Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in AmericaHAVANA, June 18 (Xinhua) – Almost unknowingly, Cuban Julia Medina became a unique treasure in America: a Healey Silverstone D10 race car, which is perfectly preserved, after almost seven decades of manufacture.

The car, built in the United Kingdom in 1949, was one of the two that arrived on the island in the 1950s of the last century and the only one that survives the passage of time, carefully taken care of by its owner.

This car was part of a batch of 100 manufactured between 1948 and 1950, as well as the other arrived in Cuba owned by a senior manager of the oil company Shell.Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

That other unit was destroyed when overturning during the ascent to La Gran Piedra, an elevation to the east of the island with more than 1,200 meters above sea level.

“Even being a grandpa, he is the baby of the house, I kiss him every day and in the morning I greet him,” the happy owner of the car, who also owns a small hostel in a central area, told Xinhua. of Havana.Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

Without having much idea of ​​what he would see, Medina knew by a friend of the existence of the car, so he visited the house of the previous owner, who had kept it in a courtyard, covered by a tarp and in very poor condition, but confessed that there was something that attracted him.

“I went to see him more out of curiosity than anything else, but when I raised the canvas I knew that he wanted it for me, although I had no idea of ​​the patrimonial value of the car,” said the habanera, who worked for three decades in a state company as an organizer. of events.

“I had an elementary notion about motorsport, that’s why I did not know anything about Healey, so buying it from its second owner was an inspiration for which I still have no explanation,” he said.Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

In 2013, Medina formally bought the car and for two years lived the ordeal of putting it to work, in a country where there is not a large market for spare parts.

To solve some of these problems, he contacted the Healey Club in London, an entity that is interested in this kind of cars, which helped him in the restoration with the shipment of several original spare parts and the electrical installation.

Since 2015, the car, freshly painted a bright yellow with green lists, rolled again on the streets of the Cuban capital, where not only does it arouse the admiration of many, but it also exhibits in public the pride of Medina.Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

As it was designed for the high speed competition, which requires little weight and a lot of power, the car has only two seats, which for Medina is a problem, since it can not walk the whole family together.

The Healey has marked up to 90 kilometers per hour, although its design allows, at least in theory, reach 160, something that Medina refuses to check “not to force things.”

The old car, which retains the original engine, is one of the attractions of the Excelencias del Motor Salon, the first car show that this weekend is held on the island in the last half century.

“The main objective of this show is to raise the motoring culture in a general sense in Cuba,” said journalist Willy Hierro, one of the organizers of the show.Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

Hierro considered it an educational action, “because there is a lot of taboo, because people think that motorsport is just competition, it’s just skidding, it’s just making the tires scream”.

The promoter also said that motoring is much more, “because it is part of the culture, of knowledge, is to enjoy a healthy career or an exhibition like this where we learn everything”.

The cars shown in the exhibition, mostly classic and old, allow us to understand why Cuba is considered a “rolling museum”, dominated by American cars of the 1940s and 1950s, which are everywhere on the island.Cuba keeps a unique automobile treasure in America

The Excelencias del Motor Salon is at the same time an opportunity for children and young people to become familiar with the cars, while learning about the need to drive responsibly.

It is an opportunity while they watch with curiosity a race car with almost 70 years, the only one that is preserved in America.