Yank Tanks: The 50′s Cars in Cuba

A few days ago, I was too angry at my vehicles to give them any wrenching time, so I plopped myself down on the couch.  Before long, I found myself flippin’ through my Netflix account searching for car-related movies.  Among Two Lane Blacktop, Ronin, Bullit and Eric Bana’s Love The Beast, sat a movie that I had never heard of before.  It was called “Yank Tanks” by David Schendel, and it documented all of the 1940′s and 1950′s cars that are still in daily use in Cuba, along with the people that drive them.

Throughout the movie, dozens of car owners and mechanics are interviewed, along with the unique methods of repairing some of these old American rides.  As it turns out, the majority of the replacement parts for these old cars are smuggled into the country, made by amazing Cuban craftsman, or retrofitted from newer Russian cars.  From guys who build vehicles from metal scraps, to a shoeless dancing man that makes windshields, to painting cars with sponges, to one guy that makes his own brake pads with a secret formula of asbestos, you see it all.  The willingness to make any part of an old car is unlike anything that I have ever seen.  If you have a spare hour or so, I’d say it is definitely worth the watch.  The video above is the trailer for the movie, check it out!

Can’t see the video? Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNzIfN8rLso

2 comments to Yank Tanks: The 50′s Cars in Cuba

  • Ryan S

    I loved this movie! It was so interesting how the trade embargo the US has with Cuba forced these craftsmen to make their own parts. Necessity really is the mother of invention. The funny part is, after they started making these custom parts, Americans wanted to buy them for their own classic cars!

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