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Posts posted by TG57Roadmaster

  1. In the 1940-60 Master Body Parts Book, that part # is listed as;


    12.116  Moulding, Rear Door Outer Panel Bead - At Belt

    4696295 (Rt)   296 (Lt)    1957- 53-73-73A-75

    4697620...6                       1957- 53-73-73A-75 (Clip)


    Excellent that you got the part numbers for it!


    Three listings down there's a different part number for the 56R, 75R, 76A and 76R.

    And there's a second set of numbers (and clip #) for the 53, 73, 73A and 75,

    which makes sense owing to the door ears' two-part configuration on Riviera Sedans.




    That second listing must be a teeny-tiny little piece of trim.




    • Like 2

  2. It's not much to go on, but can anyone tell me the make of this 1910-12 motor? I have looked at many period engines,

    and it is reported to have been in a Marmon dealership that might have carried multiple lines.





    12 horseless Motor 1C.jpg

  3. Some of the cars have names, some don't.


    57 AutoFair 2009 Fins 1XxT.jpg

    The '57 Roadmaster Riviera Sedan is "The Roadmistress," 'cause she's too pretty to have a masculine name.


    Louise New Bern 1XTx.jpg

    I get to live with "Miss Louise," the '60 Buick Invicta Flattop named for her fist owner, a 65 year old lady who bought the car new and learned to drive with it. 



    • Like 4

  4. 1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

    With the outside resources now opening up to Cuban residents who have these vintage cars in their possession, will parts become readily available to do a 'proper' restoration of these cars? 


    And how many can claim to be an original owner, (or a son or grandson of the original owner) of one of these cars?




    That's hard to know Craig, without asking the owners. This '57 Fairlane 500 Town Sedan is a likely an inheritance, but I didn't ask its owner. I met a Cuban-born Delta  flight attendant on my first trip who was there for a family reunion, and his grandfather had just sold his '59 Olds 98 Holiday sedan, sort of his 401K retirement plan.


    Avenida del Puerto 57 Fairlane 500 1XT.jpg


    They need parts and get some from relatives in Latin America and the U.S., but not a steady stream, so there's opportunity there if the door remains open. Time will tell. I'll attend a local Saturday car show in February and meet the head of one of the bigger clubs, and try to find out where the pristine cars are.


    59 Kingsway Custom CU 1.jpg


    A friend who's a French national in the tourism industry has this mostly-original '59 Dodge Mayfair Custom, an export model; its interior is supposedly correct, an exception to the rule in Cuba. I'll get interior shots next month.



  5. 9 hours ago, c49er said:

    Seems like I saw all those cars when i was there!

    The owners are so proud of their cars too. They are careful drivers  I was told as they don't want their cars to get wrecked.

    Never did see an accident when I was there or even police cars racing somewhere..

    So true Bob,


    After a while, you recognize certain cars; I saw this '50 Buick all over the place, even in a painting at the Almacenes San Jose Artisan's Market.


    Castillo Punta 2 50 BuickXT.jpg

    In August 2016, this '50 Buick Super was all over Habana Vieja, usually loaded with tourists. 


    Payret 1 Buick 50 60 1XT.jpg

    By December, it was sporting optional bumper guards / over-riders.


    Arte Autobienal 6XT.jpg

    The '50 Buick Super's painting at the Almacenes San Jose Artisan's Market in August, along with some other colorful carros.

  6. Some of the cars seen in Havana and its environs, all but the last in Habana Vieja. It's estimated that there are 70-80,000 vintage vehicles on the island, U.S. and foreign makes, many with modern engines and modified drivetrains, so I left my AACA Judging cap at home and just enjoyed the 24-hour moving car show. (Think the head-spinning Linda Blair in, "The Exorcist," minus the green stuff).


    Though few of the cars are in pristine condition, some owners with relatives in the States or Latin American countries have original parts sent to them. A number of them had correct wheels and Coker Classic or OEM tires, but they are the exception. There's an aspirational aspect, a hierarchy, and owners of pedicabs want to move up to a beater sedan, who in turn want a better sedan or coupe, with a '50's convertible at the top of the heap and where the most tourist money can be made. 


    Avenida del Puerto 57 Fairlane 500 1XT.jpg

    This '57 Ford Fairlane 500 Town Sedan is the pride and joy of its elderly owner, and may have been passed down in his family.


    Avenida del Puerto 51 Chevy Land Rover 1XT.jpg

    El Castillo del Morro and the Fuente de Neptuno loom in the background of this 1951 Chevy and vintage Land Rover, near the Plaza de Armas on the Avenida del Puerto.


    El Tunel 12A 56 Chevy 1XT.jpg

    El Tunel de la Habana is a great place for car spotting. The Palacio Velasco-Sarra behind this diesel-spewing 56 Chevy is now the home of the Spanish Embassy, and was once the private residence of members of the Sarra Pharmacy family.


    Calle Oficios 2 Peugeot 203 1XT.jpg

    A friend in Quebec, Gilbert Bureau, winters in la Habana. When he saw this photo, he exclaimed, "That's my electrician!" His man in Havana is enjoying lunch next to an early-1950's Peugeot 203.


    Calle San Lazaro 2XPT.jpg

    This 1959 Chevy Impala Sport Sedan stands vigil at this mercado on Calle San Lazaro, one block off the Malecon.


    Centro Asturiano 58 T-Bird 1XT.jpg

    A 1958 Thunderbird glides past the Centro Asturiano, one of the many clubs built when Cuba was flush with sugar and mineral money, now the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana. Like the Centro Gallego and many others, the lavish, palatial clubs were built by groups of descendants from regions of Spain.Gallego from Galicia, Asturiano from Asturias, and so on.


    El Tunel 13 55 Olds Starfire 1XT.jpg

    Exiting the Tunel de la Habana, this 1955 Oldsmobile 98 Starfire Convertible was the most-correct car I saw. The rear bumper's wavy, but its interior, tires, wheel covers, and great bodywork and paint set it apart from most others. 


    La Rampa 2 59 Opel Rekord 1XT.jpg

    You can rent a car at the entrance to "La Rampa," at the beginning of Calle 23 and the Malecon, just across from the legendary Hotel Nacional. This circa-1959 Opel Rekord fits right in at this streamlined gas station. 


    Malecon MGA 1XPT.jpg

    A late-'50's MGA with aftermarket wheels and VW taillights zooms along the Malecon, heading towards Habana Vieja.


    Gran Teatro 3XT.jpg

    The newly-restored Centro Gallego now houses the Gran Teatro Nacional...1950's convertibles await the tourist trade at Parque Central, and the massive Capitolio is off to the left. The '55 Eldorado was a pleasant surprise.


    Rain 2 53 Chevy 1XT.jpg

    A quick tropical rainstorm transformed the streets, making this '53 Chevy Bel Air glisten. The '53 Chevy 

    is the most popular car in Cuba, and sedans far outnumber coupes, convertibles and other body styles.


    San Jose 3 49 Chevy 1XT.jpg

    This sweet '49 Chevy was posed near the Almacenes San Jose Artisan's Market, where the cruise ships berth and tourists are separated from their souvenir money..


    Rei's 50 Buick and 56 Chevy 1XT.jpg

    My friend Rey Sanler owns this '50 Buick Super Sedanet and the '56 BelAir Sedan. He's a Cuban a cappella singer who tours the world with the group, "Vocal Sampling," headlining music festivals. The Buick's engine is awaiting installation when money allows, and he has much work ahead of him on both projects.


    San Jose 15 55 Buick Special Rain 1XT.jpg

    The San Jose section teems with convertibles like this '55 Buick Special, waiting to pick up foreigners for Havana tours that cost about $25-$30 for two hours.


    San Jose 4 58 Edsel 1XT.jpg

    The lower roadway along the San Jose section provided a bird's-eye view of this 1958 Edsel Corsair,

    originally a two-door hardtop. Coupes and even sedans are chopped into convertibles for the tourist

    trade, and it's a challenge to spot the real ragtops.


    Santiago de Vegas 17 53 Cadillac 1XT.jpg

    A missed P12 bus stop at the Biblioteca Jose Marti led to the end of line and the quaint town of Santiago de Vegas. South of the airport and part of suburban Havana, its low casas and sunlit streets were as close as I got to rural Cuba. Street repairs are common, as this '53 Cadillac shows.





    • Like 4

  7. And a very biased glimpse it is. What does Newsweek have against the American Bar Association? Or any other group that travels there? I didn't see any queues at gas stations, and yes, many offices don't have AC, but they have fans powered by actual electricity, just like we used to have. Why compare Cuba with our standard of living when it should be compared with other Latin American countries?


    As for politics, I'm not doing a book on oppressive regimes, but about the cars of Cuba. Should Tom Cotter and Bill Warner not have written their excellent book, Cuba's Car Culture? You don't have to buy their book or mine, but my conversations were with working-class Cubans, over coffee in their dining rooms where Big Brother was not listening. It wasn't gleaned from articles in magazines


    Many people travel there for many reasons, all of them legal before President Obama opened the door a bit wider. These are the OFAC categories and restrictions for travel to Cuba..."Entry Requirements."



  8. 20 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:


    From what I have read in The Wall Street Journal

    and other places, all the U. S. dollars spent

    don't go to the people as you may think, but

    go instead to help prop up the oppressive

    Communist government.  Much as in North Korea,

    tourists are only seeing and hearing what that

    oppressive regime wants you to see, so you will

    form blissful wrong opinions and spread them abroad.


    If you really want to see old cars, join your club and

    organize a visit to a good American junkyard!



    My experience could not be more different, and I travelled there not on an expensive, structured, regimented tour but on my own, legally as a researcher for an upcoming book project. I didn't have to suffer learning the salsa, visiting an escuela or a clinica, or touring a cigar factory. The people I met who are making money are keeping most of it, but they can't take it with them should they want to leave. There is a guarded optimism about their and their children's futures, and a mercantilism that simply isn't covered by American Media.


    There are also 5-star hotels, modern cars, fine restaurants and all the trappings of world-class resorts that we never hear about, but the rest of the Planet has been visiting since our Embargo. Is it all roses and buttercups, no, but it's not what we've been led to believe, either.



  9. I've travelled to Havana twice since last August for research on a book about the cars of Cuba. On the first trip, I went alone having studied the place for two years now, and stayed in a casa particular, in a room in someone's home. My seat-mate on the plane is an a capella singer whose group travels the globe headlining at music festivals, and is a car guy with a '50 Buick Super Sedanet and a '56 Chevy Bel Air sedan, both project cars. We became immediate friends and he took me around on his scooter to places I wouldn't have normally seen,  I had recommendations on where to stay by a Quebecois car guy who winters there, so it wasn't like going there blindly. I didn't want or need the structure of a tour, as I was going under OFAC regulations as a researcher, and a tour would have been hindering.


    At the casa each night (this was in August), the family I stayed with searched their car-for-sale websites for a car to buy; and by my December trip they had purchased a $40K newer SEAT sedan, although the husband really wanted a '50's model to take tourists around in. The people who rent their homes (or rooms) or drive tourists make decent money, more than we are led to believe. They can use their SEAT to take and deliver guests to the airport, so it was a business decision, as much as a status symbol.


    Some tips before you go...


    Get euros from your bank before you go, as you will be charged for converting dollars into CUC's, plus a 10% penalty. That quickly adds up, so if you fail to go the bank euro route, at least change your dollars to euros (or Canadian $$$) at the airport before your arrival. In their two-tiered monetary system, you will have little or no need for the CUP, as tourists almost universally use the CUC. There are plenty of articles out there if this if it you need clarification and, as others have noted, the $ = CUC, give or take a nickel. The coinage is decimal system, easy to use, and spare change is handy for tips.


    Plan on budgeting $100 a day, whether you spend it or not, less if you're on an inclusive tour. Meals, drinks, taxis, tips and souvenirs add up quickly. Budget extra if you plan on bringing home some of their fine tourist (car-related) artwork, the better of which is oil on canvas. Plan on negotiating a little bit for the art, and larger pieces require a tax stamp (5 CUC) to leave the country. This can be done at the airport or at the huge San Jose Almacenes Artisan's Market.


    If you plan to travel on buses or trains, or anywhere you need a public restroom, stash some TP in a baggie rather than relying on the restroom attendants. It's not that they don't have TP in Cuba, but it's in short supply and it's best to be prepared. Bring a small travel first aid kit, as the few farmacias you will see won't have topical antibiotics and band-aids are hard to come by.


    Gifts are great and much appreciated; I brought extra toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste, my two friends on the December trip brought mid-size and mini Maglites from Home Depot. On my trip in February, I'm going to bring some '50's 1/64th scale models for Carlos,  my cab driver's 4-year-old son. I was Carlos's first Americano fare, as they shun his little Daewoo Tico sedan for flashier vintage iron, but he has become a friend now, and discounts nearly every fare. Most taxi drivers speak basic English, so if you find one you like, get their card and use them often. They all have cell phones, as do the owners of your hotel or casa, and make sure you get the business card of your accommodations, too.  


    If you have an international plan on your phone, it should work in Havana and other larger towns, and this can be verified by your service provider. Take it out of Airplane Mode (but don't enable Wi-Fi) and Cubacel should pop up as available. I didn't do much texting, but it's handy to have to call fellow travellers, your hotel or casa, and just in case of an emergency (U.S. Embassy, (+53) 7839 4100. if calling within Cuba, leave off the (+53)). I didn't notice any real changes in billing, so it was a comfort to not have to hunt coins and find a working pay phone. Besides, their pay phones are very confusing!


    Internet is only available at Wi-Fi hotspots, and hourly-rate cards can be purchased at the better hotels. Find one, like the Hotel Ambos Mundos, go to the rooftop bar, have a cerveza or mojito, and enable Wi-Fi if you're using a phone. Be mindful that an hour of usage goes very quickly, and don't forget to logout from the card and disable Wi-Fi when your session concludes. It's actually refreshing to be without constant Web access, and harks back to simpler times. 


    Most importantly, get a good guide book well before your departure and study it. I bought several for comparison and like the DK Eyewitness Travel: Cuba best for its visuals and info. Remember that with Google Translate, there is virtually no language barrier, and searching for places in the native tongue yields far better results. If you're looking for good maps, search mapas; rather than peck around for Christopher Columbus, look for Cristóbal Colón. Translate also helps when you find an informative site in an unfamiliar language. One right click on, "Translate this page to English," and you're in like Flynn.


    My experience is generally that the Cuban people love Americanos, will quickly relate those feelings, and that they appreciate the recent opening of relations.  Any travel requires one to be on guard, but I have never felt safer travelling anywhere, day or night, than in Havana.



    • Like 4

  10. The minimalistic approach to the, "Wrapped Roadmistress," (2001), is emboldened by the majestic drama of the applied Tangerine Sweepspear. Meant to illuminate and remind the viewer of the eternal human struggle, its vivid red signifies the blood spilled in the name of corporate ruthlessness, exemplified by the complementary, mint-condition Texaco roundel, circa 1955. 


    An ephemeral work created by the artists Bowman and Gibson (both are graduates with a BS from the Wauwatosa Conservatory of Fine Art), the installation's transparent upper section provides the viewer with a glimpse of the raw sexual energy of the '57 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Sedan, without revealing the lower body's ultimate curvaceousness. 


    Limited-edition, life-size prints of the work are available at your local Banana Republic, upon sealed-bid application. 



    57 SweepSpear 2001X.jpg

  11. An acquaintance in Australia bought this Saffron Yellow / Tuxedo Black Monterey from Daniel Schmitt & Co.,

    and wonders if anyone knows who restored it. Apparently Schmitt didn't know, and the new owner would like

    to get in touch the shop, if possible. It's a long-shot request, worth a try.


    Thanks, and Happy Motoring,



    56 Monterey Saffron Tux 2.jpg

    56 Monterey Saffron Tux 1X.jpg

  12. On 11/6/2016 at 0:09 AM, Rusty_OToole said:

    The Rambler is rare in the US too. Have never seen one quite like it. They made a fastback coupe for several years called Marlin but I don't think they ever made more than a few thousand per year. Yours does not look like any of them, it looks newer. Productions supposedly ended in 1967.

    Other than being RHD and located in NZ, this is just a  '70 Rebel SST hardtop coupe, of which 49,970 were produced. 

    It's rare for its location and RHD, but the Rebel was one of AMC's best-sellers in 1970.

    The RHD postal fleet cars were sedans, so it's cool to see a 2drht survivor from NZ.



    70 AMC Rebel 2dr 1C.jpg