Havana, Cuba April 16, 2008
1. Pan right classic car passing in front of sign "Socialist Revolution"
2. Medium shot 1930"s car entering repair shop
3. Pan right horse and carriage with tourists passing in front of classic cars
4. Various parked classic cars
5. Various close ups of car emblems and grills
6. Medium shot 1930's car travelling on Malecon Ave.
7. Medium shot 1920's car travelling on Malecon Ave.
8. Medium shot men pushing classic car
9. Wide shot Old Capitol building with classic cars
10. Zoom in man lowering car hood
11. Medium shot mechanic working on classic car engine
12. Zoom out same
13. Wide shot same
14. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jorge Fonseca, Cuban Mechanic:
"This is perfect. Imagine, this is an old engine. It's hard, but we do find the parts and we get it running. For example, this carbarator here is from a Nissan B-12 with a Racing Purifier, which is pretty modern and works for me. You can see how it runs. It runs smoothly and with no problems. The radiator is from a Mitsubishi. The alternator is from a Toyota. The brakes are Toyota. Well, it's all made-up, but they work fine. What else can I say? The sacrifice made by the people whom have these cars, I believe, is beyond measure. It is something extraordiary. When you see one of these cars on the road, you have to imagine: After 50 years, how does it run? They run with these parts here."
15. Travelling shot from Fonseca starting engine as camera goes to engine
16. Zoom out classic car operating as taxi on Old Havana
17. Various classic cars serving as taxis in Havana
18. Medium shot classic truck serving as public transportation
19. Travelling shot entering mechanic's shop with several classic cars in repair
20. Travelling shot mechanic at work
21. Medium shot mechanic working in shop
22. Wide shot same
23. Close up engine
24. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Manuel Li, Cuban Mechanic:
"This is a 1939 Ford body. We already switched out the chasis and the mechanics. We are now mounting the steering mechanism which is a graft from several different cars. The servo is Toyota and the brakes are Toyota and the suspension is Chevrolet. I want it to ride like a modern car even though it's a car from 1939. I love these cars and it's a challenge for me to get them to run like a modern car even when they aren't."
25. Tilt up from engine to man talking about his Studebaker's engine UPSOUND (Spanish) Miguel, Car Owner:
"It's an English Rover, V-8, original."
26. Close up interior 1956 Studebaker steering wheel and dashboard
27. Medium shot Studebaker arriving curbside and revving engine
28. Various classic cars in traffic
29. Zoom out classic car drives by Revolution Square
30. Zoom out classic car on Malecon Ave with Morro Castle in background
One of the first things that surprises foreign visitors to Cuba, is the impressive amount of old cars (many of them true classics) that roam the streets.
More surprising is the fact that they are not part of a classic car parade or collector cars from a museum; quite the contrary, they are regular vehicles in daily use for pleasure and for work.
Almost all of Cuba's classic cars are from the United States.
And that's part of the reason they still exist today.
When Fidel Castro took the island by force in 1959, the United States government soon imposed a blockade and embargo on Cuba, hoping it would weaken Castro's appeal and lead to his overthrow.
Instead, it lead to extreme shortages which caused Cubans to become very inventive and make do with what they had.
The U.S. sanctions made buying new cars an impossibility.
What no one knew back in the fifties was that Cuba would be invaded by these vehicles forever.
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