Cuban Chrome

I love watching car shows.

Not the new stuff.

The fix up the junk ones.

My favorite is Vice Grip Garage. I’ll watch everything Derek puts out. Why? Because that was me at one point. Sure, it wasn’t my business, but it was my life back in the day. I’d buy beaters, fix them up, and drive them so I could get to work. For the most part, I don’t think I spent more than $600 on wheels until I sold my ’68 chevy van and bought a ’72 t-bird. With a 460.

Not a great car.

Floated like a whale, had electical issues. Generally more trouble than any $200 beater I ever had. I paid $1200 for that pig. That said, that fat fucker would float around 495 in DC at 90 all day long, like I was sitting in a Laz-e-Boy. Knowing what I know now, I’d have fixed it, easy. For whatever reason, I avoided screwing with distributors back then. No idea why.

Probably risk. That sort of thing could go pear shaped on a Saturday and make getting to work an issue on Monday. Weird I had that sense of responsibility. No one I worked with did.

The other one I like is RoadKill Garage. It’s on MotorTrend Channel. Where I part ways with them, is when they get a hooptie and stick in a 10K crate motor. Or if they fix it up, they’re like “The carberator was junk, so we put on this double pumper holley we have.”

Yeah, You have.

They beat an engine to death. Then take it apart and Frieberger says “This is garb!” “That is Garb!”. It’s garbage because they beat it to death. I’ve seen Dulcich waste 3-4 clutches, a motor, and a rear end. The worst was a car called the “Disgustang”. A ’69 mustang that was full of shit, litterally. They built it as a daily driver. It was nice, when all was said and done. Then they go to do burnouts. But on the way they detect a valve tap. Something’s wrong.

What any sane person would do, with thousands invested in a car, is take it home, fix the problem. They don’t do that. They blow it up. Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours gone.

Enter Cuban Chrome.

Cuba has some of the coolest old cars still running on the planet.

Why?

They can’t get, and can’t afford new ones.

The series focuses on three dudes, mostly:

  • Demetrio – who’s trying to get into the club, fixing up his ’53 Olds
  • Ricardo – a mechanic of some renown, restoring an Austin Healy
  • and Fernando, who has a shop, a cool Model A and found a decrepid ’58 Chevy to restore.

Make no mistake. Demetrio isn’t fixing his ’53 Olds because it’s a cool ride. He’s doing it to make money. In it’s condition, beat up with a boat diesel motor, he can only taxi locals. Fixed up, he can taxi tourists at 5X the money. Damn thing is worn out. He’s trying to join the auto club for the network it provides.

You see, they can’t just go down to the AutoZone to pick up what they need. It’s not there. Hell, they can’t even go to Home Depot or Ace to buy a bolt. At one point, Ricardo needs a 4MM bolt. He has none in his stash, and no one else does either. The machinist makes him one.

Dude made him a bolt.

It cost him nearly $.40. Hand-Fuckin-Made.

Fernando scores a ’58 chevy to restore. Even though he has the resources, it’s a challenge. Watching them rebuilt that small block was mesmerizing. He had to find pistons. Keep in mind, the Roadkill guys buy them all day long here. Hell, those two guy have more parts in their garages than exist in all of Havana. That’s why I frown at Frieberger moaning “This is garb, that is garb”. Hell those cuban dudes would take that bearing, machine it, and get a few thousand more miles out of it.

The saddest one in the bunch is Demetrio. He has no manner of luck at all. Dude goes to sell him an engine, so he takes his hoopty apart to minimize downtime, and the engine gets sold out from under him. Same with the driveshaft. He sends his sons to pick it up and the dude screws them. Not like here on all the channels I watch, where the YouTube mechanic says, “Well we measured it, and we’ll pick up the [machined and balanced] driveshaft tomorrow”. All for a car they’ll flog, then forget.

Hell, the Motortrend storage lot looks like Cuba, with all the old cars. Only they just sit. Toys the toddlers got tired of playing with.

You have to watch this. These dudes are insane mechanics. They can’t just order body parts, they have to make them out of whatever metal they can get.

An amazing series.

Editorial comment: The Embargoes are stupid. I’m with Piggott here. Sanctions are for weaklings. In our case it’s a bullshit case of the Mean Girls Club. A bullshit ploy for effeminate weaklings.

What have they accomplished? The idea is the country will suffer, and the normies will rise up.

They don’t. They suffer.

Watch the show. Watch what Demetrio has to do to put food on his family’s table. It’s retarded and dumb.

You don’t like the guy running the show? Mess him up. Go big, or go home.

In the meantime, watch the show.

We’ll be there.

And soon, dudes like Cousin Phil, who’s been collecting the unwanted children of the old machinist world, will rule. He’ll be rich machining bolts no one can source any more.

Great series. Mental Patient Watch. You’ll go through it in a weekend.