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February 21st 2015

British Cars In Cuba
By John Griffith

Toni and I have just returned from a week in sunny Cuba. This was our first trip to the island, and we decided to stay in a hotel near Havana instead of lying on the sand at one of the resorts, primarily so that I could spend some time taking photos of the pre-1959 cars down there.

We flew out of Hamilton Airport, which has a lot going for it, however they really need to build some enclosed passenger ramps if they want to develop it as a "Snowbird Escape Portal." Sprinting across that frozen airport apron to the terminal in shorts and a T-shirt in February really makes you forget about Cuba in a hurry! Actually, we will never forget about Cuba. The people, the food, the rum(!) the architecture, and of course the cars.

Not every car in Cuba is pre-1959, of course. Many Cubans drive late-model Hyundais, Kias, and Geeleys (Chinese). But the old 1950s American cars are what makes the island so unique. My biggest surprise, however, was the number of old British cars down there. Every few minutes you would be treated to a Mark I a Consul, a Morris Minor, or an Austin Devon rumbling past.

John Griffith

Mind you these 'survivors' are not exactly in 'cruise night' condition; like the 'Yank Tanks,' they have been kept together by dogged Cuban determination in order to be used as daily drivers for more than half a century.

John Griffith

All have been repainted many times, in hues dependent entirely upon their owners' tastes, and many no longer carry badges and have had their radiator grilles replaced , meaning that you have to rely entirely on your own childhood memories for identification! All in all, I can thoroughly recommend Cuba if you are looking for an interesting winter getaway.

John Griffith

Hillman Minx, Havana

John Griffith

Ford Prefect 100E, Havana

John Griffith

Ford Prefect 100E, Havana

John Griffith

Hillman Minx Estate, Havana

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Zodiac Mk. II, Havana

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Consul Mk. II, Havana

John Griffith

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Consul Mk. II, Havana

John Griffith

Ford Anglia 105E, Havana

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Consul Mk. II, Havana

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Zephyr Mk. II, Havana

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Zephyr Mk. II, Miramar

John Griffith

Austin A40, Miramar

John Griffith

John Griffith

1951-56 Ford Consul Mk. I, Miramar

John Griffith

1958-67 Austin A40 Farina, Miramar

John Griffith

Ford Anglia 105E, Miramar

John Griffith

1956-62 Ford Consul Mk. II, Miramar

John Griffith

Austin-Healey 3000, Miramar


































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