Nobody can MacGyver a fix for a car like Cuban mechanics. All they need is a handful of dirt, some spit and a chewed up shoestring, and—boom—they’ve got a rebuilt transmission. Here’s Ray Magliozzi from Car Talk showing just how resourceful the Cubans are with a wrench.


Magliozzi, the final member of Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers—the iconic car-diagnosing team from the radio show Car Talk— joined up with BestRide for a trip to Havana to have a look at a couple repair shops.

Magliozzi shows us a custom-made vibration damper, a hydraulic-to-cable clutch system conversion, and a very interesting fix for a drill press. Perhaps the funniest fix, though, was the flex-plate, which the mechanic simply turns around once the gear for the starter motor wears down.

Despite having built up a $600 Jeep with junkyard parts (and lots of zip ties and tape), I’m simply an amateur compared with Cuban mechanics. They are my heroes.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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