Two observations left an indelible impression on the receptive mind of architect Norman Foster when visiting the Cuban capital Havana: the decaying beauty of its historic architecture and the equally crumbling state of the city's pre-revolution American cars. After more than fifty years without access to original spare parts, these former icons have turned into veritable collages of repairs and parts pilfered from Soviet imports.
The book preserves these treasures by tracing the lives of eight owners who are more than happy to share their 'inventions', improvised solutions that keep these cars fit for their daily duties. The result is an unlikely symbiosis of V8 Chevrolet engines with Volga pistons and Oldsmobiles running transmissions from a Chaika – the car used by the political elite of the former USSR.
Unlike so many history books, Havana – Autos & Architecture is every boy's dream.