Whatever you may think about coffee table books, throw it out the window, as this incredible series of portraits, or this rather visual essay, devoted to the wonderful cars of Cuba, is a rare and colourful treat everyone from car buffs to photographers will appreciate.
Additionally, due to the recent events in Cuba where Hurricane Irma, on her rampage through the Caribbean, did considerable damage to the country, some of these images may be the last recorded of this particular vehicle.
Cuba has a colourful history in many respects, with many of the cars still in use today, imported into the country from the America before embargoes were placed on the government of Fidel Castro, and Castro a banned the import of vehicles from America.
But these majestic vehicles have continued on to become perhaps one of the best known iconic elements this strangely unique, almost hypnotic Country. Many of vehicles have managed to survive due to ingenuity and the remarkably good engineering of the manufacturers in Michigan during the 1950’s.
Sadly though, many are beginning to slowly fall well below the possibility of repairs with the more shining examples having been restored and used primarily for the tourist trade. The hardworking models being used as community ‘taxi’s’ are well past their use by date.
In this smorgasbord capturing the pride of American Car manufacturing Cuban style, Kim Buddee has done the vehicles, and Cuban ingenuity proud. He has carefully documented every aspect of the vehicles history, tying the many photographs together with the flamboyant, bloody history of the country, even down to the part these remarkable caddies, Pontiac’s, Oldsmobile’s, Mustangs and their Michigan relatives, contributed to the many attempts to overthrow the Government of the day.
The final section wraps up with a look at transport within Cuba today, with some magnificent pictures of the real mix of daily transport, a shot of a street in the morning as the locals go about their business, to a man riding a horse, something he does every day, a tractor well past its prime but somehow still working, to an overcrowded bus and hitch hikers standing on the side of the road.
What lies ahead for Cuba is yet to be discovered, but it would be safe to state, that once the devastation that has occurred in recent weeks is cleared, and life returns to something like normal, and you can safely travel to this amazing country if for no other reason than to step back in history, go before change slowly removes all trace of island life circa 1950’s, with that uniquely Cuban stamp.
|Publisher||New Holland Publishers|
|Distributor||New Holland Publishers|