Havana (Cuba) sights, cars and streets in 2 days

2 days in Havana (Cuba) as part of a G-Adventure tour of Cuba staying at Hotel Plaza and seeing: National Capital Building, Parque central, Castilla de la Real Fuerza, San Christobel, Giganteria street theatre, an old car parade, conga on stilts, Plaza Veija, Cathedral of Havana, the Buena Vista Social Club, Vedado, Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas and a coco taxi ride. Music: Besame Mucho and Jibarito by Cuarteto Oguere
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Classic U.S. Cars Survive in Cuba

ZHANG:
As Detroit automakers battle to survive, their vintage cars in Cuba may outlive them. Lacking access to original car parts Cubans make their own parts or take them from other cars. Here’s more.

STORY:
As U.S. automakers struggle to survive, they can take heart. Their gas guzzling cars may outlive them in Communist-run Cuba.

Even a four-decade long trade embargo has not kept determined Cubans from continually fixing up their beloved cars. Detroit relics dating back to the nifty fifties.

Just look at Havana’s Malecon Avenue. It’s a living automobile museum.

Old classic Buicks and Fords ramble alongside new Korean and French cars that aren’t subject to an embargo, or what Cubans call a “blockade.”

Lacking access to original car parts, Cubans like taxi driver Luis Alvarez resort to ingenuity.

[Luis Alvarez, Taxi Driver]:
“We have to invent here a set of pistons. But there are people who make the parts here in Cuba itself.”

Cabbie Felix Padron scavenges for components.

[Felix Padron, Taxi Driver]:
“Adapting them to what’s available, and finding original parts, but there aren’t many. Some are from old cars, some from other cars.”

Some 60,000 vintage cars are still running. Many of them are in good shape even if the chassis is the sole original part left. Some wheels are older than the guys behind them.

Daniel Vencomo’s Buick predates Fidel Castro’s revolution. His mighty metal reflects the adage, they don’t make ’em like they used to.

[Daniel Vencomo, Taxi Driver]:
“Sixty-five years old, and I reckon this car is going to outlive me.”

He says he’ll pass it on to his youngest son.

And so, whether Detroit lives or dies, their cars will likely live on. They’re as symbolically Cuban as Cohibas.

Cuba’s Classic Cars

Concept Cars of the 40s, 50s and 60s. http://youtu.be/7f-9otKq1I8
Photos of old American and European cars on the streets of Havana and suburbs. Many used daily as taxis and others well cared for classics. The taxis are usually refitted with diesel engines and the chassis are reconfigured with beam front axles replacing the original coil spring A-arm suspension. Cuban mechanics have an amazing talent for keeping them running.

CNN’s Patrick Oppmann visits drag races in Cuba where classic cars are put to the test. To License This Clip, Click Here: http://collection.cnn.com/content/clip/37031915_001.do
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The 60+ Year Old Classic American Cars of Cuba – Jan 11, 2013

Here in Cuba on a week long holiday – felt like I was caught in a time-warp .. Cuba is home to over 60,000 vehicles still on the road, from the 40s, 50s (Photos: http://bit.ly/103Ms3L) & early 60s as a result of the American embargo against the country enacted in 1962. Everywhere you look, in the cities & on the highways, you’ll see these classic cars rumbling down the roads …. and most are in pristine condition .. they fix them up, take great pride in restoring them & pass them down through their families.

Going for a ride in a Cuban ’56 Chevy Bel Air: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVT4Xm8T0TA

More videos about the classic Cuban cars: http://bit.ly/U58YKf

Autoweek article about the classic cars: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20080718/free/844003623

Wiki article about the classic cars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yank_tank

Cuba “in general”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba

The “Special Period” in Cuba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Period
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The Vintage Classic Cars of Cuba

Description: Cuba has a wide variety of American and European cars from the 50s. Many are maintained with the efforts of Cubans, some over love and others over necessity. The splendour of the island in that decade has left thousands of cars driving through the city for the attraction of tourists and to meet the private transportation needs of this country.
A brief review of the automotive history in that country,
the vintage cars of Cuba, the great amount of those amazing 1950’s machines still driving around Havana and other cities, how, many of them are roaring back to life recently, carefully restored and put to work by their owners and private companies, the automobile and motor clubs of Cuba, etc.
Cuba tiene una amplia variedad de coches americanos y europeos de los años 50. Muchos se mantienen con los esfuerzos de los cubanos, algunos más por amor y otros más por la necesidad. El esplendor de la isla en esa década ha dejado a miles de coches transitando por las ciudades para la atracción de turistas y para satisfacer las necesidades de transporte privado de este país.
Un poco de la historia automovilística en ese país,Una mirada a los coches antiguos de Cuba, la gran cantidad de esas increíbles máquinas de los 1950, y antes, que todavía transitan por La Habana y otras ciudades, cómo muchos de estos están recobrando vida, siendo cuidadosamente restaurados y puestos a trabajar por sus propietarios y empresarios privados, los clubes de automóviles de Cuba, etc.
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Russian and American Restored Cars in Cuba  (Carros rusos en Cuba)

Some Moskvich 1500’s and a restored pre-embargo American Chevy, as shot on the island of Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba in August, 2013.
This video is for Rusky Ed and all those Rusky Fans who enjoy a good piece of Russian equipment! LOL.
Rusky Ed’s YouTube Channel can he found at: http://www.youtube.com/user/RuskyED/videos

Music, “Quedate Con Las Flores” (English translation: “Stay with Flowers”) by Crokante (Pond5) Catalog # 01048945 and is used under paid license.
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