Photo Gallery: Classic Cars in Cuba



Ask someone to name a few iconic features of Cuba and chances are they’re going to mention cigars, Che Guevara, salsa, rum and the classic American cars that have been frozen in time (just like Cuba’s imports since the blockade began in the early 1960s). And while Cuba definitely has a lot more to offer than simple tourist features and happy snaps, if you’re looking for a couple of awesome travel pictures you need to get yourself to Cuba before it’s too late and everything changes.



The classic cars in Cuba were a clear highlight for us during our time in Cuba. From run down rust buckets kicking out black smoke in the backstreets of Havana, to perfectly restored showpiece beauties shuttling around tourists in the main plaza. Cuba has it all when it comes to classic cars and that feeling of being thrown back in time. And it wasn’t just the imagery of the cars, it was the whole experience that came with them. Whether it was hailing down a street taxi full of busy city folk or riding cross country jammed into an old Yank Tank with ten other people, every experience in Cuba was incredible when it involved the old classics.




I might also add here that there are also other cars in Cuba, and that it’s not exactly like stepping into a scene from Happy Days. After the 60s Cuba received a number of different cars from the Soviets, as well as importing cars from various Asian countries over the years. While the streets of Cuba are shared amongst old and new, it doesn’t take anything away from this unique situation. If you get the opportunity to get out of the busy cities and into the countryside you’ll also see less new cars and more oldies chugging away.







Published by

Julian Hatfield

Jules is an avid traveler, community development worker and a surfing addict. He's spent the past four years working in non-profits throughout Latin America and Southeast Asia, with a lot of island pit-stops and wild adventures along the way. Adventure travel that respects and gives back to local culture and environment is his main priority...and Mexican food. Wanna know more?

16 thoughts on “Photo Gallery: Classic Cars in Cuba”

  1. So cool! Cuba has been one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit and keep feeling the clock ticking away reminding me that soon it will be too late.

  2. I don’t know why, but for some reason I half expected that because I see these cars in films all the time about Classic Cuba that when I finally get the chance to go there they won’t exist, that they’ll be nowhere to be seen.

    Thanks for proving me wrong 🙂

    1. They are definitely becoming less prevalent but believe us, there will be plenty to see! The cars have become so iconic to Cuba I don’t think they’ll ever get rid of all of them! A lot of Cubans take serious pride in keeping them up as well.

  3. Cuba people are sort of obsessed with the classic cars. These cars are stunning and it also enhances the beauty of roads filled with classic cars.

  4. I just returned from 3 weeks in Havana. The old cars are perhaps the most photographed feature of the city. Based on all the photo essays on travel blogs, I expected to see a lot of cool classic cars. Imagine my surprise, when I saw that the only nice, well-preserved 1950’s vehicles are a handful of taxis for tourists. The rest (the absolute majority) are banged up piece-of-s#&t clunkers preserved over the years using whatever parts were available at the time. Riding in the ones used for shared taxis (maquina) was the defining experience of my days in Havana.

    1. Haha. We definitely saw a lot of old clunkers! But even the crappy old cars that had random parts seemed to be so well loved by their owners. We saw guys on the corner working on their cars all day long. It was kind of endearing. And yes, we had a lot of fun cramming way too many people in the maquinas!

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