Showing posts from June, 2016

El último Americano

End of the line: LeSabre was last direct U.S. import, Santiago museum says.    THIS 1960 Buick LeSabre occupies a prime display slot at the Museo Nacional del Transporte , an outdoor car museum near Santiago.    Its significance? According to the museum, the four-door luxury sedan was the final new car exported directly to Cuba from the U.S.    It would have arrived, then, in late 1959, the last of a trickle of vehicles and other items from the U.S. after the new Castro government froze all credit on the island, effectively shutting down commerce.    In his book Che's Chevrolet Fidel's Oldsmobile , researcher Richard Schweid reports that a shipment of 1960 Oldsmobiles plus a few Chevrolets were the last cars to arrive from Detroit. Evidently, a Buick also found its way into the mix to be delivered to the island's Buick agency, Vaillant Motors in Havana's Vedado district. 1960 Buick still bears a sticker from Vaillant Motors of Havana.

A man and not his bicycle

Veteran 10-speed bicycle is a low-cost rental.     THIS MAN  is Canadian, and so is the 10-speed he holds, an iconic Supercycle from the Canadian Tire retail chain. But this isn't his bike. It would have arrived in Cuba, perhaps years ago, with one of his countrymen. It's long been a practice for Canadian visitors to bring old bikes, ride them for the duration of their stay and then leave them on the island in the hope that Cubans can put them to good use. And the Cuban who now owns this Supercycle has done just that, renting it to tourists such as this gentleman for 10 CUC a week.    Good deal all around.