Cuba today eased the 50-year-old ban on private car sales that restricted most inhabitants of the country to cruisers and hardtops manufactured before 1959.
It's obviously a positive development for Cuban drivers used to maintaining the older autos by making brake fluid from sap and steering wheels out of wood, but the classic Buicks, Dodges, Cadillacs and Chevys that populate the island are one of its most charming tourism draws. And for all the maintenance problems that arose when trade embargos cut off the supply of parts, not everybody in Cuba has ill will toward the island's aged street fleet.
A Cuban mechanic told COLORS last April: "These cars are a part of our national identity now, like rice and beans, or roast pork. We take care of these old American cars as if they were another member of the family."
So before the family gets crowded by a bunch of flashy new cousins with power windows and self-parking computer systems, we've gathered some farewell photos of the gentle giants of Cuba's highways.
If that wasn't enough car porn for you, and you feel the need for nearly five minutes of panning shots of a 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible, check out the video for "Vomit", the first single off Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the new album from San Francisco-based Girls.