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‘Ah, those classic American beauties in Cuba!’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

We in India are used to witnessing annual heritage car rallies in some of the big cities. Some of these cars belong to the erstwhile royal houses and some are owned by car lovers who have the taste and money for such an expensive hobby. Visiting Cuba recently, I was somewhat taken aback to see old lovely classic American cars on roads-  Chevrolet, Dodge, Chrysler, Ford, Cadillac, Packard – you name it.


 American cars in general and the large models produced in the 1950s and 1960s in particular are lovingly called the ‘Yank Tanks’ or ‘máquina’.


As a result of the trade embargo imposed by the USA against Cuba in 1962, Cuba can neither import new American cars or parts for the old model cars. Necessity, as is said is the mother of ingenuity. So a number of Cubans owning these old cars have put Toyota or Hyundai diesel engines in their cars.

The driver of the taxi whom I asked about these old heritage cars,  laughed and explained that in Cuba they call a car as old only if it was built before 1950’s!








 These stunning  beauties come in various colours.


This photo was taken from inside while I was taking a ride in one of the old cars.



What touched me was the care which the owners/drivers of these old American cars take of their beauties. They are always being polished and shined.

Photos, text & copyright K.J.S.Chatrath

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I am happy to share with you about the starting of another website by me: 

Grave matters….matters of graves…graves and cemeteries….tombs and graves…cemeteries and graveyards….photos of gravestones from all over the world…inscriptions from all over the world…sad, inspirational and some with a sense humour… I look forward to receiving your encouragement and advice.

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact































2 Responses to “‘Ah, those classic American beauties in Cuba!’ by K.J.S.Chatrath”

  1. Madhukar says:

    There is very large number of American cars of that era in India. However, we did not develop a culture of preserving or restoring cars except for a few well to do people.

  2. Sukhdev Bedi says:

    Antique market of American cars.Surprising how Cuba is surviving the American embargo for so long.


  1. ‘Cars of Cuba, Part-II’ by K.J.S.Chatrath | - [...] liked my earlier post on the Cuban cars “Ah, those classic American beauties in Cuba” ( Here are photographs …

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