Since the year 2000, we have posted almost 150 “Feature Trucks of the Month” articles from 1934 to 1972 Chevrolet and GMC. These remain in our website archives on oldchevytrucks.com.
This month we are going out of the loop and for this one time only are featuring some special cars of the 1950’s in the mystery country of Cuba. We thought this might be of interest to so many that have only heard stories of this nearby country.
During a recent US Government approved tour of Cuba (90 miles south of Florida) so many American cars of the 1950’s were seen operating daily. About 20% of their very low car population is still 1950’s vintage. These “Yank Tanks” (slang for American post war cars) continue to be important for the islands transportation.
When the US began the still existing Embargo in 1961, Cuba auto dealers could no longer offer US cars or their repair parts. They were out of business! However, the cars they once sold are still on the island. Replacement parts are almost non available. Their repair items are limited to several well picked over salvage yards, are homemade, or late model car parts are forced to be modified to “fit close”.
Looking original is not even a factor. Most just want their car to get them from point A to point B. One exception has recently surfaced due to the increase in tourist trade from so many non US countries. Cubans have found the interest in “Yank Tanks” so strong some cars are being used as taxis to transport visitors, in the capitol city of Havana. They are everywhere in the small towns just being family carts.
The following photo gallery will give examples of how people with little income have kept their 50 year old cars on the road. We attempted to divide them as per the manufacturer and hope there is not too many mistakes. Beginning with the more basic taxis used by a few of the Cuban people, we move up to the larger 50 year olds.