Finding automotive treasure in Cuba is more than the search for rare automobiles in an isolated nation. The real automotive treasure in Cuba is the discovery of what people can do. Incredible people who make ancient vehicles run despite a lack of automotive resources have interested automotive fans for decades.
Cuba has always been forbidden to my generation, but occasional images would surface; images that stay with you.
In 1959, Cuba, then governed by Fidel Castro, banned the importation of cars. The automotive timeline in Cuba seemed to stop, only the occasional new vehicle here and there found its way to the island. Not only did Cuba’s citizens have to cope with the government imposed restrictions, western trade sanctions isolated Cuba for decades.
As trade and travel sanctions begin to ease, this could be the end of an unusual era. Unlike contemporary automobiles, these older vehicles are mechanically driven and can be repaired and maintained without the use of modern-day computers. If Cuba gains financial stability, paying modern wages and importing affordable, modern cars could become a reality. These old cars may end their lives in a museum or part of someone’s collection.
Knowing my fascination regarding the automotive treasure in Cuba, my Auntie sent me a link to Beekman 1802. My Aunt says (and so does NASDAQ) that the Beekman Boys, as they are known, have the fastest growing lifestyle brand in America. I have added their story and link below. Recently, the Beekman boys traveled to Cuba and shot some outstanding photographs.
All of these photographs are the property of Beekman 1802.
Some brilliant Chevrolets roam the island.
It’s possible that western journalists may attain easier access to Cuba soon. If that is the case, photographic and video coverage of their unique lifestyle ( including automobiles) will be easier to find. I hope to be one of the lucky ones that gets to head to Cuba while things are unaltered. Thank you to the Beekman Boys (and my Auntie) for sharing their photos.
About Beekman 1802:
“Beekman 1802 is a TV Show, Mercantile, bestselling cookbook and memoir, website and tourism destination all inspired by the Beekman 1802 Farm in Sharon Springs, NY.
When Josh Kilmer-Purcell (advertising executive and NY Times Bestselling author of I Am Not Myself These Days & The Bucolic Plague) and his partner Brent Ridge (physician and former Vice President of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia) purchased the historic Beekman 1802 Farm in 2007, they had no idea that it would launch one of the “fastest growing lifestyle brands in the country.” (source: Nasdaq) Originally just a weekend getaway from their hectic NYC lives, the farm became their lifeline after both men lost their jobs within one month of each other during the recession of 2008. Faced with possible foreclosure, the pair made a decision – if they were going to save their farm, they would have to make it profitable.
After taking in a neighboring farmer and his herd of beloved dairy goats, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell began producing soaps and cheese. As other neighbors taught them how to farm, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell shared their city-honed skills – starting a website and Mercantile. The men began working with several other local farmers and artisans to market their goods, and the entire village came together to host seasonal festivals, which are now attended by thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Soon the press began noticing this little farm and village that refused to give up. (New York Times, Daily News, USA Today) A television network launched a reality show about their effort – The Fabulous Beekman Boys (now airing on Cooking Channel) – which spread the Beekman message of hard work, living seasonally, and neighborly sharing around the globe.” – – Via Beekman1802.com
Check out their website (Beekman 1802),