How Jonathan Ward Discovered A Rare Aston Martin In Cuba

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Cuba seems to have been suspended in time with the proliferation of classic American cars, all built prior to 1959. However, when diplomatic relations with the US recently resumed, car lovers were ecstatic to take a visit and see what great barn finds will they uncover.

Fellow car nut and Road & Track contributor Jonathan Ward feels pretty much the same. Embarking on a journey through the Cuban automotive landscape, he came back with great stories to tell… and a great barn find.

While staying in Havana, Ward met a woman who claims that she has a very old car in her shed at a farm outside of town. She also mentioned that this car once belonged to a British official, who couldn’t bring this car outside of Cuba since it was manufactured before 1959. The lady asked Ward to take a look at the car to find out its potential worth. Such news piqued Ward’s curiosity, and was very willing to see this possibly great barn find.
When Ward finally arrived at the shed where the woman claims to keep the car, Ward couldn’t believe his eyes: it was a very rare Aston Martin DB 2/4, of which less than 800 were produced between 1953 and 1957. The car turned out to be even rarer as it was a left-hand drive 1958 model that came with a racing-calibre engine. Unfortunately, after verifying with Aston Martin the validity of this find, it was discovered that the original engine was already replaced with a Lada engine along with a Lada dash and steering column – a common practice in Cuba wherein people learned to improvise because of the economic restrictions imposed against the country.

Though Aston Martin reckoned that the car was in Cuba, it can’t do anything about it nor do they seem to be interested in restoring it. This particular find may be difficult and even expensive to restore. But perhaps for Ward, he can probably flip some switches to have this gem of a find shine again. Take a look at Ward’s shots of this amazing find.

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