Sunday, January 15, 2012

Che - He's Not Just For Selling T-Shirts Anymore

The Mercedes-Benz unit of Daimler AG rolled out a new advertising campaign with a revolution theme this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One of the cutesy advertising gimmicks was to use the image of Che Guevara - see the Mercedes emblem on Che's beret? - to appeal to Mercedes' customer base.

Why would they do that? Because, as everyone knows, upscale geezers love vicarious association with Latin American communists.

The ad was yanked after predictable complaints from Cuban-Americans, including U.S. Sen. Robert Melendez (D-N.J.) and Florida State Sen. Mario Diaz-Balart.

But I am left wondering, what did Guevara drive during his post-revo years in Havana? Surely not a Mercedes (way too bourgeois). Did he stick with his political convictions and drive a Russian ZiL limo, as would befit a commie bureaucrat? Or maybe he went proletarian, and dug out that old Norton motorcycle from his 1952 road trip.

After some Googling, I found out that Che was a Chevy man. Specifically, a mint green 1959 Chevy Bel Air, a swooping road monster with tail fins that looked like it was about two models years ahead of the original Batmobile.  [NOTE: I stand corrected on the brand of Che's car. According to a commenter who has actually seen it, Che drove an Oldsmobile. I should have realized that myself since, now that I blow up the photo of the car, I can see the Oldsmobile name in the grille. Back in the day, an Olds was a classier and more bourgeois ride than a Chevy.]  

This is it, currently on display at Havana's Depósito del Automóvil:

See a slideshow of the Depósito's exhibits here. If I ever get a TDY to Havana, I'm going to check that place out.


Anonymous said...

Great detective work TSB! I had 57 Bel Air 2dr (thanks dad!) back then I was a big anti-communist! That was before I turned radical! gwb

Anonymous said...

Austere Challenge 2012 was cancelled on Jan 15th according to Juancole. It was mean't to show Isreal how well our missile defenses could protect them. I think that was the Debka story that got pulled on the 14th. So maybe the 900 Marines did land but got told to get back on the boat.
Obama doesn't want another stupid war to explain on the trail.

TSB said...

GWB: here's a link to a WaPo story on that exercise. It quotes an Israeli military historian, Martin Van Creveld, whose books BTW are a great source of insight.

Anonymous said...

Thanks TSB! A treasure trove! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB! Did you hear? THE CAIN TRAIN IS BACK!! Since Colbert can't be voted for in SC he is urging his supporters (including democrats and independents) to turn out Saturday and vote for Herman Cain!
I'm looking forward to reading those Van Creveld samples tonite!

thanks! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: lots prettier and more patriotic sounding...but I like +

Bing = Washington Establishment!
circa 1984 and Mitt admits he
got super-rich by not having to pay taxes!! He'll show us after we nominate him!! gwb

Anonymous said...

Look TSB! Phil Jordan! The focus of Charlie Bowden's "Down By The River" is now a "cartel expert". gwb
Former DEA supervisor Phil Jordan says all three beheadings have cartel written all over them. They happened in Arizona and Oklahoma in the past year.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately that's not a Chevy. Having seen it in person, when I was assigned to Havana, it's a 1959 Oldsmobile. Decidely a bit more bourgois than a Chevy.

TSB said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the correction. I'd love to get to Havana myself before it all changes.