Cuba’s Car Culture

Cuba’s Cars: Icons of a Bygone Era

Cuba’s cars have become symbolic of a nation stuck in a bygone era. Iconic, just like the Cuban cigars that are so famous, Cuba’s cars reflect the lifestyle and history of this beautiful Caribbean nation.

The decades long trade embargo has had one very visible impact in Cuba. The island has many 1950s cars which are in regular use on the island or can be found littering its countryside.

Queues of classic cars line up at junctions. If you didn’t know better you’d assume you were witnessing a specialist classic car convoy – but in Cuba, it is just normal.

The US imposed hefty sanctions on Cuba in response to Castro’s regime. Eisenhower first implemented sanctions in response to Cuba’s trading sugar for oil with Russia. With no automotive industry of its own, American sanctions left Cuba without a viable source of new cars to the island.

The Cars

The type of cars you find on Cuba’s streets reads like a history book, with a combination of US, USSR and Asian models. Imported at various times during the 20th Century, these vehicles show the changing international interest in this small and beautiful Caribbean island.

American cars dominate with over 60,000 pre- 1959 cars on the island. You will find Buicks, Fords, Chevys and Cadillacs on any street in the capital. The Cuban’s are incredibly proud of their classic American cars, and you will find them beautifully clean with chrome gleaming under the Caribbean sunshine.

You then find the USSR cars from the period between 1959 and the end of the cold war in the 1990s. They certainly lack the glamour and style of the American cars, but serve to mark a period of Russian interest in the island.

Since the end of the Cold War, it has been Asian cars that have been most in demand. Perhaps because they are a better price than alternative foreign cars, they now make up a fairly large proportion of cars on the island.

Ingenious Maintenance

A cottage industry has sprung up to maintain the stunning American classics. Innovation is a key principle of the mechanics of Cuba. Limited access to spare parts and equipment gives rise to some unique solution to ordinarily straightforward mechanical requirements.

There are many original American cars that are maintained as is, but the mechanics of Cuba are also professionals in the retrofit. They change petrol engines for diesel engines as diesel is about half the price of petrol on the island. They add CD players and sound systems as well as other on demand customisations.

Cuba's Cars - The Future

After the death of Fidel Castro, his brother Raul has abolished the law requiring governmental permission for the purchase of any foreign car. But, the prices to import new foreign cars remains vastly inflated with a basic Peugeot hatchback, for example, costing a whopping $85,000. In 2014, the average salary was just $22 per month, making a new car out of reach for most normal Cubans.

With the change in diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba it is possible that the country might be able to import affordable new cars soon. While this means that there will be a larger mix of cars, it is likely that the classic cars will remain as a tourist attraction.


MEPM Property offer a range of experiences in Cuba. Take a look and discover this amazing island and its iconic cars.

 

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2 Bedroom Mangroovy Apartment in Beach Front Development

Mangroovy, El Gouna, Egypt

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
16Picture(s)
105.85
Visits:39

For sale in the prime beach front development of Mangroovy Residences a two bedroom apartment on the first floor. The apartment offers 105.85 m2 of living space plus loggias & balcony of 10.9m2

A masterpiece of nature-conscious architecture and luxury, Mangroovy is a lavish seafrontcommunity, blessed with El Gouna’s most desirable 360 meters of sandy beaches.

$224,740

3 Bedroom Mangroovy Apartment in Beach Front Development

Mangroovy, El Gouna, Egypt

3Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
16Picture(s)
171
Visits:35

For sale in the prime beach front development of Mangroovy Residences a three bedroom apartment on the top floor. The apartment offers 177 m2 of living space plus loggias & balcony of 33.53m2 as well as roof terraces of 88.5m2

A masterpiece of nature-conscious architecture and luxury, Mangroovy is a lavish seafrontcommunity, blessed with El Gouna’s most desirable 360 meters of sandy beaches.

$405,946

1 Bedroom Mangroovy Apartment in Beach Front Development

Mangroovy, El Gouna, Egypt

1Bedroom(s)
1Bathroom(s)
17Picture(s)
62.55
Visits:38

For sale in the prime beach front development of Mangroovy Residences a one bedroom apartment on the first floor.

A masterpiece of nature-conscious architecture and luxury, Mangroovy is a lavish seafrontcommunity, blessed with El Gouna’s most desirable 360 meters of sandy beaches.

$126,302

1 Bedroom Tawila Apartment with Private Garden

Tawila, El Gouna, Egypt

1Bedroom(s)
1Bathroom(s)
13Picture(s)
80.86
Visits:34

For sale a 1 bedroom apartment located in El Gouna’s new development Tawila. This unit offers 80.86 Sqm of living space and a private garden. Tawila Apartments come in two interior design choices. Pick from either Chic Hues or Earthy Flair.

Nestled amidst the azure blue waters is Tawila, a picture perfect masterpiece waiting anxiously to be captured.

£67,000

2 Bedroom Tawila Apartment on 3 Levels

Tawila, El Gouna, Egypt

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
13Picture(s)
100.72
Visits:37

For sale a 2 bedroom apartment located in El Gouna’s new development Tawila. This unit offers 100.72 Sqm of living space and a roof area of 26.50 Sqm. The apartment is designed over 3 levels. Tawila Apartments come in two interior design choices. Pick from either Chic Hues or Earthy Flair.

£125,000

2 Bedroom Tawila Apartment with Large Roof Terrace

Tawila, El Gouna, Egypt

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
13Picture(s)
93.07
Visits:40

For sale a 2 bedroom apartment located in El Gouna’s new development Tawila. This unit offers 93.07 Sqm of living space and a large roof terrace of 69.50 Sqm. Tawila Apartments come in two interior design choices. Pick from either Chic Hues or Earthy Flair.

Nestled amidst the azure blue waters is Tawila, a picture perfect masterpiece waiting anxiously to be captured.

£125,000

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