Friday, June 30, 2006


Old Cars

Before my first trip to Uruguay, I'd heard stories about the antique cars used as daily drivers. My wife had visited earlier and remembered cool cars from the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's and 1950's everywhere. In 1998, when I visited, there were still some on the streets but not many.

Some writers try to explain this using Uruguay's economic trajectory-- a rich country that became poor and could no longer afford to import new cars. As an economist, I know it would be cheaper to import a newer used car than to continuously retrofit cars for 70 years.

Trade policy is a more believable explanation. Make it illegal to import any cars in a country that doesn't produce automobiles and you have the incentive for a national auto-restoration industry and a living auto museum.

Relaxing that policy allowed new cars into the country. Owners of the classic cars could then sell them to overseas collectors and purchase a modern reliable auto. Eventually the government put restrictions on exporting the antiques.

Classic cars, once common throughout Uruguay, dot the cobblestone streets of Colonia del Sacramento's old Portuguese quarter San Francisco Chronicle Oct 2005

Sleepy Uruguay races to rescue its vintage cars
Motoring Feb 2005

Uruguay's Treasure Trove on Wheels
Los Angeles Times May 1998

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Estimado amigo, no creo que sea tan compleja la explicaci├│n. En Uruguay mantenemos autos viejos pues no tenemos dinero para comparar autos nuevos.

Además muchas personas, ven en los autos viejos, mayor confiabilidad, dureza y confort, que en los modelos modernos.

Saludos y felicitaciones por el blog.
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