Cuba’s classic cars parade through Havana

Automóviles antiguos en La Habana optan por la Copa Castrol

HAVANA, Nov. 5 The rally was dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the founding of the city of Havana, the 120th anniversary of the entry of the first automobile into Cuba, and the 15th anniversary of the “A lo cubano” Old Cars Club.

According to Gutiérrez, the first automobile that rolled in Cuba was a model Le Parisien, coming from France, in 1898, and from 1901, cars manufactured in the United States began to enter.

He added that “to belong to this club is an essential requirement to own an old vehicle with more than 35 years of circulation, but you also have to be a good person, because this is a big family, where members participate with their families, bring their children and an atmosphere of camaraderie is maintained “. 
The event, which aimed at the gardens of the famous Havana cabaret Tropicana, has as main sponsor the company Castrol (the representation in Cuba of the British lubricants company), hence the Cup bears his name.

They also sponsor Cuban tourism companies Havanatur, Los Portales, Ciego Montero, Havana Club Internacional, Excelencias del Motor magazine, and cultural projects Habaneando and Tatagua, as well as other private businesses.

Among the participating vehicles, the oldest one present at the rally was a Citroën of 1936, with 82 years of operation on Cuban streets, and the most modern a Soviet Lada of 1985.

Also participating were motorcycles from the Harley-Davidson team, and British Triumph motorcycles, with more than five and six decades of use.

 Gutiérrez said that as a result of the rupture of relations between Cuba and the US in the early 1960s and the imposition of the economic blockade on the island, the market for spare parts for cars was paralyzed.
“That caused our mechanics, metalworkers, turners, electricians, with enormous ingenuity, and the vigilance of the owners of these vehicles, together they put their ingenuity in keeping them rolling,” he said.

In Cuba, the collective transportation of people depends to a large extent on vehicles with more than 60 and 70 years of exploitation -known popularly as almendrones-, which offer taxi service, as part of the labor opening to the private sector.