One of the most striking things about visiting Havana is the array of vintage American cars. Everywhere you look is an old-school American car brand, ranging from Oldsmobile to Chevrolet, Buick to Ford with a nice sampling of Chrysler’s old Plymouth brand, with even a few Russian Volgas thrown into the mix. There is estimated to be some sixty thousand classic cars in Cuba, relics of a time before the revolution when economic relations between Cuba and America were close. After the 1959 revolution and subsequent trade embargo, Cuba was thrown into economic disorder and the population was forced to continue using and maintaining them. With no possibility of buying spare parts, owners have repaired them with everything from old tanks to Ladas, a testimony to Cuban skill and innovation.

 

The cars are colloquially known in Cuba as Chebi’s, owing to the popular Chevy brand. They are also referred to as maquinas or almendrons (because of their large, almond shaped bodies). However, while these cars look original superficially, under the bonnet they have been greatly modified. The original gasoline engines were replaced with diesel in the late 90’s in order to reduce fuel costs and increase efficiency. As a consequence, they rumble around the city creating much more noise and often leaving a long trail of smoke in their path.

 

In my paintings of Havana, I found that the cars were an integral part of the city scape and it would be the poorer without them. They are sculptures in their own right.

 

An edition of 150 copies, 34 x 26 cm, 36pp including 12 full colour double page car spreads printed on Somerset mould-made paper, bound in a concertina construction. Cloth quarter-bound with printed front and back covers. The book sits in a cloth covered solander box.
Price £375



Sample Spreads

Havana Cars



Havana Cars