This Might Be Your Last Chance to See Cuba’s Classic Cars in Their Natural State

A Kickstarter effort well worth your $50.

byMichael Frank|
History photo

You can already buy one of Piotr Degler’s amazing, poster-sized calendars that feature the art of the Cuban automotive landscape.

Degler spent a month traveling the length of the island nation capturing the car culture there, and winnowed the results (and then winnowed some more) to create a calendar of only 12 photographs.

It’s not easy to summarize a month of photography with only 12 snapshots. “On the one hand, you’ll see photographs showing the human side; the people; the environment; cars maintained with inventiveness and necessity for decades; real gems stored in garages away from prying eyes,” Degler writes. “On the other hand, you’ll find obsolete cars showing hints of what they once were, and dreaming of what they could be again.”

He achieved what he set out to do, but then what of every other photograph — all  25,000 of them? What of an astonishing, rusted and dusted-over 300 SL Gullwing? Of Buicks, Cadillacs and Studebakers? What of the Jags, Porsches, Trabants and even a second 300 SL?

Naturally that calls for a book to document Degler’s journey through the living history of the Carros de Cuba. To fund the 300-page book he’s created a Kickstarter campaign, which as of this writing has raised almost $19,000 of a $32,314 goal.

Degler says the book will be the most complete record of the cars of Cuba. We hope it does get funded, because it’s probably the last chance to make something like this happen. As Cuba opens to the U.S., you can bet these vintage machines will be scooped up by the highest bidders and be dispersed among the wealthier enclaves of the world, disappearing from the streets of the country that gave them so much character.

Degler Calendar/Kickstarter
Degler Calendar/Kickstarter
Degler Calendar/Kickstarter
Degler Calendar/Kickstarter