Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cars of Guatemala

This is the first delivery of a series in which I detail some of the most interesting automotive finds in the countries I visit along the PanAmerican. Guatemala, due to its relaxed car import laws, has accepted many beaters from the US along the years. Cars are cheaper and –generally speaking– better maintained than in Mexico, where only current year models will be unscathed by the ravages of the road. For anyone interested, feel free to put names to these automotive oddities!

Chilling with two other German cars...
Well, here's a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. What is so special about it? It has wood paneling and it's BULLETPROOF.
A hybrid between a Toyota Yaris and a Mini Cooper, made in China.
One of the siblings of my iron steed, in use for a local German auto mechanic! 
In the middle of a square in Antigua, impeccably maintained, with all original hubcaps still intact!
Two 1970's econoboxes. One of these is guaranteed to have a slant-six in it!
On my way from Cobán, I fixed this little 240D for a hefty breakfast at this restaurant!
"There is a man with one like yours just down the road", I was told. A rare 230TE, indeed!
You will find tons of these little Japanese wagons still chugging up and down the streets!
On the flip side, you will find the mighty Unimogs on their way to the Philapelphia coffee plantation!
The star of the show in this 4x4 Guatemala BBQ was, without any doubt, the Land Cruiser FJ45!
Despite some of these cars being poorly beat, some others are in original condition!
Some others, like this little Datsun wagon, have been restored to the best of the owner's capabilities.
This Tercel wagon, a VERY popular vehicle in Guatemala, is expedition ready!
In the meanwhile, this WV bus has seen better days, but still looks impeccable.
Don't you miss the days in which cars were painted in colors that made you happy?
A little British flair is NEVER out of place.
This American jalopy is said to be running like a champ, despite needing EVERYTHING else.
A sporty Toyota coupé, not the eyesore one would expect from the automaker!
An ancient Toyota sedan in the style of an old Renault... funky!
The streets of Antigua are plagued with old BMW's, mostly E30, and some other rarities...
Naturally, the aircooled cannot be left out. This is an early 2000's model, made in Mexico.
Some surprises also arise in underground parking lots in the Capital... what a pimp-mobile!
Many of the expats buy these old relics and maintain them faithfully.
And the award to the best-looking Mercedes goes for this W114 in Antigua!


  1. Sweet ! when I lived there in 1976 the ' old cars ' were 1940's & 1950's vintage .


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