On the Go – The Yank Tanks of Havana, Cuba

On the Go – The Yank Tanks of Havana, Cuba

Havana’s ubiquitous Yank Tanks are still on the move, even after well over 50 years and hundreds of thousands of miles. Like the Eveready Bunny, they just keep going and going. Thanks to the ingenuity and tenacity of the Cuban people. It could be said that these mechanics and parts’ fabricators are the curators of the largest living classic car museum in the world.

With the advent of the Cuban Embargo in 1961, American expats and wealthy Cubans fled the island leaving an estimated 150,000 American cars behind. During the 50s, Cuba imported more cars from Detroit than any other nation in the world. More Buicks, more DeSotos, more Cadillacs. And, of course, scores of Fords and Chevys.

If you can spare about a hundred seconds please take a look at this lighthearted video of Havana’s Yank Tanks.


Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Wonderful photos, Ron, capturing a bygone age in today’s Cuba. I would really love to go and see these old cars! 🙂

    1. Thanks Cathy. The whole Cuban experience was wonderful. Hope you get the chance to go.

  2. The height of retro chic, Ron. I particularly like the white soft top, though I don’t recognise it (or is that because I don’t recognise it?). Fantastic to see so many of them, all so lovingly cared for. They’re quite a testament to the way the cars were originally built, don’t you think. I doubt, even with the Cubans’ skill and determination, modern cars would last the distance. 🙂

    1. I don’t know the white car either, I just liked the photo. 😉 Indeed, a testament to these classic’s durability, but also to the ingenuity of the Cubans. Many have had their engines replaced with Diesel engines from old Russian cars. Retro chic – I like that.

  3. Loved the video Ron – and you’re right, it IS a classic car museum. Well done!

    1. Thanks Tina. I am happy you liked the video.

    1. Thank you. It was fun to put together.

  4. Great video and I love the motion in the first photo.

    1. Thanks John. I am happy you enjoyed the post.

    1. Thank you. I am happy you enjoyed it.

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