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The first automovile
One morning of 1898, the people of Havana City woke up surprised by the noise of the first automobile. That motorcar, able to make 10 km per hour, pretty flimsy and unsafe, had come to make the competence to the horse carriage, for the authorities to think on new traffic regulations and to force the road improvement in the capital of Cuba.
The owner of “that” was Jose Muñoz, agent in Cuba of the company that manufactured the cars in France. He had bought it for about 1000 pesos, though he consider that to be a good investment because it would be the sample to promote the advantages of the vehicle.
That iron machine was what we call today a “old wreck”, but the impact was so strong that only 6 month later the second automobile arrived in Cuba. It was a Rochet-Schneider acquired in Lyon; its owner was Ernesto Sarra who paid 4 000 pesos for it and he was always boasting about its advantages: 8 power horses and a maximum speed of 30 km/h. The third car arrived in Havana at the service of the H de Cabañas y Carvajal cigarette Factory, which use it to deliver products.
On September 3rd, 1899 the first tricycle-automobile began to function imported from Italy. Soon, there were more automobiles in the streets of the City.
Time after, Mr. Francisco Astudillo bought the first electric vehicle, a light carriage, elegant, that did no pollute the environment and it made 12 miles per hour.
Almost together with the introduction of the automobile in Cuba, the gas stations appeared. The first of them was the one on Zulueta street at # 28. Soon the car races began and in 1903 the Automobile Club of Havana was formed.
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