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!


33 comments on “Travel Photo Thursday: Cuba’s Classic Cars

  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!

  2. 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!

  3. so pretty…but at the same time so sad that people can’t just get a new car if they want to!

  4. 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.

  5. Cool…I like the red one. I can see me driving in one over there in Cuba, playing Diana Ross and the Supremes. 🙂

  6. Such fun seeing the old, Hollywood-style cars in Cuba. But you’re right – there’s much more to Cuba than vintage cars.

  7. 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!

  8. 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! 🙂

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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! 😉

  12. 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.

  13. 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! 😀

  14. 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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