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Things to Be Aware of When Importing Classic Cars from Cuba

Published by Joe Webster.

Cuba (CUB)

Things to Be Aware of When Importing Classic Cars from Cuba

What are the Things to Be Aware of When Importing Classic Cars from Cuba?

Relations between Cuba and the United States have not been good throughout the second half of the 20th century and into the 2000s, but under the Obama Administration, the ice cold relationship began to thaw out a bit.

This was apparent when on October 17th, the US Department of Treasury lessened their restrictions on import and export regulations between US and Cuban goods (see this source).

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In lessening the trade restrictions, the US Department of Treasury stated: "This authorization will allow recipients of authorized exports or reexports to Cuba to return the items to the United States… including for service and repair.”

For classic car enthusiast's, this was the key line that made it so that they could officially import American classic cars.

Yet, while it may seem tempting to do so, there are some caveats that classic car enthusiasts should be privy to:

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Many of the Cars Are Not in Good Condition

Many of the historic automobiles you see in images of Havana are not in working condition despite their appearance of being in mint shape. While some of Cuba's historic automobiles are in excellent condition, others may seem good on the outside but have serious problems on the inside.

Why is this the case? Well, it's actually quite simple:

  • Cubans could not import that necessary replacement parts for many of the classic cars due to being effectively cut off from trading with the United States;
  • These cars are 50 to 70 years old in many cases;
  • Many of the classic cars contain engines of Chinese or Russian origin;
  • Cubans are experts at fixing the cars so that they run well, but these are not with their original or official replacement parts.

In addition, some of the classic cars, because of the alternative parts underneath the hood, will need constant maintenance or may need to be completely restored. You can imagine just how much this will cost in addition to whatever you pay to have it imported.

Many of the Sought After Classic Cars Are Gone

There was a point several decades ago where there were still many highly-sought after classic cars in Cuba, but most of them are long gone now. You may still be able to find some steals, but after the Revolution took place, many of the expensive and/or rare classic cars disappeared or left the country through various means. In addition, there's also the reality that, as mentioned, many of them that are still there are in extremely poor condition.

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It may make sense to actually send the parts to Cuba to restore the cars there if you have the means to do so, but regardless, there are situations where it would still be the best option to import a classic car here for restoration. A-1 Auto Transport can certainly help you out with any of your transportation needs! Be sure to contact us today for your free quote.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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