Official rejects selling Bugatti, once belonged to the last Shah of Iran, after Islamic Revolution

May 29, 2020 - 21:58

TEHRAN – Kia Parsa, the director of the Sa’dabad Cultural-Historical Complex, has rejected social media reports that a 57C Bugatti, once belonged to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, has been sold after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the country.

“This is fake news because the car did not belong to the Sa’dabad Museum at all and it had been sold before the Islamic Revolution,” CHTN quoted Parsa as saying on Tuesday.

The dramatic body of the car was constructed by Vanvooren of Paris in the style of Figoni et Falaschi, one of the most progressive coachbuilders of the day. Advanced features include fully skirted fenders, a top that conceals beneath a metal panel when down, and a windshield that can be lowered into the cowl.

Briefing the history of the classical vehicle, Parsa noted: “In 1939 (1318 in the Iranian calendar), the Bugatti was presented to the Prince Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the soon-to-be Shah of Iran at the time, as a wedding gift from the French government.”

“Due to the low quality of Iran’s roads at the time, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi did not use the car much until 1959, when a man named Houshang Jalili paid 2,000 rials ($275) to own the second-hand, abandoned Bugatti…..”

“For many years, the car remained hidden from the public and traded among Bugatti enthusiasts until after a full overhaul, it was unveiled at a classic car show in the United States in 1984, attracting the attention of classic car experts, winning many awards.”

“One of the interesting points about this car is the preservation of the Iranian license plate (registration plate), which of course is different from the first license plate that was installed on it during the ownership of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, but in any case, it is a symbol of its history in Iran.”

“The car was later sold for $760,000 at an auction and is currently being kept in an excellent condition at the Patterson Museum in California, and occasionally appears in classic car shows.”

Therefore, it is clear that this car was shipped out of Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution and it was not part of Sa’dabad’s property to be sold, and such news is fake and unreliable.

Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a French car manufacturer of high-performance automobiles, founded in 1909 in the then-German city of Molsheim, Alsace by the Italian-born industrial designer Ettore Bugatti. The cars were known for their design beauty and their many race victories. Famous Bugattis include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the Type 41 "Royale", the Type 57 "Atlantic" and the Type 55 sports car.

Sprawled on about 110 hectares of a mountainside parkland, the Sa’dabad complex was once a royal summer residence during the Qajar era (1789–1925) and its subsequent Pahlavi epoch (1925–1979).


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