FORD '57 - THE FIRST DALE'S CAR

Dale is a great young man. He and his wife joined our MUSIC TOUR GROUP in May.

Dale’s first car ever was Ford '57. He was a teenager when he got this car in 1961. He knew almost all the classic car models in Havana. He and his friends in U.S. owned those Fords, Cadillacs, Dodges in early 60s of the last century.

I became obsessed with an idea to find Ford '57 and ask the driver to offer a ride to Dale and his wife. I started asking around but it didn’t look realistic, nobody knew anybody owning this model. I stopped pushing the idea.

On the last night of the tour we went to a traditional concert featuring some Buena Vista Social Club members. The concert was cheesy, lacked some true values - it was a tourist attraction, expensive, naive. Good to know what I won’t offer to my visitors… We left the venue after the concert and, as usual, a number of taxi drivers offered a ride back home. It’s always overpriced in such places so I often reject such offers with smile. We walked away to a place where we would take a cab for 10 times less.

Suddenly, Dale pointed at the car: „This is Ford '57.” Without waiting a second I run to the driver. His was closing another deal with some tourists. I waited a bit and then pulled out all my weapons once they finished the negotiations.

„Listen”, I said, „I offer you 5 dollars for driving us home with your car. However, I offer another 15 dollars if he can drive the car” - here I pointed at Dale who was watching us from 100 feet away. The driver was confused a bit. He asked „Does he know how to drive this car?”. I said „Man, it was his first car when he was young, he knows the car better than you” I joked. The driver continued „But didn’t he drink anything?”. I loved the question as it seemed he was ready to let Dale drive the car. So I lied „No, he hasn’t had any drinks tonight!”. Without waiting for a final „yes”, I shouted at Dale to come. I said „Dale, you will drive us home with this car.” Dale thought he would be a passenger. I persisted „Dale, YOU ARE DRIVING US HOME!”. 

We went on a 15-minute ride from Old Havana, through Malecón, to Vedado district. Dale seemed happy and moved although he was trying to hide his emotions. Meanwhile, our little group was having fun as if we were riding a roller-coaster. We loved the experience!

I believe these are the moments to remember, those special magic minutes that make a difference in life. I can watch this little movie again and again, with a big smile on my face.