A technicolor array of 1950s American convertibles gathers daily at Havana's Parque Central near the national capital. Most serve as taxis tourists can ride in.
Cubans have by necessity evolved a different relationship with cars than Americans have. Rather than being traded in every few years, cars are revered as family heirlooms, refurbished continuously and passed down through the
SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba — I climb into the back seat of a fire-engine red 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air taxi owned by Argelio Pena Mendoza here in Cuba’s second largest city. Mendoza turns the key, and the ancient inline six-cylinder engine wheezes and rumbles to life in a haze of exhaust smoke. He shoves the car’s three-on-the-tree shift lever into first, and we’re off.
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