|Infiniti drives first registered US-spec car through Cuban streets in 58 years. (Photo: Infiniti)|
For a bit of background, the Tropicana Club, which came to life in 1939 at Villa Mina, a large suburban estate in Havana’s Marianao neighborhood, helped spread Cuba’s rich, vibrant culture internationally, and of course was the inspiration for the fictional Manhattan nightclub of the same name in “I Love Lucy”, where Lucy’s (Lucille Ball) husband Ricky Ricardo (played by Cuban-born Desi Arnaz) was a singer and bandleader. The TV venue has since been recreated in real-life, not to mention the Tropicana name has also been used for hotel casinos in Atlantic City and
|Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s executive design director, surveying his great-uncle’s house for the first time. (Photo: Infiniti)|
Architecturally, both the Tropicana and revised Club Náutico are known for enormous arched porticos covered by expanding vaults, some might even say similar in concept to the double-arch design Infiniti now uses for its eye-catching grille. No car in the Japanese luxury brand’s lineup makes the now trademark design element look better than the completely redesigned 2017 Q60 sports coupe, so it only made sense for Infiniti to reunite Señor Albaisa with his great-uncle’s work while at the wheel of a new Q60 Red Sport 400.
|Albaisa’s great-uncle, mid-century modern architect Max Borges-Recio, designed the famed Tropicana Club as well as Club Náutico, shown here.|
Albaisa is responsible for Infiniti’s global design, so therefore the Q60 is his baby, as are all the brand’s most recent models. So take five minutes to enjoy this beautiful moment, which not only depicts a celebrated car designer discovering the origins of his own “design DNA” while experiencing his family homeland for the first time, but also the milestone significance of a modern car driving through a land otherwise appearing to be locked within a far removed, distant past.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)