Tue, Sep 29, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Aryaman makes replicas of Rolls-Royce classics

NOSTALGIA The cars are hand-built from scratch to recreate the bodywork and hallmarks of models that were manufactured in Britain about 100 years ago

THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

For decades, Iran’s reverence of the British motor car was expressed in mass output of imitation Hillman Hunters, rebranded as the Peykan, before obsolescence caused production to be halted.

Now, an Iranian motor manufacturer is going upmarket to pay homage to another classic British make: the Rolls-Royce.

Aryaman Motors, a Tehran-based company specializing in reproducing classic cars, is marketing replica vehicles based on the original design of the earliest Rolls-Royce models.

The cars are hand-built from scratch to recreate the bodywork and hallmarks of models produced in Britain about 100 years ago.

Inside, they are fitted with modern specifications such as air conditioning, orthopedic seats and even CD players, fridges and televisions if customers request them. High-tech soundproofing reduces the noise of the 2.5 liter engine.

Aryaman Motors began producing the cars after receiving an order from Saad Abad Palace museum in Tehran for a remake of the 1919 Silver Ghost model once owned by Reza Shah, the monarch who ruled Iran for two decades until World War II.

The imitation car is now a museum exhibit. But those who want the pleasure of ownership will have to pay a higher price — £76,000 (US$120,000).

That figure has not deterred a small number of enthusiasts in Iran and Gulf states from requesting their own models.

“Because our cars are hand-made, we do not produce more than one or two per year,” the company said. “But our order list is already full for the next three years and we are trying to extend our production to five per year.”

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