New Cadillac & LaSalle Club Provisional International Affiliate in Cuba?

Started by C.R. Patton II, December 24, 2014, 08:51:41 AM

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C.R. Patton II

Hello

As President Obama attempts to open trade relations and improve diplomatic relations with Cuba I had an idea.  With the admiration and love for Cadillacs and LaSalles in that country why not invite them to join our club?

I just returned from Havana to swell our ranks.  There were quite a number of forties and fifties 75 Series Cadillacs in service as fleet vehicles.  Most of the convertibles were just for special occasions.  I established good relationships and distributed issues of our fantastic Self-Starter magazine.  I emphatically shared our club purpose, tradition, objectives and goals.  I also insisted that they visit America to educate and enjoy themselves at our Cadillac & LaSalle Club Museum & Research Center.  Interest and enthusiasm is high.  Hopefully they will take the initiative to procedurally come on board.

The trip would have been great if I had seen just one LaSalle.
All good men own a Cadillac but great gentlemen drive a LaSalle. That is the consequence of success.

57eldoking

An excellent idea! I'd imagine the parts demand would be strong too after more than 50 years of "starvation"! I can only see benefits.
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

gary griffin

The Cubans are famous for keeping old cars on the road as they have no natural supply line for replacements.

Open the hoods of many of them and you will find a variety of car and truck engines and transmissions. Authenticity takes second place to serviceability. 

South American countries also have a plethora  of interesting and antique automobiles.  Labor is cheap and putting a running 6 cylinder in a V-8 car is common. I would not be surprised to see a tractor engine in one.
Gary Griffin

1940 LaSalle 5029 4 door convertible sedan
1942 Cadillac 6719 restoration almost complete?
1957 Cadillac 60-special (Needs a little TLC)
2013 Cadillac XTS daily driver

C.R. Patton II


Henning

You are absolutely correct.  Since the Russians departed in 1959, the Cubans have been forced to "improvise".  They are using farm hay, water and cooking flour to repair body panel damage.  I saw a 1957 Eldorado Brougham with a diesel engine and Volkswagen bucket seats. 
All good men own a Cadillac but great gentlemen drive a LaSalle. That is the consequence of success.

Jay Friedman

I think CR's idea is great.  Maybe we could somehow get parts to Cadillac owners there if restrictions are lifted.

My wife and I were in Havana for 3 days in 2006 where we saw lots of old American cars.  (See my article in the Nov-Dec 2006 Self Starter.)  I estimate that early to mid-'50s Chevrolets were the most prevalent, with fewer Ford and Chrysler products.  We also saw a few Cadillacs. 

Parked across from our hotel one evening was a 50-53 Cad convertible, whose exact year was hard to figure out since it had a split windshield like a '49 and a mixture of features of those year models.  The owner told me it had the original motor which he showed me (it was painted red).  It ran well, as did the Hydramatic.  On the  other hand, he had installed a Russian carb and replaced the generator with a Russian alternator. 
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210, since 1984
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

James Landi

Perhaps the Club might consider a one year fee free welcome membership to owners once the USA Internet is connected? 

76eldo

Wow... Didn't even happen yet and we are giving them foreign aid... LOL...

Just kidding, don't want to get into the politics of it.

Sure, we should help Cadillac owners wherever they may be.

Great idea Chuck!

Happy Holidays,

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

James Landi

Just thinking these folks are cash strapped, and extending a helping hand would likely be appreciated... and think of all those potentially engaging posts about tractor motor conversions!

J. Gomez

C. R.,

That would be a great idea, I (born and raised in Cuba until age 11) would encourage an open dialog with the Cadillac local culture and established a line of communications.

Although it would be easier for folks outside United States to established a line of communication easier than it would be for us at the moment, still too much red-tape.

As you probably aware the old American cars of the 50s that still on the road are keep running by their owners from salvage parts from others (what few are left) and from makeshift parts from old communist countries Russia, Czechoslovakia, etc. cars. 

My first driving lessons was on my father’s ’52/’53 Chevrolet dually truck. My first challenged was trying to start it up, my second was reaching the clutch and brake pedals to fully press them, needless to say I pop the clutch several times during my multiple trials.  ;D

Once I got the hang shifting was fine from first to second, then my father told me once you are comfortable driving just listen to the engine it will tell you when to shift to the higher gears..!

My first love of Cadillac’s was when we rode on my father’s business partner ’53 in 1965/66, it was a 4-door black, 100% original including the tires, he drove her around the old Habana and personally took care of every detail.

Great idea..!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone..!
J. Gomez
CLC #23082

James Landi

Perhaps a group might form an "outreach" to consider just when and how to connect, and present members might wish to financially sponsor potential memberships to owners in Cuba who would appreciate and benefit from the connection.  Clearly, a bunch of preconditions need to be met, as Mr. Gomez indicates above, but getting those preconditions explored, and connecting with potential members would create an initiative that might be rolled out at the right time.  thoughts?   James

Bill Young

I was in Cuba as a child in the winter of '58 Just before Castro. My Uncle Jack was head of the Cement Plant in Havana. I have always been interested in visiting there again . I sincerely hope that this will bless the People of Cuba.

57eldoking

I'm sure the parts technically could have been obtained but due to the embargo buying power in Cuba decreased dramatically and parts passing thru third party country would also have increased costs. Adapting Soviet tractor parts became the only economically viable solution.

I wonder how many, vintage cars from Cuba will find their way to collectors in the US or abroad. Rare cars such as the Eldorado Brougham could be worth bringing back.

If a car-ferry service from Florida is restored like existed in the 50s I'd be tempted to take an old car down there and cruise around for a few weeks.
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #906
1957 Eldorado Biarritz #1020 http://bit.ly/1kTvFlM
1957 Eldorado Seville  #1777 http://bit.ly/1T3Uo1c
1994 Seville STS http://bit.ly/1IaOT0c
1995 Fleetwood Brougham  http://bit.ly/20YwJV4

1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup
1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon (2)
1960 Chevy Apache 10 Stepside
1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Quentin Hall

53 Eldo #412.
53 Eldo #433
53 series 62 conv
39 Sixty Special Custom
57 Biarritz

Walter Youshock

Like Carmen Miranda sang:  "How would you like to spend a weekend in Havana? "
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Quentin Hall

15 years ago when the Buena Vista Social Club album was huge, filmmaker Wim Wenders came to Brisbane to accompany the movie he had made to document the Cuban story behind it. Had the pleasure of driving he and his wife around town to the Premiere in my 57 Biarritz . I remember him saying to me  "You know I have a 57 Chevrolet convertible. " Then turned to his wife and said "Darling vere is zat car????"

I have always dreamed of visiting  Cuba. Ironically the lifting of the sanctions may be the very thing that destroys the thing that is so fragile and precious about this timewarp place. Let's hope McDonalds , Burger King, Coke and Pepsi aren't eagerly awaiting the opening up of another untapped market place. . . . and new luxury condos planned built to replace those tacky old worn out ones . . . hey they need some new gambling houses too. . . .   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgaja-e__2w
53 Eldo #412.
53 Eldo #433
53 series 62 conv
39 Sixty Special Custom
57 Biarritz

Dan LeBlanc

It would've nice to see another international affiliate come on board. Whatever happens though, we need to remind ourselves not to let this thread evolve into a political discussion.
Dan LeBlanc
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car

Steve Passmore

[quote =]
. Let's hope McDonalds , Burger King, Coke and Pepsi aren't eagerly awaiting the opening up of another untapped market place. . . . and new luxury condos planned built to replace those tacky old worn out ones . . .  . .   

[/quote

Sadly, that is exactly what WILL happen.
Steve

Present
1937 60 convertible coupe
1941 62 convertible coupe
1941 62 coupe

Previous
1936 70 Sport coupe
1937 85 series V12 sedan
1938 60 coupe
1938 50 coupe
1939 60S
1940 62 coupe
1941 62 convertible coupe x2
1941 61 coupe
1941 61 sedan x2
1941 62 sedan x2
1947 62 sedan
1959 62 coupe

C.R. Patton II

Hello

I do not believe we need to financially sponsor Cubans but mentor them.   I subscribe to the school of " teach a man to fish and he can feed himself".  I also am a proponent of the Matt Larson credo; Avoid the politics because our hobby is all about the people and their cars.

I did feel that they were chary about joining a club.  The benefits I advertised to becoming an CLC affiliate were :
(A) Camaraderie
(B) Maintenance
(C) Preservation
(D) Restoration
(E) Literature
(F) Parts Availability

I will continue to cultivate the relationships I developed to expand the Cadillac & LaSalle Club globally.
All good men own a Cadillac but great gentlemen drive a LaSalle. That is the consequence of success.

joeceretti

I have quite a different view on this topic, literally.

Jeff Maltby 4194

I was playing in the warm Atlantic surf @ Coca Beach FL with my folks the day of the blockade in 1962. We fly to from calif to Mexico City-New Orleans then on to Florida in a British Comet Jet. What a great vacation @ age 10, all captured on the 18,000' of 8mm film father took from 1949-1970, all on video now. It's always a treat to look back at his new 53-56 and 58 Cadillac's etc,  to bring back long forgotten memories of my youth :<)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z43ysudKUXU
Jeffo 49er chapter

CLC 1985
Honda Gold Wing GL1500