Showing posts from September, 2012

Young Batista's 1956 Corvette

From the collection of the Biblioteca Nacional José Marti.      I'VE ONLY ever seen this one photograph of the Batista 1956 Chevrolet Corvette. According to the Biblioteca Nacional José Marti, it was taken in August 1957 at the Havana Airport.    In the passenger seat is the Cuban president (and by then, dictator) Fulgencio Batista. If he is concerned about the roiling opposition that has already resulted in an attempt on his life, he doesn't show it here. The driver and owner of the Corvette is identified as Batista's son Fulgencio-Rubén, who would have been 23 at the time.     We see from this black-and-white image that the car is neither Polo White or Onyx Black, but we can't tell whether it is Aztec Copper, Cascade Green or Venetian Red – the other Corvette colours for 1956. We don't know if it had the three-speed manual gearbox that had recently become available. Or whether, beyond its optional whitewall tires, it had the AM radio, electric windows or

One more Corvette in Cuba

   We've known of one functioning Chevrolet Corvette in Cuba – a 1959 survivor seen regularly on the streets of Havana. Check out photos of it here and here .    Now another Corvette has surfaced. And this one, a '54 from just the second production year for Chevy's fibreglass two-seater, is even rarer. Only 3,640 Corvettes were built for that model year, compared with 9,670 for 1959.    Who first owned the '54 in Cuba, and whether it arrived on the island as a new car or used, is unknown – a sweet mystery for someone to untangle.    We do know who owns it now: the artist Esterio Segura, who has earned regard for his provocative paintings and installation pieces, some of them automotive-themed.    The photos you see here were supplied by Rob Simons, a San Antonio, Texas, businessman who visited Cuba in 2011 on a trip organized by the Entrepreneurs' Organization. Simons met Segura on a tour of Cuban artists' studios and had a close look at the Corvett

End of the day

One last still from the lost Chevy commercial.

Treat it like gold

    More stills from the filming of the lost Chevy commercial I've been telling you about, again courtesy of Tony Robertson. That's a 1956 Chevrolet, above. In the commercial, it gets some lavish attention from its owner.    And below, of course, is the '57 Bel Air that has the leading vehicular role. But there are many other old Chevies (and proud owners) in the commercial. Check it out.