A few years ago I wrote a chapter on 1950s American cars in contemporary Cuba, for a book called Autopia. I kicked off by telling the story of a 1957 brand-new Plymouth Belvedere which had been buried in Tulsa City, Oklahoma, as a 50-year time capsule, a reminder for future generations of the excellence and panache of the North-American car manufacturing industry.
But suddenly, it's 2007, and yesterday the car was unearthed in a magnificent ceremony brimming with brash civic pomp and circumstance. Needless to say, the North-American car industry is not what it was 50 years ago. Neither is the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere. Cuba makes for a much more effective time capsule, if you ask me. Perhaps this faded automotive jewel should join the row of half-buried Cadillacs in Cadillac Ranch, Texas.