1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gets modern review in Cuba

Posted: 12-Oct-15 14:52

Now that diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA have started to mend, Autoblog made a visit to the Caribbean island nation just for the cars.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gets modern review in Cuba

Over the past few months there have been significant historic developments in the relationship between the USA and Cuba. These countries were off limits to each other in a trade and travel embargo that has lasted since the 1950s.

However, the USA and Cuba have neutralised these relations recently and have opened up each other's embassies in an attempt to establish a peaceful partnership.

Due to the easing of restrictions between the two countries there has been an increase in interest when it comes to travelling to Cuba. Many have visited to see the colourful culture, taste the food and enjoy the music and art – but others have visited purely for the cars.

Cuba has several classic cars still puttering up and down its streets and these antique vehicles are of interest to collectors and car enthusiasts. Autoblog writer Seyth Miersma took a visit to Cuba and wrote about what he discovered there. He found a beautiful burnt orange Chevy Bel Air (the workhorse of Cuba's "almendrones") convertible, a truly stylish and classic car. He hired the vehicle and a driver for two hours to make the 12-mile trip to Hemingway's House and back.

Miersma got a chance to look under the hood of the Chevy and get a mechanical rundown of the vehicle. The original engine was gone but instead there was a Russian four cylinder pulled out of a GAZ Volga. In his article for Autoblog Miersma noted that the engine was a "coughing relic" but that it didn't matter too much because the "pace of things in Cuba is pretty slow".

On his drive, he noted the many deep potholes in the rough roads and the way that they took a hard toll on the tyres, wheels and shocks of the vehicle. However, the ride was made as smooth as possible by the skills of his young driver, Daniel, who was born and raised in the neighbourhood and knew how to avoid every crack and crevice in the road.

Anyone who is fascinated with old cars and would like to take a ride in a vehicle of this vintage should take the opportunity to visit Cuba and see the beautiful classic vehicles that are still driven there.


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