Sep 19, 2014
Staff Writer
Comments Off on Backyard Cruise 2014: Havana, Cuba!

Backyard Cruise 2014: Havana, Cuba!


Susie and Andrew Clark host a cultural backyard cruise each year in Lakeland, Florida. A big part of each annual event is the food, drink, costumes and local customs of the region selected. This year they travelled to old Havana, Cuba! As 1950s automobiles are an essential and colorful part of Cuban life, MJC Classic Cars in Lakeland was contacted to secure a pair of vintage cars to help make the occasion more authentic. A 1959 Ford Galaxie (first model year) and a 1957 Chevrolet 210 Wagon were graciously donated for the weekend! 

The cars were quite appropriate. Until 2011, the only cars allowed in Cuba were those that had been there at or befrore the time of the 1959 revolution. Many of those cars have been lovingly babied and repaired and, in many cases, restored or customized.

The vehicles were definite show stoppers and thoroughly enjoyed by all the partygoers! They are truly unique vehicles that capture the styling and spirit of the 1950s. Unbelievably, no less than four guests shared that the same make, model, and color Chevy had been part of their childhood memories!

1959 saw the introduction of the Galaxie name in Ford’s model lineup at mid-year. That year, the Galaxie range of six models were simply upscale versions of Ford’s long-running Ford Fairlane with a revised rear roofline that mimicked the concurrent Thunderbird. In keeping with the era, the 1959 Galaxie was a chrome and stainless steel-bedecked, two-tone color vehicle. It was the very image of late-1950s American automobile excess, though somewhat tamer than its Chevrolet and Plymouth competitors. Ford advertised “safety anchorage” for the front seats. The parking brake was now a pedal. Seat belts, a padded dashboard, and child-proof rear door locks were optional, while a deep-dished steering wheel and double-door locks were standard.

A True American Icon, the station wagon was once as common on the American scene as SUVs are today. Few of their names stood the test of time and memory, such as the 1957 Chevrolet Two-Ten. From 1953–1957, this was the mid-range model of the Chevrolet car. It took its name by shortening the production series number (2100) by one digit in order to capitalize on the 1950s trend toward numerical auto names. The numerical designation ‘”210″ was also sporadically used in company literature. It replaced the Styleline DeLuxe model available in previous years. This model was dropped following the 1957 model year to be replaced by the Biscayne.

New for ’57 is the 283-inch small-block V8. Even the fuel-injected version was theoretically available to the Two-Ten buyer. The Two-Ten shared the wedge-shaped side trim with the Bel Air, but, unlike the Bel Air, the Two-Ten’s wedge was painted either body color, or top color with the optional two-tone paint package, which gives the car a classic flare. “Chevrolet” in script was mounted inside the wedge.Chrome tastefully accents the wagon and perfectly captures the 1950s time period with styling cues such as the pronounced tail fins. Original wide white-wall tires complete the exterior, giving this show car the confidence to be a backdrop in a 1950s time period film.

Gracias to:
MJC Classic Cars
Michael Calhoon, owner
355 South Lake Parker Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801
Sell, consign, export, locate.

Delivery and drop off (also donated):
Joyce, Ed Bebb, owner, arrangements & delivery by Mike, Adam B and Adam Z.
1034 E. Main Street
Lakeland, FL 338018
Auto repair and towing services

Photo credits Yatin Chachad Photography

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