Cover image for Cuba classics : a celebration of vintage American automobiles
Cuba classics : a celebration of vintage American automobiles
Baker, Christopher P., 1955-
Publication Information:
New York : Interlink Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
ix, 189 pages : color illustrations ; 28 x 31 cm
The roaring twenties -- Depression and recovery -- The fifties heyday -- Storm clouds ahead -- End of an era -- Can I buy a car, Comandante? -- Bésame, bésame mucho! -- On a wing and a prayer -- El cubano invento -- Chrome is my favorite color -- The last resort.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL33.C83 B34 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



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. Full color.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Travel writer Baker has been to Cuba 20 times to research books, and one of the more fascinating aspects of contemporary Cuba did not escape his notice: it is the largest American car museum in the world. Before Castro, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s, Cuba imported a vast number of cars from the U.S, but since the embargo, no more cars can be brought across the Florida Strait. Consequently, the islanders are left to make do--to repair and relish the cars they owned before the embargo. Baker's lively text and rousing photographs give a palpable sense of the time warp experienced by tourists to today's Cuba as they, say, spot a 1952 Ford Victoria, catch a glimpse of a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker, or closely observe a 1959 Studebaker Lark. The photographs are the major draw here, for Baker catches these prized vehicles, most held together only by a creative use of spare parts, in full-length profiles, up-close details, at rest, or zooming by on street and road. --Brad Hooper Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this paean to the vintage car, Baker, who has also provided the photos, juxtaposes American autos against the backdrop of Cuba to great effect. "Today, Cuba possesses about 450,000 cars, of which one-sixth are pre-revolutionary American autos dating back to the '20s and '30s," he writes. Most of the cars pictured here, however, come from the 1950s: a pristine-looking green 1950 Chevrolet Styline Bel-Air is parked alongside a gray, weathered house; in the foreground an old man in a straw hat walks by eating from two ice cream cones. Not all of the photos are of the best quality (there are random, grainy pictures of people on the streets and free-frame photos of cars in motion), but overall, the photos effectively capture the beauty of the vintage cars themselves as well as the country that keeps them running. This photographic history is a nice companion to Baker's award-winning travel memoir, Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.