Classic cars in Havana

Classic cars in Havana

Heritage & Traditions

By Petra Joaquina

If it is about old cars, Cuba is perhaps one of the places where the greatest amount of these classic means of transport are preserved.

 Through the streets of the entire country, mainly in Havana and Varadero, it is possible to find hundreds of models of the brands Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, Buick, Dodge, Plymouth, and Studebaker that date, some of them, manufactured in years as distant as 1940.

  At the end of the 19th century, the first automobile that could only run 10 km/hr. arrived in Cuba, a Parisian, started a long history of motor cars. A few years later, the second, then the third, entered Cuba ... until 1958, when the island had become the sixth place in the world with the highest number of cars per inhabitant. 

Soon there were magazines, clubs and associations related to the automobile in Cuba. And early, very early, the car races began. In 1903, Dámaso Lainez, owner of the first service center that existed in Cuba, located on Egido street, summoned the first race from Puente de La Lisa to Guanajay, west of the capital. 

Today, foreign visitors are surprised by the number of North American cars manufactured before 1959 which, thanks to Cuban inventiveness, still circulate on the island's streets.

There is an Automobile Museum in Old Havana, where historical samples are exhibited. like a 1905 Cadillac, the oldest automobile preserved in Cuba, and the 1960 Chevrolet used by Che Guevara. 

Currently on the island there are clubs and competitions for lovers of classic cars, most of whom have their own copies. The Rally is an event to share the passion for cars and motorcycles as a great family, although the competitive part is still important and there are many who are preparing to win the Castrol Cup.