Showing posts from September, 2014

It's a cute little rascal init?

Pretty sure the pedal car from the last entry is a 1941 Steelcraft Pontiac station wagon, same as the one in this video from cheerful Texas banjo-picker R. Peek. Wee doggies!

In Cuba, even the toy cars are classics

Saw this old pedal car – a Pontiac, I believe – in Varadero. Anywhere else, it  would be on some collector's shelf. Here, it looks to still be in daily use.

Also awkward

Built for headroom and cargo space, but not for style.    CARISTAS contributor Michael R. Roy photographed this rather rudely converted 1957 Dodge Custom Royal and its bemused-looking owner, who was perhaps waiting for a part or simply taking a mid-repair break.    Many Cuban Dodges are reskinned Plymouths, the so-called "Plodges" that Chrysler sold outside the United States. But tells us that the Custom Royal that was built in Canada, source of Chrysler's export models, was the same as the U.S. car, so this example is all Dodge.    Or it was, until the family-truckster top was substituted for the graceful roofline with which this four-door hardtop was originally equipped.

Now that's awkward

Squint, and altered Studebaker looks a bit like a Vista Cruiser. Or not.    As mentioned, not every Cuban station wagon conversion is a vehicle of beauty.    This 1951 Studebaker Commander (though wearing the full chrome '50 bullet nose) could never pass as a factory original – even if Studebaker had offered a wagon that year, which it didn't.    Grafted-on bustle aside, however – OK, those industrial-strength bumpers also aside – it appears to be quite presentable.    This one-of-a-kind Studebaker was for sale a while back on the Revolico classified ad site. Forget the asking price, but seem to recall it was hefty. Still, maybe not a bad deal for a buyer more concerned with function than style.  Square bump-out boost space. Square bumpers boost presence.

Square the wagons!

Most of this Chrysler is from the early 1950s, but greenhouse is more recent.     From a quick gander, this could be a successor to the Chrysler PT Cruiser, maybe with some Chevy HHR tossed in. Same marriage of retro-round fenders and modern oblong passenger compartment.    Closer study, however, soon reveals a majority presence of 1951 or '52 Chrysler, largely cleansed of chrome and with the addition of a blocky, late-model roof.    Old-new wagons like this are common in Cuba. I suspect they are former sedans, their passenger capacity boosted by the addition of upper sheetmetal that in this case might have come from a Soviet-era utility vehicle.    Some of the conversions are awkward; others, like this, are remarkably well executed. Check the clean transition between the Chrysler's rear fenders, body and liftgate, and the deftly reworked rear-door window frames . Clean lines speak to a high standard of customizing.    Of course, maybe this has always been a