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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17: Cuba, here they come!

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should stay away from Cuba, now that the Americans can visit. Nope, I'm just saying that before those huge crowds of US tourists start landing in the fall, you should try to visit this very interesting island. Nothing wrong with those folks who live south of our Canadian border (well, maybe those crazy gun laws, but that's another story), but curiosity about this formerly forbidden destination has peaked interest to a very high level. And this fall, it is predicted that, there will be over one hundred flights per day landing from the US.


The draw? Maybe the aspect of it being a time capsule right next door. Although many people understand, there are still thousands upon thousands, who think that the Cuban roads are filled with pristine American rolling stock from 1960 and back. Boy, are they in for a surprise.

This old Olds and the Buick below it, are much more typical of what they will find, rather than a hero car typical of their local cruise night........

Not to say there aren't a few cars that, somehow have survived the ravages of the past fifty plus years of no access to a local NAPA Auto Parts store, but they are rarer than American tourists over the past years........



Cuban ingenuity and Russian car/truck parts have kept these old hulks of American iron in passable running condition. Cars that, in the US would have been consigned to the wreckers long ago. No surprise to find a Lada motor in an old Chevy........


Or a good set of truck rims and tires to carry your baby to its destination, a few cautious feet at a time..........


Or maybe just a mishmash of parts from a variety of cars, put together to resemble something, but not quite what it started out as........


Oh yes, I believe there will be more than a few disappointed car aficionados, landing in Cuba for the very first time. Those with dreams of finding a great old classic and having it shipped home to the envy of their neighbours or other car buddies. Think again, muchachos, as this is the reality check..........


  ........locals using their self taught abilities to give the family's early '50's Cadillac another few years (days? weeks? months?) of service. Or taking the motor out of an old Lada to put in one of these even older heaps......


And speaking of convertibles, there are probably more now than when Kennedy pulled the plug on car shipments to this tropical isle. Tourist dollars beckoned, so off came the tops of more than a few Cuban Chevies, Fords or whatever. Add a few strategic metal braces and rake in the bucks from driving those Canadians and Europeans around in your old piece of nostalgia. Gives new meaning to shake, rattle and roll.

I remember seeing an old English Ford (late '50's Consul) and knowing what it was, but still the body was just a little off. Closer examination revealed that every square inch had been redone with body filler. The lines were basically the same, but not quite. Hey, at least it still ran.

So by all means visit Cuba, but try to get there before the island becomes packed with Americanos. Enjoy the people, the history, the scenery and those old cars, but be quick about it.........

 

.......since your time is very quickly running out.

Until next time.......



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