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Welcome to Cuba's automotive time capsule, filled with classic cars. The story of how Cuba came to be trapped in automotive time is a fascinating one. For decades, the island country had enjoyed healthy tourism trade and American outpost status, and by the 1950s it had the highest per capita automotive purchasing of any Latin American country - its middle class ensured an interesting variety of vehicles plying the roads. But when Cuba fell to communist rebels in 1959, so ended the inflow of new cars. Since then, trade embargo forced Cuba's car enthusiasts to develop a unique and insular culture, one marked by great creativity, such as: Keeping a car alive with no opportunity to acquire replacement parts Customizing a car with no access to aftermarket parts Drag racing with no drag strip In many ways, Cuba is an automotive time warp, where the newest car is a 1959 Chevy or perhaps one of the Soviet Ladas. Cuba's Car Culture offers an inside look at a unique car culture, populated with cars that have been cut off from the world so long that they've morphed into something else in the spirit of automotive survival. Authors Tom Cotter and Bill Warner (founder of the Amelia Island Concours) take readers of Cuba's Car Culture on a whirlwind tour of all things automotive, beginning with Cuba's pre-Castro car and racing history and bringing us up to today's lost collector cars, street racing, and the challenges of keeping decades-old cars on the road. The book is illustrated throughout with rare historical photos as well as contemporary photos of Cuba's current car scene. For anyone who enjoys classic cars, from old Chevy Bel-Airs to Studebakers to Ford Fairlanes, a cruise around Cuba will make you feel like a kid in a candy store.
Driverless cars are on the horizon, but before the world falls asleep in the driver’s seat, let’s take a look back down the road from whence we have come. Ford Model-T Coast-to-Coast, documents the cross-country adventure of two brave drivers as they pilot a century-old Model-T on a 3,000-mile journey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Coast. The book is as much a contemplation of early-20th century American life as it is a fond farewell to the automotive age. Can the car still be the vehicle of freedom and discovery, when we’re no longer in command? Or will we finally be able to fully appreciate the scenery rushing past? Accompanied by Michael Alan Ross’ evocative photography, author Tom Cotter stops in small towns, meets local people and hears their stories about cars, travel, and life. Cotter and Ross also explore back roads adjacent to his main route, the Lincoln Highway—the first transcontinental road. Significant cross-country runs, such as those by speed-record setter Cannonball Baker, and literary adventurers such as Jack Kerourac, John Steinbeck and Bill Bryson are considered in light of the driverless future. Cotter also drives some of the same roads that a young Edsel Ford traveled in his father’s Model T upon high school graduation in 1917. In addition to the central road trip, Cotter also visits interesting automotive and transport museums as well as “keepers of the flame” such as Model-T clubs, mechanics, junkyards and collectors across the country. He also records the numerous trials and tribulations in keeping a 100-year-old car operating on a 3,000-mile journey, something the driverless car of the future is unlikely to encounter. Join Cotter on his "slow drive across a fast country." You'll be glad you did.
- A snapshot of Cuban culture, focusing on the amazing classic cars that can be found across the country - Blends the conventional travel guide with a car enthusiast's bible - A must-have for any avid car fan Cuba is worth a visit. Or, as the authors of this book discovered, several. The average package holiday is simply not long enough to visit this country's myriad of sights, all of which are worth seeing. Like so many visitors to Cuba, after their first trip more than fifteen years ago, they returned again and again to trek the sandy beaches shaded by swinging palm fronds, to marvel at the splendid topography of the Vinales Valley, and to admire Cuba's selection of classic cars, which function as part of everyday life on this Caribbean island. As such, this uniquely illustrated book is a product of love. The authors have made it their mission to portray this resplendent nation in all its glory, and to bring Cuba's stunning scenery to your living room. This book represents the -best of- Cuban tours, led by passionate photographer Rainer Floer and his cousin Harri Morick. Morick speaks fluent Spanish, and thus he ensured that the pair were seen as classic car fans rather than regular tourists. They conducted numerous interviews, and in doing so also made friends with the interviewees. Spare parts came from Germany, stories from Cuba. Cars and culture blend in this snapshot of an evolving nation. But this evolution brings with it the threat of change. Who knows how much longer we will find classic cars on Cuba's streets? Includes splendid photos of classic cars dating from before the revloution; American limousines, taxis, and wedding cars; the history of the first Porsche in Cuba; an interview with an artist and his VW Karmann-Ghia, and the Harley Club in Cuba; and amazing scenes of Cuban streets and landscapes.
Even the most dedicated Cubaphile will discover new information in Alan Twigg's collection of seldom-seen attractions such as Fidel Castro's birthplace, the Celia Sanchez Museum, and the modernist statue atop the oldest open-pit mine in the Americas, erected in memory of runaway slaves. This handy illustrated compendium covers everything from the Cross of Columbus and the Bacardi Rum Factory to Havana's Morro Castle and Ernest Hemingway's Finca La Vigia. As well, there are dozens of well-known sites including the seven-metre bronze statue of Che Guevara in Santa Clara, the Virgin of Copper Basilica at El Cobre, the Museum of the Revolution and the Tropicana Nightclub in Havana, and the Playa Giron Museum on the Bay of Pigs.
This unique homage to Cuba's astonishing wealth of antique cars is also a paean to the extraordinary people who keep their weary "cacharros running with resourcefulness, ingenuity and great good humor. In a collection of vibrant images, "Cuba Classics reveals the time-worn splendor of classic American automobiles spanning eight decades. This magnificent portrait of today's classic cars is also an exploration of the island's tumultuous history. In a dynamic photojournalistic essay that traces the long love affair between Cubans and the U.S. automobile, Christopher P. Baker also celebrates Cuba's landscapes and colors, his images putting the beloved "cacharros within a tropical setting both sensual and surreal. Written in a lively, engaging style, "Cuba Classics captivates everyone from armchair travelers to classic car connoisseurs with powerful imagery that reflects the beguiling other-worldly charm of Cuba, the Caribbean's most compelling and intriguing isle.
Written by some of the best-known independent scholars, citizen journalists, cyber-activists, and bloggers living in Cuba today, this book presents a critical, complete, and unbiased overview of contemporary Cuba. • Pays special attention to the opportunities, limitations, and challenges presented by the leadership of Raul Castro and his reforms • Provides an accurate, insider's perspective into contemporary Cuba supplied by Cubans who currently live and work on the island, in stark contrast with most accounts that are filtered through the lens of an outside observer • Supplies readers with a critical, comprehensive review of Cuban history, economics, politics, culture, and society that places current developments in historical context • Includes a glossary, an appendix of up-to-date statistical information, dozens of sidebars on a variety of important and unusual topics, and an annotated bibliography

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