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Having visited Cuba a few years back, it is fascinating just how resourceful and ingenious even an average Cuban is when it comes to car maintenance... I can only imagine what enthusiasts must be like.

Definitely one of the most genuine automotive experiences in my life...

Thanks for the link :D

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Wasn't there a guy on there that had a boat motor in an Oldsmobile or something like that. 

That's on the Discovery show "Cuban Chrome" ;)

A lot of them run old American cars with unusual engines, from boat motors to old Russian truck and Lada engines :P

 

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Hmmmmm...with the easing of travel restrictions to Cuba from the US, it might be time to start thinking of the island as a holiday destination again.

I wonder how Cuban rum is these days.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/travel/frequently-asked-questions-how-to-travel-to-cuba.html?_r=0

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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Here's a great 2002 documentary on the same subject, "Yank Tanks."  Featuring a guy who makes new asbestos brake shoes by hand. The filmmakers gave him a mask and some other safety equipment, which he'd never had before. Amazing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312048/

I saw similar things when I worked in Egypt. A '49 Chevy still in daily use as a taxi. Several '55 Chevy 4-dr sedans in daily use. Someday I will get ambitious and post pics of those cars. As in Cuba, it's not unusual to look under the hood and see a Russian truck engine or something similar. And if you need motor mounts or anything else fabricated, every little Egyptian village still has at least one blacksmith.  Usually running a shop that has been in the family for generations, with the blacksmith's young sons already working in the shop and learning.  Those guys do incredible work. 

 

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I was there in 2012 and I can tell you - Americans were everywhere, mostly in on charter flights from Mexico and Canada, and to a lesser extent from Europe... US dollars could be exchanged at reasonable rates at most hotel receptions in Havana... Customs officers were also considerate enough not to stamp passports, especially American ones, but instead issued separate "visas"... All in all, they were very forthcoming towards "forbidden tourists" such as Americans :D Cuba is a great place to visit, I can recommend it to anyone, and even if it is quite poor, it is one of the safest and most beautifully serene countries I have ever been to. I just hope it remains unspoiled :)

Oh yeah, if you do go, make sure to take any old clothes, t-shirts, caps (especially with various logos), make-up, toiletries, crayons and pens! Seriously, these will be most appreciated by any Cuban, and small gifts like that can go a long way in Cuba ;)

Edited by PowerPlant
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Wasn't there a guy on there that had a boat motor in an Oldsmobile or something like that. 

Here in Europe they sold the Chrysler Voyager with a boat motor in it. A 2,5 litre Diesel from Italian VM Motori that was originally designed to be in small boats.

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A lot of the engines in use there now are Hyundai, Mercedes, Ford, and Toyota diesels - are there any kits that have them?

Of course, Revolico is a great source of photos:

http://www.revolico.com/autos/carros/search.html?q=&min_price=&max_price=&images=on

A hint: Don't bother searching it by car names - the spelling in Revolico ads is usually just as bad as it is in Craigslist ads! :lol:

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