Fit for a King:
The Royal Garage of the Shah of Iran
By Borzou Sepasi
Iran has a monarchial history spanning over 2,500 years. Almost all of Iran’s Kings have had vast unchecked powers as they built, and lost, some of the largest empires in history. These vast powers led to Iran’s Kings being referred to as “Shahan Shah” meaning literally the “King of Kings”.
With the advent of the automobile, Iran’s Shahan Shah’s used their broad powers to procure some of the world’s most renown and unique automobiles for their royal garages starting with the first car to be imported to Iran, a Gardner-Serpollet 10hp to unique exotica such as the famed Maserati 5000GT “Scia de Persia” specially-ordered and owned by Iran’s last King, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
In his broad spanning work, Iranian automotive historian Borzou Sepasi traces the history of the royal garage of each Iranian Shah, starting with Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar in 1900, who despite importing the first car, forbade drivers from going faster than carriages, all the way up to the 1979 revolution and, in a unique postscript, traces the fate of many of the cars covered in the book following the end of monarchial rule in Iran.
The book also intertwines many of the historical events in Iran with the cars of the period, highlighting the special role these vehicles played.
Dalton Watson is proud to present this little-known, but extremely unique, niche in automotive history to its readers.