Sunday, May 27, 2007

2006-07 BMW 5 & 3, Mercedes CLS & SLK

Car 1 (Left): 2006 through 2007 BMW 3 Series Sedan
Car 2 (Right): 2006 trhough 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 Coupe
Date: 05/14/2007
City: Shomal (Mazandaran / Tabarestan)
Story: Nooz is on vacation and saw these cars close to the beach.

Car 1 (Front): 2006 through 2007 BMW 550i Sedan
Car 2 (Behind): 2006 through 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK280 Roadster
Date: 05/14/2007
City: Shomal (Mazandaran / Tabarestan)
Story: Nooz is on vacation and saw these cars close to the beach.

2003-2007 Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0

Car: 2003 through 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0
Date: 05/14/2007
City: Shomal (Mazandaran / Tabarestan)
Story: Lady in the first picture is named Nooz. She is on vacation and saw this car.

Car: 2003 through 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo 5.0
Date: Unknown
City: Unknown
Story: It is unclear whether this is the same Gallardo as the first two pictures above, since they have different license plate tags.

2004 Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster (modified) - Gold

Car: 2004 Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster (modified)
Date: 08/14/2006
City: Tehran (in front of "Cup" coffee house)
Story: This gold roadster has been modified with a black rear spoiler, front headlight covers, and side Lamborghini logo emblems. Both owners of the red and gold Roadsters are rumored to either be friends or from the same family. One rumor says they are the sons of Mullah Aghazadeha. They apparently own other vehicles such as: Mercedes-Benz ML SUV, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (not available in the US), Audi A4 and Hummer H2.

Shah's Car Collection Found

A classic car enthusiast's untouched paradise - 140 vintage and classic vehicles belonging to the former Shah of Iran - sits undisturbed in a warehouse outside Teheran.

Little work has been done to restore them to their former glory because the foundation in charge of their upkeep is struggling to raise money.

Among the star pieces, blanketed by a thick layer of dust, is a bulletproof 1953 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV which was used by the Shah to parade the newborn Crown Prince Reza Shah from hospital to his palace.

A Mercedes 500K coupe, the only one left in the world out of six made, is rumoured to have transported Hitler to review his troops shortly before the Second World War. "A private collector offered us $3 million [£1.7 million] for the 500K last month," said Mr Jaffari. But the Foundation of the Deprived and Martyrs, which confiscated the cars after the 1979 Islamic revolution, will not sell any of the irreplaceable vehicles. They believe that as they were bought by the car-obsessed monarch with the public's oil money, they should be displayed to the public and not allowed out of the country.

The Imperial Pahlavi family ruled Iran for most of the 20th century before being overthrown amid intense public distaste for their profligacy. Older people talk of nights when the Shah raced against his twin sister with their Lamborghinis and Ferraris into the early hours on newly built Tehran highways.

A 1974 Lamborghini Countach displayed in the public museum section of the warehouse was given to the Crown Prince by his aunt for passing his driving test. "We rely heavily on museum ticket sales for our restoration budget, and we have started to loan the cars as advertisement tools to production companies," said Mr Jaffari.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shah's two 1971 Lamborghini Miura

1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ "Jota"

The 1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ, chassis #4934, was built for Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah stored this car under armed guard with a Miura P400 SV in Royal Palace in Tehran. After he fled the country during the Iranian Revolution, his cars were seized by the Iranian government. The SV/J was sold into Dubai in 1995. In 1997 this car was sold via a Brooks auction to US actor Nicolas Cage, at US$490,000, becoming the model's highest ever price sold in an auction. Cage sold the car in 2002. Now owned by a collector in London, England.

More information and pictures:

1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV

The 1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ, chassis #4870, was specially ordered by Shah Reza Pahlavi. Neither the Pope, nor the President of the United States, nor the President of the Soviet Union have ever owned a Miura. Factory sources states that the Shah personally visited the factory in Italy briefly in early 1971, accompanied by his wife Queen Farah Diba, en route from his winter home in St Moritz, Switzerland to the Royal Palace in Tehran. The Shah's Lamborghini's were delivered via S.E.A Automobili in Rome, as was #4870. After security clearance, this SV was flown to Teheran, Iran, and stored under armed guard at the Royal Niavaran Palace with the Shah's collection of several hundred cars. By account of both the Shah's family and the caretaker of his collection, the Shah adored this Miura SV and often drove it, with armed SAVAK security guards in tow in a Mercedes 600.

On January 24th 1991, the car was imported into Italy after being 'rescued' from Iran. It was refurbished in 1991 to 1993. The Italian owner kept the car until 1998, when he sold it privately to its next owners Joe and Margaret Sackey via a European Broker. The car also has its original Teheran Government licence plates TEH-88540 (fully restored in green on white) as came with the car.

More information and pictures:

National Car Museum of Iran

(Above: The entrance to the Museum)

The National Car Museum of Iran opened in Karaj, Iran in 2001. Inside the museums are classic cars owned by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. There are two parts to the complex. There is a large museum which is open to the public and there is a restoration center in the back where no visitors can enter.

There are many cars in the museum, ranging from sport cars to limousines and carriages which carried the royal family. Some of these cars include:

  • Lamborghini Countach
  • Ferrari 365GT BB
  • Ferrari 500 Superfast
  • MPV Tehran Type (specially designed by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen for Reza Pahlavi)
  • Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
  • Rolls-Royce Phantom III
  • Rolls-Royce Phantom IV
  • Rolls-Royce Phantom V
  • Stutz Blackhawk
  • Mercedes-Benz 500K (owned by Hitler and driven from Iran to Russia to check on his troops)
  • Mercedes-Benz 190SL
  • Maserati Ghibli Coupé
  • Ford Model A

(Above: Mercedes-Benz 500K inside the museum)

After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Shah of Iran fled the country and leaving behind most of his possessions. He was famous for his love of sports cars, and he was known for taking out one of his many cars late at night and racing through the highways of Tehran. After he fled the country, many of his cars were put into hiding: either stored in garages, hidden underground, or even pushed into water. Following the revolution, these cars have been recovered, restored, and put into the museum. On rare occasions, these cars are actually driven.