Cuba's Iconic Vintage Cars

Collection with 30 media items created by Rustom Seegopaul ★★★★★

25 Jul 2013 13:56

HAVANA, CUBA - For half a century, Havana's roads have been jammed by stylishly painted pre-1960s Pontiacs, Studebakers, Oldsmobiles, Chevrolets and Soviet imports. But after decades of restrictions making it almost impossible to import new vehicles, Cuba finally decided to opening its domestic car market to imports. Many believe this economic reform will put an end to an era symbolized the the country's symbolic vintage automobiles.

While the new law eliminates the need for a permit, it does not allow Cubans to import automobiles themselves. The government maintains a monopoly on the retail sale of cars and remains the only one dictating a vehicle's market value.

Cuba's vintage cars are famous around the world, but maintaining them has become a real burden for their owners. One driver explains that after saving a lot of money, he managed to buy and install a Hyundai engine in his old, red Chevy. “It still gives me problems, but not as many as before,” he explains.

About 150 000 Chevy were in circulation in Cuba when the 1959 revolution occurred. The subsequent embargo saw all car imports from the United States halted.

Cuba Cars Vintage Nostalgia Pontiac Chevy Opel Trade Embargo Rustom Seego...

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By Rustom Seegopaul
25 Jul 2013

Standing as a testament to the embargo, this car, made before the 1960's and still very much functional, sits on the side walk in Havana. Many of these cars, in more or less good condition, can still be seen in the streets of Havana.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
25 Jul 2013

Casually parked on the side of the road, this car looks very much like its surroundings in Old Havana - old, dilapidated and forgotten.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
25 Jul 2013

The owner of this car adjusts wires under the hood of his car, a ritual he needs to perform to get the car to start. The lack of spare parts (due to the trade embargo) coupled with the age and deterioration of most of these pre-1960's cars and makes maintenance and repair difficult.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
25 Jul 2013

These vintage and modern cars waiting in line illustrate the recent changes in Cuba. After decades of restrictions making it almost impossible to import new vehicles, Cuba finally decided to opening its domestic car market to imports.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
25 Jul 2013

Many vintaged cars are used in the tourism industry. Vintage taxis cater primarily for tourists in Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

A Cuban man drives tourists in Havana in a borrowed car as a way to make extra money.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

Cars from different eras are seen driving on a highway in Havana. Buses are used more than cars outside of Havana. Most Cuban people use public transport, especially for long distances.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

People walking in the streets of old Havana. Most of the cars in this area are taxis.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

An old American car drives down a street in downtown Havana.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

Well kept, well painted, classic cars are parked in line in one of the central touristic areas in central Havana. Only a few cars from before the 1960's have been kept in such an immaculate condition. These vintage cars cater specifically for tourists.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

Two tourists driving with the top down are cruising through Havana in an old American car. These vintage cars the tourists's favorites in Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

Two vintage cars are painted in a similar ways in the parking lot of a hotel. Vintage cars are sometimes painted in creative ways.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

A car waits in traffic near one of the old forts in Havana.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

A license plate on a vintage car in Havana, Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
26 Jul 2013

'Crazy in love,' in Spanish is painted on the back of this old car, driving through Havana, Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

This old Opel sits on a Havana sidewalk. Its driver has gone off to run an errand. Its faded paint bears witness to the many years it has spent in the street of Havana.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

This old pickup, like many vintage vehicles in Cuba, has seen better days. "I have replaced many of the parts with different vehicles," the owner explains. "Original parts for this kind of truck are almost impossible to find."

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

The owner of this old Ford pickup explains that he uses his car to make extra money by transporting goods and people. "Yesterday I was helping a man bring avocados to the city, but today I am taking a family to the seaside," he says.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

This engine - and the car it is in - tells a story of ingenuity and resilience. With the embargo, spare parts are hard to come by in Cuba. As a result, car owners have to find ingenious ways to repair their vehicles.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

A variety of vintage cars can be seen at the beach in Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

A red vintage car on the beach in Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
27 Jul 2013

This gas station in Varadero is a popular stop for vehicles going to and coming from Havana. The vintage cars from the 1960's and before are being seen less and less as newer cars are becoming more accessible and popular in Cuba

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By Rustom Seegopaul
20 May 2014

An old car stops at a toll station in Varadero, Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
20 May 2014

A vintage car from the 1950's drives down one of the many streets in Old Havana, Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
28 Jul 2013

A Cuban woman looks out of the window of an old taxi in Havana. Its condition is far from the Ferrari logo it displays.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
20 May 2014

A car speeding up to beat an upcoming traffic light in one of the most touristic streets of downtown Havana, Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
29 Jul 2013

A testament to changing times, a vintage American car is parked next to a new generation of automobiles in Cuba. With the new law allowing car importations in the country, people are opting for more modern vehicles.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
20 May 2014

Three vintage American cars wait at a traffic light in Havana, Cuba.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
29 Jul 2013

A 'limousine-taxi' stops on the side of one of the major roads in Havana, Cuba. In the past, this car would have been used to transport important people, but it is now used as a public transportation that can transport many people at the same time.

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By Rustom Seegopaul
20 May 2014

A Cuban woman driving in the streets of downtown Havana. Many other old American cars also pass through this busy neighborhood.