Okay, so this doesn’t have much of anything to do with Mercedes-Benz cars, in fact, there isn’t a single Mercedes-Benz car included here… I wrote this entry for my Affordable Classic Car Review Blog and thought I’d include here too as I think about my friends in Concepción, Chile.
Many people heard about Concepción, Chile for the first time last week when one of the largest earthquakes in history’s epicenter was just a few hundred kilometers away in the Pacific Ocean. For me, it was startling news. Concepción, Chile has been like a second home for me since I was 17.
I was an exchange student there in 1991 and 1992. I visited at least once a year from 1992 until my last trip in 2004. Real life and responsibility took hold of me, but I’ve always been in regular contact with my friends and host family there… even more since Facebook and Twitter got rolling.
Whenever I could cobble the money together for a plane ticket or talk my folks into springing for one, I would go to Chile, always back to my host family in Concepción. Most people go to Santiago, more than half the population of the country lives there, I’ve spent, maybe 10 days in Santiago total, Concepción was always, and still is Chile to me.
I’ve always loved the cars in Chile. Sure, most of the cars we have here, they’ve got there, but they’ve got plenty we don’t get. Citroen and Peugeot are well represented, the Russian made Lada brand is fairly prevalent, Fiat, lots of Brazilian made Volkswagens… I thought I’d show you some of them. These photos were taken in Concepción, some were taken in the South of Chile, some in Talcahuano, the port city right next to Concepcion. Think of Concepción and Talcahuano like ‘twin cities’ similar to Minneapolis and St. Paul, seperate, but almost one.
One of the cool things is that some people drive really old cars, almost like Cuba in a way, they just keep them running forever, somehow. There was a handyman sort of guy that wold come to our house to fix stuff, plumbing or work in the yard, whatever, he drove a late fifties Chevrolet 2 door wagon that I was just amazed to see. Lots of really bad body work all over it, matte primrose yellow paint, but it was something you never see up here.
These photos were taken during two different trips, one for Christmas of 2001, the other was a week during February of 2004.
Unstable ground is nothing new to Chile, just look at the geography, volcanoes everywhere, the Andes mountains. It’s no secret as to how those mountains were made.
So… those are some of the cars I’ve encountered on the streets of Concepción and southern Chile. It’s a great place. If you ever have the chance you should go, great people, great food, great scenery. You won’t ever want to leave, I sure didn’t. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for all of Chile.