We are Julio & Nidialys. We own and operate NostalgiCar Tours & Garage.
Before the Revolution in 1959, Julio's father Benito worked as a mechanic for General Motors. The passion was passed on from father to son, who from an early age started helping in the family workshop.
NostalgiCar started in 2011 with Nadine, a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air that Julio restored for 'fishing' tourists outside Hotel Nacional. For better mileage on trips outside Havana, Julio gave Nadine a Toyota 1KZT 4-cylinder diesel engine, with Toyota automatic transmission.
Soon Julio realized that he needed help. So we purchased Lola, a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, for wife Nidialys to drive. Lola was black and in really bad shape. After thorough restoration, she became very popular for its gorgeous pink looks, especially with honeymooners. We also gave Lola a diesel engine (Toyota 2L 4-cylinder).
With two cars and a growing clientele, NostalgiCar was born.
Today we operate a fleet of beautifully restored vintage American cars from 1955 to 1960. We drive visitors from around the world for tours and transfers around Havana and other Cuban destinations. We combine our passion for classic cars with our love for our country Cuba.
We used to restore cars at home, so wife Nidialys was not very happy about dirty parts all over our porch and living room. In January 2015 we opened our garage on Boyeros Avenue, in a workshop rented from the Ministry of Transport. Finally, in December 2019 we opened our current NostalgiCar Garage on a wholly owned plot of land in Arroyo Naranjo neighborhood. The garage is decorated '50s style, with classic fuel and air pumps, Chevrolet signs and even a car-themed shower curtain.
We purchase all new spare parts from reputable distributors in the US, and we get them to Cuba through tortuous and expensive mechanisms.
Being part of the first wave of Cuban entrepreneurs in revolutionary Cuba was not easy, but despite all challenges it has been exciting and rewarding.
We have hosted thousands of travelers from around the globe, and we have really enjoyed driving them around our city, to the countryside, to our beautiful beaches. We have also learned a whole lot from our clients, which has given us an international vision. The Obama family, John Kerry, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, among others, took a seat in one of our nostalgic cars.
Come ride with us while we tell you our story about building such a business in Cuba. You can also experience the action at our garage, where we return our American classics to their original splendor. Come share our passion for vintage and modern Cuba.