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Travel Photo Thursday: Cuba’s Classic Cars

As I watched a Godfather marathon on television recently, my eyes locked onto the Mercury Montclair Michael Corleone drove while he was in Havana. I thought of the cars I saw while I was there and wondered what the recent announcement that the government is planning to allow Cubans to buy and sell their cars and homes would mean.

Would Cubans exchange their iconic cars for much needed foreign currency? Would the government even allow them to?

In a CNN report, a Cuban is quoted as saying, “If these cars didn’t exist, not as many foreigners would come to Cuba to drive around in them and take pictures.” Fortunately, there is a lot more to Cuba than classic cars. Seeing them, seeing the old buildings – one other thing Cuba’s famous for – made me feel as if I’d stepped back in time.

Se Vende/For Sale Havana Classic Car

Se Vende / For Sale, Havana Classic Car

When I was going to Cuba, one of my friends told me she’d love to be able to own one of the cars. I took this photo for her. At the time, I didn’t even consider that it might have been illegal to sell them.

Classic Car taxi

1952 Oldsmobile

Quite a lot of the cars I saw were in pretty good condition considering they were 50-plus years old. There were, of course, some pretty banged up ones as well but for some reason, my photos of those didn’t come out very well.

Havana Classic Car

Green Chevrolet

Havana Classic Car

Red Plymouth

We noticed that quite a number of the cars were being operated as taxis. It’s quite inexpensive to take one, about $20-25 and tour the city. They’re big and roomy and can fit up to 6 people (depending on their sizes).

Classic Car taxi

Red Olds

Red Havana car

Red Chevy

Havana car


This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!



  1. I love old classic cars. My friends just got married in Santa Barbara and rented a few old cars to drive people from the ceremony to the reception. It was a really nice touch!
    jade recently posted..7 Stops for the Perfect Christmas in NYCMy Profile

  2. Great collection, I love old cars (^_^)
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: Shugo Tokumaru – ParachuteMy Profile

  3. Easy Hiker

    Just love these cars. Classics!
    Easy Hiker recently posted..Easy Hiker – 1 Of The BEST New Travel Blogs In 2011!My Profile

  4. Ahhhh bringing back memories of my mid teens and the cars we used to hoon around in. ’39 Mecs, De Sotos and 52 Chevys! I wanna go to Cuba so my wife and I can go canoodle in one of them again!
    Jim recently posted..Inside Ethiopian Churches: Travel Photo ThursdayMy Profile

  5. so pretty…but at the same time so sad that people can’t just get a new car if they want to!
    Denise recently posted..My favourite bit of Ubud: The Monkey ForestMy Profile

  6. Wonderful car shots.
    And if you ever go back to Cuba I highly recommend a book I recently reviewed that is packed with insider’s tips (especially for the music and dance of Havana) called My Seductive Cuba by Chen Lizra.
    Leigh recently posted..8 Sunsets to Make Your Heart SingMy Profile

  7. Cool selection of cars you managed to photograph!
    Sam recently posted..Gooseberry Mesa Mountain BikingMy Profile

  8. totsymae1011

    Cool…I like the red one. I can see me driving in one over there in Cuba, playing Diana Ross and the Supremes. 🙂
    totsymae1011 recently posted..Getting Down and Dirty: Under the Sheets with Political Bad BoysMy Profile

  9. Such fun seeing the old, Hollywood-style cars in Cuba. But you’re right – there’s much more to Cuba than vintage cars.
    Sophie recently posted..Three Terrific Christmas MarketsMy Profile

  10. Cathy Sweeney

    Cool vehicles! I wouldn’t mind taking a spin in that green Chevrolet. But the Olds convertible would probably be a lot of fun, especially on a beautiful day in Cuba. Nice pics!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Lights, Action, London!My Profile

  11. My dad loves all kinds of classic cars, so I grew up with an appreciation of them. Visiting tons of classic car shows will do that for you! 🙂
    Christy recently posted..Photo of the Week: Artist at Chiang Mai’s Night MarketMy Profile

  12. Sherry

    Cuba is like stepping back in time is a description most people I’ve seen on television give about this place. I’d really love to go someday, just like you said to see the old buildings (and of course these classic cars). I hear people kept them so that one day, when they are allowed, they can resell them to Americans for lots of $$$. I don’t doubt that’s true. Even I would love to own one of these babies. Fantastic collection of photos!
    Sherry recently posted..“Record Breaking Zombies in Mexico City”My Profile

  13. Thanks, Sherry. Wouldn’t that be interesting if they really were able to sell them to Americans? It’d be like a homecoming for these cars.
    I hope you’re able to see them yourself one of these days.

  14. Hahaha, Christy, I’m sure that was fun. And spending time with your dad, priceless.

  15. Thanks, Cathy. They are definitely cool.

  16. It’s still such a beautiful place. It must have been stunning back when.

  17. Diana Ross & the Supremes, eh? Perfect!

  18. Nice, thanks, Leigh! Yes, I do plan to go back — I’ll have to order this book.

  19. Thanks, Sam!

  20. Very true, Denise. They go to some lengths to keep them on the road exactly because they can’t just go out and buy a new vehicle.

  21. Glad I was able to bring back those memories, Jim! Hope you and your wife make it to Cuba.

  22. They’re sure beautiful.

  23. Thanks, Muza-chan. Glad I was able to share these with you.

  24. What a lovely touch, Jade! It sure makes the occasion memorable.

  25. I wondered about that too when I read the news… I hope all those gorgeous cars don’t get snapped up for peanuts by eager foreigners… This is the way I’d love to see Cuba… one day! 😉
    ElizOF recently posted..Reflections: Taken Back In Time…My Profile

  26. Elizabeth, I hope you do and soon. That’s why I went, I wanted to see it the way it is before things change.

  27. Andrew Graeme Gould

    I certainly hope the cars stay around for a future visit, as I’ve wanted to photograph them (and much more there) for a long time.
    Andrew Graeme Gould recently posted..La Serena, Chile: People at work, and a beach sunset bonusMy Profile

  28. So do I, Andrew. So do I.

  29. Precious blogger, Thanks for publishing this important material. I found it informative. Best regards !!

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  30. You’re welcome, Joseph. Glad you found it informative.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  31. Gorgeous! I love the red old one. My father used to collect classic car and motorbike in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But he have to sale all because the regular grade petrol is so expensive, so now we use Gasohol and LPG (It’s still expensive. 🙁 ) By the way, traveling in Thailand is cheap and good. If you have a chance to travel in Asia. I recommend to visit Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Krabi. 😉 Thank you very much for sharing adorable pics of classic cars! 😀
    Kittapak Chaimanee recently posted..Welcome to Chiang Mai ThailandMy Profile

  32. Actually, my travel buddies and I have been talking about Thailand, initially for the food. Gosh, love Thai food. But I’ve been reading a lot about Chiang Mai and it sounds fabulous!
    Sorry your father had to sell his classic cars but I know what you mean about the price of petrol. If you have photos, you should write a post about them.


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