The museum's Mercedes 500K is the world's last, rumored to
have carried Hitler to troop inspections in Russia, and has
fetched offers of $3 million.
It is not for sale. "The Shah used the treasury to buy
these cars, so they belong to the people," said Salehkhoo.
Jafari said visitors were nostalgic.
"Some come out of curiosity to see what it was like in that
time, others like to see custom-built cars for their
uniqueness," he added.
Visitors can inspect the royal beach-buggy and the
refrigerator and record-player in the C30 Chrysler coupe that
belonged to the Shah's second wife, Soraya Esfandiary.
Still locked in the dusty warehouse is an exceedingly rare
silver sports car hand-crafted by Giotto Bizzarrini, who later
Funds available for restoring the dilapidated cars to their
former glory are meager, but Salehkhoo said Iran's fast-growing
car industry had showed an interest in helping.
Car makers such as Iran Khodro and Saipa are now looking
abroad for loans and bond issues. Investment from Peugeot and
Renault is turning Iran into a regional car making center.
One car missing is the Shah's favorite, a Lamborghini Miura
SVJ that was smuggled out of the country and briefly ended up
as the run-around of U.S. film star Nicolas Cage.
When the Shah's nephew graduated from military academy, his
uncle said his reward would be any of the 3,000-strong royal
"Apart from the SVJ," the Shah added hastily.