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Experience Cuba in a classic car.

3 Classic Car Quirks That Spark Up Instant Nostalgia

3 Classic Car Quirks That Spark Up Instant Nostalgia

Cuba’s vintage cars are renown across the globe, and thanks to an almost 60-year trade embargo, many of the cars are older than their owners. It’s not uncommon to spot a pristine Plymouth or Buick as you head into cities such as Havana. While the cars have remained and have been pristinely maintained, they’re not mint. This is because parts for these cars were also starved, leading local car mechanics to become fabricators too. They adapted car parts shipped in from other parts of the world such as Japan, and simply had to make do. The result? Well-running modern engines hidden in their perfect cages. But there are some quirks in a vintage classic that simply stick, despite the modern enhancements. 

A Breath Of Fresh Cubana Air 

The transition from manual to electric car windows was seamless, and now it’s strange to come across a modern car that doesn’t have electric windows. Motioning for someone to roll down their window was almost always accompanied by a hand-motion that mimicked that window-opening motion. Getting behind the wheel of a classic car and doing modern things like pressing buttons at intercom systems or getting tickets from a parking booth are certainly more interesting when you need to roll down that window. Pair this up with a flower vase holder, and your vintage classic’s stale interior instantly gets a reboot. 

Stick Shift Was A Given 

Despite its invention in the 1920s, the automatic transmission was really only popularized from the sixties onwards. This meant that perfect clutch control was required to get the shift into the right gear without the gearbox screaming. Modern manual transmission engines still have that screech if the clutch isn’t engaged properly, but thanks to a closer fit, this is far less likely. In fact, that telltale shift screech is a good memory for many who recall their first encounter with a classic model. Modern drivers who opt for their automatic shifts have a few things to aid them along in their journey, such as no need for that dreaded clutch control. Rather, there is the convenient shift lock that does all the work.

Party In The Front 

Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to serve up a John Collins from the glove box. It wasn’t until the seventies where drinking and driving were considered a taboo. The glovebox minibar had just enough space to house glasses and your mixers of choice, which meant that afternoon parties could happen anywhere, as long as you could park your car. Even in vintage cars where these coolers were featured, the glovebox has now been replaced with a holdall for anything from road maps to insurance papers. Classic car owners who want to restore their car to its former glory, minibar and all, can find some interesting parts on sites such as eBay and Etsy.

While there are benefits to modernization, such as safety, comfort and speed, there’s no denying that twang of nostalgia when a vintage number rolls by.