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Antique automobiles on show in Tehran


08-07-2014 19:09 BJT

Car lovers in Iran are displaying their classic vehicles at an antique auto show in Tehran. They may not be as large as the cars seen at Detroit's Auto Show, but they're rare enough in Iran to draw crowds of impressed visitors.

Kamran Heidari has been collecting antique cars for 10 years.

He's brought his convertible 1969 Chevrolet Camaro to the show - and it's thought to be the only convertible version of this model in Iran.

Despite being his private property, Heidari considers his cars to be part of the national heritage.

"I have three cars lined up here. I enjoy collecting and keeping these cars and believe that they don't just belong to me. These old classic cars are like historical objects that belong to the whole country and its people. I am just a keeper," said Kamran Heidari, classic car collector.

There are around 56 classic vehicles here, some being displayed for the first time, while others are one-of-a-kind in Iran.

The country's Touring and Automobile Club organised the show and has held similar car events since 2006. Various brands are on display, including American, German, Italian and French automakers. Some models go back more than 80 years.

Some visitors are here to learn more about the history of automobiles. They appreciate the work collectors do, allowing future generations to gaze at these classic motors.

This eye-catching antique Mercedes Benz is drawing lots of attention. It's a 160S model and was made in 1936. It's also thought to be the first Mercedes ever imported to Iran.

The Event organiser, Dariush Ebrahimi, who is also a collector, says classic car collectors face many challenges in Iran.

"The economic sanctions against us limit us from accessing the free world market. This makes it really difficult to buy car parts and maintain them in the good condition you see here. We have no support and pay all the costs personally. We don't even have an insurance discount. We were promised a ten-percent discount for insuring the vehicles, but it never happened," Dariush said.

Ebrahimi adds that there are many classic cars in Iran, but their owners are often unaware of their true value. Shows like this are intended to fix that.

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