Not My Dad’s ’55 Ford Fairlane!

I found my Dad’s 1955 Ford Fairlane in Cuba!  Except he claims it can’t be his ’55 Fairlane because it was rear-ended and the bumper was smashed so he traded for a 1960 Ford.  Apparently he doesn’t know about Cuban innovation when it comes to old cars!

My Dad's 1955 Ford Fairlane.

My Dad’s 1955 Ford Fairlane.

The Cuban people are innovative by necessity and the old cars are amazing!  Most of them are vintage mid-1950’s, passed down generation to generation within families.  Some of them are referred to as “Cuban-American” because they’ve replaced the original engine with a diesel.

Here’s the inside of my Dad’s Fairlane.  Preserved pretty well!

InsideDadsFairlane1955

Inside Dad’s 1955 Fairlane!

Some of them are totally restored and provide tourists with pricey $25/hour tours – but riding down the Malecon with the wind blowing in your hair with one of the restored convertibles would be a thrill.

Convertible flying down the Malecon in front of the US Embassy. Notice the US Flag is at half mast in honor of Nancy Reagan.

Convertible flying down the Malecon in front of the US Embassy. Notice the US Flag is at half mast in honor of Nancy Reagan.

I didn’t realize that Chrysler made a 3 row vehicle back in the day!

3 rows of beautiful leather seats!

3 rows of beautiful leather seats!

The rest of the car…1603_untitled_118

Traffic in downtown Havana doesn’t mean a couple old cars interspersed with mostly newer vehicles … no, it’s old car after old car.  So cool!

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Traffic in Havana

They even drag race old cars for fun on a beautiful Sunday afternoon…

Drag racing across from Canal 1 in Marina Hemingway -- literally our backyard!

Drag racing across from Canal 1 in Marina Hemingway — literally our backyard!

Judging from the crowd, these events are very popular!

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Want a tour from Marina Hemingway … old car owners are more than willing to pick you up at your front door … for a price!

Expensive tour car out in front of Hotel Acuario. Might have been a bit of rum involved with these guys!

Expensive tour car out in front of Hotel Acuario. Might have been a bit of rum involved with these guys!

David even found his old Chevy Corvair … but of course, his was dark navy blue and 1964…. 5 speed spider, to be specific.

David's old Corvair.

David’s old Corvair.

Our first “maquina” or “collectivo” old car experience.  For more on maquina/collectivos, read my Transportation Without Breaking the Bank post.

Our first

Our first “maquina” or “collectivo” experience.

David got to sit in the front seat and he noticed that none of the gauges worked … not the gas gauge, or the speedometer or anything!

David in the maquina front seat.

David in the maquina front seat.

More old car photos.  David just couldn’t help himself.  I won’t show all 1001 photos that he took … or the other 500 that I took!

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A “Willy” Jeep at the marina.

Perfectly restored old cars waiting at all the major tourist draws – this was at Capitolito – the Cuban Capitol Building, modeled after the US Capitol building, interestingly enough.

Restored Old Car Tourist Lineup at Capitolito downtown Havana.

Restored Old Car Tourist Lineup at Capitolito downtown Havana.

Anyone know what this car is?  We don’t.  If you know, please leave a comment in the comments section below and identify it for us.  🙂

Anyone know what this car might be? We don't!

Anyone know what this car might be? We don’t!

I really wanted a ride in a motorcycle sidecar, but somehow we just never got around to it.

Not just old cars, but lots of old motorcycles with sidecars.

Not just old cars, but lots of old motorcycles with sidecars.

Streets were filled with all manner of transportation, from horse drawn carts to vintage cars to tour busses!  Driving would be challenging to say the least!

Sharing the Road ... from horse drawn carts to vintage cars to tour busses ... and bici-taxis and coco-taxis, streets were busy!

Sharing the Road … from horse drawn carts to vintage cars to tour busses … and bici-taxis and coco-taxis, streets were busy!

David’s favorite color is orange and we have LOTS of photos of vintage orange cars!  Here are two of the coolest….

Yet another vintage car ...

Yet another vintage car …

Orange, orange, orange… this time in front of the main tile event in Jamientos where Cuban artist Jose Fuster covered his entire suburb in tile mosaics (only a short walk from Marina Hemingway and well worth a couple hours visit).

More Orange ...

More Orange …

The Marina Hemingway Car Show had many varieties of vintage cars … a Studebaker here…

Studebakers, Opals and lots of vintage oddities showed up for the vintage car show at the marina.

Studebakers, Opals and lots of vintage oddities showed up for the vintage car show at the marina.

Fins to the left … Fins to the right … Fins, Fins, Fins!

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Fins to the left ... Fins to the right ... Fins Fins Fins!

Diplomatic Fins!   🙂

That’s enough vintage fun for now!  I hope you enjoyed the Vintage Car Show!   Cheers!  Jan

Comments

  1. Don’t have time to really look close at your unknown “photo” … but guessing by the grill that it is a 1938 Buick Convertible with a few modern modifications. Love the old cars Jan and keep an eye out for my daily driver (yes, everyday: http://richc.us/82MB300d ) and the one that has passed from great uncle to father to son (me) in our family.
    http://richc.us/58PackardHawk

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