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Cuban Car Parts Market

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
edited December 2014 in General
Will normalized relations between Cuba and US mean new parts for old classic cars in Cuba?

HAVANA – Dairo Tio cruises the streets of Havana in a gleaming black 1954 Buick with polished chrome highlights and the diesel motor from an electric plant bolted beneath the hood.

When the brakes failed in his beautiful Frankenstein of a taxi cab, Tio couldn't work for 15 days as he waited for a machinist to hand-carve the necessary screws.

The half-century-old embargo on most U.S. exports has turned Cubans into some of the most inventive mechanics in the world, technicians capable of engineering feats long lost to the modern world of eletronic ignitions and computerized engine calibration.
Let's keep this politics free, but it will be interesting to see what changes will happen on the road in Cuba if parts start to flow.

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not sure many OEM parts will work anymore. Most of these cars are heavily bastardized and modified inside and out.

    I think it's more likely that Americans will buy these cars as a bit of history---art pieces if you will, rather than authentic classics. Most have hundreds of thousands of miles on them and an almost infinity variety of make-shift modifications, so probably not worth restoring to factory spec. But who wouldn't want a 1953 Chevy with a Peugeot diesel and a Ford grille with Studebaker tail lights and a Lada differential?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
    So the Cuban car owners wind up not being able to work on their cars because they'll get upgraded to newer models that have onboard computers?? B)

    Edmunds Moderator

    Silver 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback & White 2019 Nissan Rogue S

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Cubans will figure it out one way or the other.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 1,807
    edited December 2014
    PF_Flyer said:

    Let's keep this politics free, but it will be interesting to see what changes will happen on the road in Cuba if parts start to flow.

    Re: Castro regime
    Politics free
    discussion? Okay...

    A long time ago a king asked his council of wise men to give him words of wisdom which would always ring true in times of joy or sorrow. They presented him with a golden ring inscribed with the words, "This Too Shall Pass."

    edited to add: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and you can take your seat now Ralphie.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,082
    I'd like to take a trip there and go car-spotting. Maybe can do it now without having to go on a hopscotch trip from Canadia or Caribbean and arouse the suspicions of our brave protector class.

    Cuban economy will have to actually exist for any changes to take places, but if/when it does, I bet some US parts will flow in - I think a lot of people there are very attached to their old cars, not only out of necessity. Clunky Lada or Chinese car, or a frankencar based on a 50s American car - take your pick, I'd risk the latter.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    edited April 2015
    When I ran a shop I had a Cuban guy working for me. He was in his mid 50's at the time and he could fix ANYTHING. He would tell stories of how they had to make do with so little. Humbling.
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