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FridgeFreezer

Cars (and Land Rovers) of Cuba

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Just spent a couple of weeks in the communist hell-hole known as Cuba*, thought people here might appreciate a few** snaps of the exotic and varied local transport.

* = Not actually a hell-hole, actually pretty frickin' awesome.

** = OK so I took 2000 pictures and a lot of them were of cars

Anyway, I can confirm there are at least 7 Land Rovers in the entire country made up of at least 3 entire Land Rovers' worth of parts and gawd knows what else (you'll see what I mean), so have some pics!

Also, basically anything that moves in Cuba is a taxi - horses, bicycles, cars, trucks. Almost nothing has the original engine, drivetrain, factory-issued number of wheel nuts, etc. There's one or maybe two guys in Havana who have American cars with actual V8's in them but those could easily have come from a Zil truck. Most other stuff has some sort of diesel lump of varying quality and health.

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Yes the rest of the car was attached to this tail-fin.

 

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Think it's probably a URAL, there's a lot about.

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I love these vans, I really want one.

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Both these things are taxis.

 

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It said "Willys" on the bonnet, but that could just be where they got the bonnet from.

Will continue in more posts...

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Answers on a postcard

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Bling Lada - chrome bonnet vents.

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Now do I take the Cadillac or the Moskvich?

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Possibly some bits of Willys Jeep are involved here, but there could be more in the Chevrolet than the 4x4...

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Traffic.

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Taxi

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Also a taxi

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No matter how ratty, it WILL have a magnificent bonnet ornament in Cuba.

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Convertible bus / bus-recovery-bus or something...

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Bitsa - check

Different wheels & tyres front-to-back - check

Hood ornament - check

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I think I may have just found a 404 on the internet

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Some tourists

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Perhaps not 100% original...

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Digging the 1970's Soviet aesthetic - brown velour trousers show true dedication

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This also says "Willys" on the bonnet.

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Outside the museum of the Revolucion, home of Che Guevara's trousers and other exhibits

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Of course they got some of these too.

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For those wondering:

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In the words of Pete Tong, "We continue!"

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Bet your school bus wasn't a RACING one! Had Monster Energy and Valentino Rossi stickers on the back too.

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Moskvich (sp?) abandoned on a busy junction, I assume the owner has gone in search of a tyre or something...

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I am digging this Lada a bit too much.

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Yeah they got a few random Fiats too...

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The 3-wheelers are "BiciTaxi", my favourite one had an old fire extinguisher powering its air-horn.

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I believe this is a Volga

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More Soviet goodness

 

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Well it's about time I showed you a Land Rover, so here's one with original revolutionary bullet-holes:

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The explanation:

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While we're at the museum...

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Home-made tank

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Delivery van used in a revolutionary attack...

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...which did not end well

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I liked this because of the Xtreme sticker and the traction-bars bolted to the rear leafs - must be the most powerful Moskvich ever built to need them :D

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Didn't this guy release a record in the 80's?

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Car plus Fidel plus Che plus Revolutionary Yacht mural - no, really, one end of Cuba is named after the yacht, as is the baseball team & a national newspaper!

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This is a sort-of bus.

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This may not be completely original Harley Davidson, I'm no expert.

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And on we go!

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Every local tipper-truck-taxi-bus should have a mural of Jeebus adoring a lamb on the side.

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Trinidad is not Trinidad And Tobago. It is pretty cool though.

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This is in the museum of the Revolution in Trinidad. No explanation. Perhaps they just like it. I do.

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Bitsa - check

Chrome hubcaps - check

Excellent bonnet ornament - check!

But he has competition...

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This guy wins all the tractors - flaming skull mural, stars and stripes, chrome rims, air horns, bonnet ornament... just needs to fix the cigarette lighter.

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No idea what this is.

 

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Not sure which one is cooler.

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This is in a restaurant, hasn't moved for a while.

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I frickin' love these little vans. The fact you can buy one brand-new in Russia right now just makes it worse.

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No idea what this is but the rear track is about a foot wider than the front so there's a fair bet the running gear is not original.

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Just when you thought it couldn't get weirder - SURPRISE OLD SAAB!

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Local ingenuity doesn't always pan out as you'd hope... this thing, um, well...

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Nope, that's not gone well.

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Local main-dealer / repair shop. You don't want to look closely at the repair job on the left.

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If you have worked your way up from pedalling a BiciTaxi you graduate to these... things. It's a Tuk-Tuk but infinitely more ridiculous and less dignified for all concerned.

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Another old Saab lurking

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Told you they all have excellent bonnet ornamentation.

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That buffed right out, you'd never know...

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Another car which was obviously not on its original running gear.

 

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Another Ural

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Apparently Snoop Dogg has a brother who drives a taxi in Havana.

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Time for another Land Rover!

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It's a Defen...Series... something!

 

 

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I don't know what this was but it was cool as hell

 

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That's less cool.

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More than one vehicle may have been involved in this creation.

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Pretty sure no Ferraris were involved in this despite the badge

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Oh look, an old Mercedes!

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...or possibly not, possibly a new Chinese homage to an old Mercedes?

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Pretty sure Vin Diesel raced past here in the latest F+F movie - just to the left leads to the square where they start the road-race (I watched it on the plane, it was a long flight)

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So what are the rules on child seats in the back of tipper trucks?

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One of them, for those as like that sort of thing.

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How many different bits from different cars can we identify in this creation?

 

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Oh hey, it's another Land Rover - and a Series 1 no less!

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Well, maybe some bits might be non-original but...

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OK, several non-original bits, but...

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Well, um...

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Rear lights off one of the Uaz bread vans, he's got style.

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Classy Ural

AND THE FINAL PICTURE FOR NOW!

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Lens flare because I'm a tart.

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That's been great viewing and super photo captions. Thanks! Looks like a super trip.

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Those boys have definitely got skills. Design ability not so much but skill yes in spades.

Mike

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great motors, some good skills at keeping ancient vehicle on the road when there are next to no spares or newer vehicles to buy. 

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I remember seeing someone in Cuba making a new brake wheel cylinder seal from an old drill, a sausage of rubber, and a blunt chisel.

THAT was craftsmanship :)

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Yeah it's easy to forget just how far behind they are / how embargoed they are as they make do amazingly well, but little details can give it away.

One morning over breakfast the guy who owned the Casa Particulaire (sort of a mini-B&B in UK speak) sat on the front porch and was hammering nails straight to re-use them. He'd obviously stripped a pallet or something and collected all the nails up. :o Of course after that I noticed that you never see discarded pallets, oil drums, etc. as I guess the materials get snapped up and re-used.

The photo of the dude who looks like Snoop Dogg, that car was as clean and straight as any show-car you'd find in the USA but still had that "diesel land cruiser" sound.

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On 25/11/2017 at 10:34 PM, FridgeFreezer said:

Time for another Land Rover!

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It's a Defen...Series... something!

 

 

Isn't that Urban Truck's latest model?

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3 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

still had that "diesel land cruiser" sound.

I think a lot of the engines are diesel lada variants!

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