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Showing posts from October, 2012

Cuba-correct Corvette

More of the story of Esterio Segura's 1954 Chevrolet Corvette has emerged. The car's previous owner, we learn from the Spanish language magazine Excelencias Del Motor, was Andreas Winkler, a Swiss national who lives in Havana.
   Winkler owned the Corvette – serial No. E54S001747 – from about 2000 until a year ago. He bought it after a chance sighting. He and a visiting Swiss friend were on the Malecón, Havana's famous seawall boulevard, when the black two-seater drove by. His companion recognized the American-made sports car as rare and potentially valuable. At the friend's urging, they followed the Corvette to the home of its owner, who, it turned out, was planning to leave Cuba and yes, was willing to sell.
   Of the car's history, the owner could supply just one interesting item. Early in its life, it was said to have been raced in Europe. (Whether it was Cuban-owned at the time is unknown, but given Cuba's active car racing scene in the 1950s, it's ce…

Another Batista classic

This photo of a 1956 or '57 Continental Mark II can be found in Tracey Eaton's new book, Cuban Thunder: Harley-Davidsons in Cuba. Its Harlista owner, Julio Palmero, says the car once belonged to Marta Fernández Miranda de Batista, wife of former Cuban president Fulgencio Batista.
   The Batistas, we know, liked fine autos, so it's easy to understand how such a handsome luxury coupe could make its way into their collection. Continental was established by Ford Motor Co. as a separate division in 1956, reviving a name that had last appeared on a Lincoln model – also now a classic – in the late '40s.
   The 1956 Mark II was an elegant cigar of a vehicle, with a long hood that paid tribute to its predecessor, near-flat sides and the signature Continental round bump in the decklid to accommodate the spare tire. Its clean lines were a remarkable contrast to the lavish styling of other 1950s American cars.
   With a list price of $9,538, the Continental cost as much as a Rolls…