Jose Iglesias’ classic car and its cultural statement
The Tigers parking lot at Joker Marchant Stadium can resemble an auto show some mornings. Justin Verlander’s rotation of sports cars is dizzying. Alfredo Simon’s chrome-painted Mercedes and Yoenis Cespedes’ black Lamborghini have been well-documented.
In that crowd, a classic car can look completely out of place. But then, a baby blue 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible doesn’t have to blend in. If it seems like a surprise in a Major Leaguer’s collection, consider the player who owns it.
“Always been my favorite car,” said shortstop Jose Iglesias, who is 35 years younger than his car.
The car also predates the Castro revolution in Cuba and the embargo between the Island nation and the United States. Between the severing of economic ties and restrictions on new car purchases, classic American cars, bought before the revolution, were vital transportation and maintained for years. Those that lasted, despite a lack of replacement parts, became valuable commodities.
Iglesias bought his car this offseason in Miami.
“My dad likes it,” Iglesias said. “When I saw the car, I said, ‘This is it.’ Convertible. And it’s really rare. It’s different.”
It’s something he could only dream of when he was growing up in Cuba.
“Now I have the money to have it,” Iglesias said. “In Cuba? No chance.”
Will he drive it to Detroit this season? He’s not sure. The early-season weather might lead him to keep it at home.