Cuba's million-dollar Mercedes-Benz
With normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba on the horizon, you can be sure there are plenty of treasure-hunting car enthusiasts chomping at the bit to head to Havana and bring back some souvenirs.
Pre-revolution cars from the 1950s and earlier famously haunt the streets and alleys of the Caribbean nation, as new car-starved locals tirelessly try to keep them on the road as taxis and daily transport.
Among the plentiful Fords and Chevrolets are some rare, luxurious cars once owned by the many successful capitalists that fled the island after Fidel Castro came to power.
Finding them is a favorite pastime of many visitors, including photographer Piotr Degler, who recently set out to discover a million-dollar Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe supposedly left to rot by the side of a road under a banana tree.
Degler documented the search in his Carros de Cuba 2015 calendar, which features a dozen shots of cars and people he came across curated from the more than 25,000 he took on the trip. After journeying nearly 2,000 miles, and speaking to countless locals, he finally found the elusive Mercedes sitting there, half buried in rubbish, its doors ajar and body decayed.
Degler captured the moment, one that may not last much longer now that Cuba’s doors are set to open to America once again. Although it looks too far gone to be saved, if someone could manage to restore it, the car is literally worth a million dollars or more.
If you're not up for the challenge, or would prefer a picture of it just how it is, Degler’s large format calendars start at $80.
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