, Gamache being a common Quebecois surname), mud flaps.

Other cars I've seen in Cuba: A Pontiac Sunfire, several recent Lincolns (used by hotels), a couple of new Audis, a 1960s Skoda.
2013-03-16 10:31:11 AM
1 votes:
Meh. The main reason that Cuba is so backwards is that America has strangled their economy for fifty years, and mainly because J.Edgar Hoover had a hate-on for the Castro regime for cutting down his supply of well-hung young Latino men. No more romance time in Havana, Hoover-boy.
2013-03-16 10:20:14 AM
1 votes:
I liked that Cuba drove lots of vintage cars from the 1950's.

To me it kept driving home how US carmakers used to make things that would last, and with proper care and a good mechanic a car could last for decades, a lifetime maybe. . .instead of falling to crap after a couple hundred thousand miles.
 
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