Monday, June 03, 2013

a gullwing Mercedes found in Cuba, severely rusted and basically junk. Once a wonderful car... until a part broke and it was scavenged to keep others on the road I suppose

Also in Cuba are other very rare and incredible cars like a 1926 Rolls Royce Phantom I. Its coachwork has been recognized as the handiwork of Letourneur and Marchand of Paris.

farther into the archives of Caristas.blogspot I found 

and among other Vettes, this 1954:

and I just learned... there is a car museum in Havana.. the Depósito del Automóvil
and inside it are :

1905 Cadillac
 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I
1953 MG TD
 1920s Fiat Alfa Romeo roadster
1970s Daimler
1980s Chevy replica of a 1957 Maserati used by Juan Manuel Fangio
 Cadillac V16 1930
 1959 Oldsmobile, owned by Commander Camilo Cienfuegos
 1918 Ford T
1930 Baby Lincoln
funeral carriage
1977 Ducati 900SS owned by Fidel Castro
1915 Mack AC. Chain drive

the personal cars of Fidel and Raul Castro, as well as the Chevrolet Impala of Che Guevara, Mr. Maestre said he would like to secure what is perhaps Cuba's most important car: Ernest Hemingway's Chrysler.

The best online photo gallery is

Eduardo Mesejo Maestre, curator of the Depósito del Automóvil, the country’s official antique car museum arranged Treasury Department permission for Tom Cotter to travel directly to Havana from Miami on cultural exchange visas. Call it spark plug diplomacy.

We were told of the country’s dire economy, where street sweepers and doctors make the same wages. So auto repair for the island’s vintage cars becomes a creative endeavor: shampoo is used for brake fluid; iron pipes are cut up for piston rings; Coca-Cola is used to loosen rusty bolts; and cars are painted with sponges, then buffed with toothpaste.

“We call it the Cuban way,” Abel Contreras de la Guardia, our translator and tour guide, said. “We do anything to keep our cars running.”

Depósito del Automóvil is at Oficios No. 13, Habana Vieja, C.P. 10100, La Habana, Cuba. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


  1. One day the embrgo will be lifted. Glad to see the area being rebuilt. I was there several years ago and took many pictures of the old mansions and homes. Inside plaster falling and light sockets rigged to fit modern bulbs because the original smaller ones long gone. They have an amazingcar culture that still survives to this day.

  2. Please give credit where it is due. I am the person to write the original article on the Cuban Gullwing, and would like the pictures to have the original watermarks. Deleting them by cropping the pictures is no short of disrespectful to all the time and effort put into finding these treasures.

    1. Credit due is honorably given all over this post. You want specific photo credit I think is what you are complaining about. OK, Presto blammy, you're credited for taking the photos. Watermarks make the photo ugly, I made the photo about the car, not the photographer. You want the word spread about the cool find you made? Or that you can operate a camera? I did the first, and now add a photo credit to show you did the later. Sheesh... Stop making great photos ugly, imagine a better world where you take great photos, crop them well, and post them to show you gived a damn about the subject

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    3. I see you don't put watermarks on so we see eye to eye on what an eyesore they are. Don;'t bitch about something you don't use anymore... it's frivilous. Get back to adding content and making your websites cool. Sheesh

    4. I leave you with the link to the article, with the corresponding watermarks like they have always been there:

      The public photos of the Gullwing have watermarks, which you removed without consent. At the very least, one would some kind of request for permission, just like "Caristas" did, instead of heating up a pointless argument in the "comments" section. The original, high-resolution files are available for a fee, if you want to distribute or modify them. Otherwise, stick to the ugly watermarks.

      Please do not oversimplify the process of finding these cars. I have spent some serious time and money chasing after the Cuban 300SL, it is not as if I just had to "operate my camera" in front of it.

      Do you expect journalists to do their work for free? I don't. Not everybody is wealthy enough to afford giving away one's material.