Our manna in Havana


Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 on display in Havana.
   THE 300SL coupe was far from the only highlight of Michael E. Ware’s visit to Cuba in 2005. The author of Automobiles Lost & Found also came across the remains of a 1952 Chrysler Special show car, one of three Ghia-styled fastbacks built on shortened New Yorker chassis that debuted at the Paris Motor Show.
  “ ... (W)hen I lifted the bonnet there was a dog asleep where the engine should have been,” Mr. Ware relates. “This car had not run since the early 1980s. How did a ‘dream car’ get to Cuba?”
   Other sightings: a sweet Abarth “double bubble” coupe, a Mercedes 300SL roadster, a 1954 Buick Skylark two-door hardtop and a 1951 Maserati A6 GLS sport with Spyder body by Frua, thought to be a one-of-a-kind.
   A natural stop during the author’s busy fortnight also was Havana’s small Depósito del Automóvil, “one of the more unusual motor museums in the world as almost everything in it is unrestored.” There he inspected the museum’s showpiece (above), a 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 with an open body by Letourneur & Marchand of Paris.


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