Why do Cubans drive classic cars

Classic car in Cuba

They are conspicuous, they are loud, sometimes polished to a high gloss, but mostly only held together by rusty sheet metal: classic cars in Cuba.

The fact that some road cruisers in the Caribbean state relentlessly do their job, which can otherwise only be seen in the car museum, is due to planned economy restrictions in the automobile trade. Until recently, private individuals were only allowed to own a car if it was in the island state before 1959, the year of the revolution. Now, however, the top comrades have initiated reforms that will make it easier for cars to be imported, and vintage cars are threatened to disappear from the streets.

For the Cuba tourist, the island would certainly be one attraction poorer, for the Cubans the reforms will probably mean easier daily transport, the procurement of spare parts (almost all vintage cars are American-made and there is a trade embargo) and a reduction in the Air pollution.

But the old sledges can still be seen in the cityscape of Havana, and not a few of them can be rented including a chauffeur in the capital of Cuba - also by the hour to experience a very special city tour. The road cruisers swing over potholes along the Malecón, the famous promenade between Havana's old town and the noble Miramar. The taxistas are drivers, tour guides and auto mechanics at the same time and wait with their well-cleaned Chevys, Fords and Buicks across from the Hotel Parque Central.

A city tour on site costs around € 30, but it can also be conveniently booked as a component within one of our Cuba trips.

18.01.2012