Cuba-US relations: Vintage US cars on Havana's streets, icons of the trade embargo

President Barack Obama's surprise announcement that the United States would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba has led to hopes that the economic embargo that has been in place since 1962 will finally be lifted.

The vintage American automobiles that rattle down Havana's boulevards are one of the most visible signs of the trade embargo. The 1950s Oldsmobiles, Cadillacs and Studebakers have become icons. Until new regulations were put in place in 2011, people could only sell cars built before the 1959 revolution.

In this gallery, IBTimesUK looks at some of the vintage cars, long vanished from US streets, that can be seen on the road in Havana.

Drivers of vintage cars wait for clients in Havana(Reuters)
A 1956 Buick convertible(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1957 Ford(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1952 Ford(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
The spare wheel over at the back of a vintage Ford(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1952 Buick(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1952 Cadillac convertible(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
Taxi drivers wait for customers beside US-made vintage convertibles(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1956 Chevrolet(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner convertible(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1958 Ford Edsel convertible(Luis Acosta/AFP)
A 1955 Buick Roadmaster(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A man refuels his pink 1952 Chevrolet(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1952 Oldsmobile 98 convertible(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1954 Ford(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)
A 1954 Chevrolet(Rodrigo Arangua/AFP)
A 1950s Chevrolet used as a taxi gets a push in downtown Havana(Claudia Daut/Reuters)
A 1952 Ford Mercury(Desmond Boylan/Reuters)

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