Museum on Wheels
By: H. Valdés Giral Photos: David, Ferval, Jorge Pérez, Niurka Barroso and Publicitur
Perhaps there are other automobile museums in other countries dedicated to recalling the beginnings of this form of transportation.
In Cuba there are at least two facilities dedicated to this objective: one located in the eastern and warm city of Santiago de Cuba and the other in Colonial Old Havana. These museums have been built to recall the arrival of the automobile to this country, a fact that took place in 1898. These museums treasure cars of different makes and types, some famous for their original owners.
But the most unusual and striking feature is that in the Cuban capital there is an exclusive Museum on Wheels which can be seen on a daily basis just by standing on any corner of Havana.
Perhaps you might see some of them, from three to ten of these old vehicles in other Cuban cities but in Havana this figure is calculated beyond a thousand of these ancient automobiles.
Even the most renown manufactures themselves have been astonished to find these old cars in perfect technical shape, cars that date back to the first decades of the 20th century.
Their owners were capable of preserving these almost archeological antiques, many of which today are running with their original parts without any mechanical changes.
It was during the 70's that several clubs were founded for owners of such classic and antique cars, who would periodically exhibit their vehicles to the public or parade in local or inter-provincial motorcades, as evidence that their cars still had many miles to go.
Some of these owners have decided to use their cars to operate as taxis, Others have employed their vehicles in the transportation company known as Grancar, from Gran Caribe, a hotel company whose official renting agency is in charge of these classical cars.
It is a real temptation to ride right into the 21st century in one of these ancient classics perhaps manufactured in 1919, 1930 or 1945 with utmost certainty that you will make it in time wherever you're going in perfect safety,
It is like enjoying a ride in a time machine, but time machines that deny and de time and prefer to keep on moving instead of being reduced to a heap of scrap or to become simply ornamental objects for collectors, The idea goes beyond a that and it is simply to continue moving around the city ,through its maze of streets, avenues and highways as a real Museum on Wheels.