Showing posts from August, 2014

Trading (car rides) with the enemy

A Dodge, or at least a Dodge-ish, in mid-rebuild in Havana.    For the American car buff, it's a conundrum. One day, yes, relations between the U.S. and Cuba will improve to the point where any U.S. citizen can legally travel to the island just 150 kilometres beyond Key West.     But that reconciliation, the car buff knows, can only come as part of broader political and economic changes that almost certainly will have modernized the Cuban vehicle fleet by the time he can visit.    Those old Cadillacs and DeSotos and Packards he's heard so much about? Too late, amigo. Crushed most of them last year.    Note, by the way, that Cuba does not bar American visitors. It's the U.S., under the Trading with the Enemy Act, that forbids its citizens from making any monetary transaction in Cuba, thus effectively preventing them from setting foot on the island.    There are ways around the ban, however.    Some Americans simply use Canada or Mexico as a stepping-stone to Cu

You KNOW you want to see more of that green Lada

And who am I to deny you? While Canada, Britain and other nations got the export model Lada with four headlamps (and later, square headlamps), the two-headlight Russian domestic model was among Lada variants that found their way to Cuba. Based on the Fiat 124, Lada's square four-door was produced from 1970 until 2012.  Rear bumper brackets are bent, but the rest of this Lada 2101 is in great shape.

Why stop at one big pipe?

When you can have two big pipes? Lada 2107 with a few custom touches. Of course, you can always skip the replacement pipes and go right to the swoopy-doopy spoiler. Lada 2101 with a whole bunch of custom touches .

Caristas – a blog about the classic cars of Cuba

   Forgive me for being obvious, but it appears that a certain arbiter of all things Internet has trouble categorizing this site unless its ever-roaming spiders are hit over their tiny robotic heads.    So, spiders, know this:     CARISTAS is a blog about the classic cars of Cuba.     CARISTAS is a blog about the vintage cars of Cuba.     CARISTAS is a blog about the old cars of Cuba.     CARISTAS is also a blog about driving in Cuba, and car owners in Cuba, and the occasional side topic like motorcycles and trains and bridges and sometimes even history and politics.   And now, patient readers, here's a photo I hope you'll enjoy. Outside the paladar, a little Lada with a big pipe.

A day at the beach

Sunshine cruiser has lost a few grille teeth and some side chrome, but still looks smart.     For 1953, the Bel Air was Chevrolet's new top-of-the-line model. Chevy built 24,000 Bel Air convertibles that year, plus another 5,600 convertibles in the one-step-down 210 Deluxe trim level, not one of which originally came in the bright metallic pink of this Bel Air in taxi service in the Varadero resort area.  Guess Chevy just didn't realize how rockin' it would look.