Tehran Tourist Attractions 06 May 2024 BY Batul Iddi

Royal Car Museum in Tehran with Vintage Car Collections

Tehran's Royal Car Museum is a hidden gem nestled within the vast Sa'd Abad Museum Complex. This captivating attraction is a paradise for car aficionados, particularly those with a passion for classic and vintage automobiles.

The museum showcases a meticulously maintained collection of Rolls Royce, Cadillac, and even an 'unique' armored Mercedes Benz 600. These cars are more than just vehicles; they embody the destiny of a nation, carry the memories of its people, and represent a moving history.  In this article, we will delve into the wonders of Tehran Royal Car Museum.


History of Automobiles in Iran

History of Automobiles in Iran

To talk about the Royal Car Museum, we should start by knowing about the history of cars in Iran.

The history of cars in Iran spans several decades. After the production of the first car in the world in 1886 by Benz Company, the first car entered Iran during the Qajar period on a trip that Mozaffar al-Din Shah took to Belgium on December 12, 1900.

Mozaffar al-Din Shah imported two Ford Crocodile cars during his trip to Belgium in 1900, marking the introduction of automobiles to Iran. Before that, carriages were used as a means of transportation since the time of Naser al-Din Shah.

These early cars were popularly known as "smoky carriages" due to the thick smoke they emitted. They were initially considered a luxury item exclusively for the royal family.

History of Automobiles in Iran

With time, cars gradually gained popularity among merchants, investors, and influential individuals. The demand for cars grew to such an extent that in 1921, cars became the primary imported commodity in Iran.

This surge in popularity prompted foreign investors to consider establishing car factories in the country, heralding a new era in Iran's automotive industry. During the reign of Reza Shah in the early 1920s, urban life flourished, leading to an increase in car imports and a growing interest in car usage.

Cars such as Mashin Lari and Dorsimi, used for transportation of goods and passengers, were imported into the country. Most of these cars were sourced from England and the United States.

The first domestically produced car in Iran

The first domestically produced car in Iran was the Paykan, manufactured under license from the Talbot factory in England. Introduced in 1967 by the Iran National Industrial Factories, the Paykan became a familiar sight on Iranian roads.

Other models like KAR, Youth, Station, and Lux were subsequently produced until 1977. In subsequent years, the production of buses, vans, minibuses, as well as vehicles like Shahin and Arya at the Pars Khodro factory, contributed to the growth of the automotive industry in Iran. Saipa factory introduced the "Zhiyan '' car to the market in 1968.

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Royal Car Museum History

Royal Car Museum History

The Tehran Royal Car Museum was established on May 19, 2003. It initially showcased a remarkable collection of antique, luxury, and historical cars in a hangar-like structure from the pre-revolution era. However, its hangar-like structure posed challenges for the proper maintenance of these valuable vehicles.

To address this issue, the museum underwent significant reconstruction and redevelopment as part of the development plan of the Foundation of the Oppressed Cultural Museums Institute. After a period of closure, the museum reopened on October 23, 2021, with a renewed appearance.

The new building, spanning 10,000 square meters of covered space within a 22,000 square meter plot of land. The museum's main hall, occupying 3,000 square meters, is dedicated to showcasing these exceptional cars. It features four meticulously designed halls that provide a captivating journey through the evolution of automobiles over the years.

The collection housed in the Royal Car Museum includes rare and unique models from the automotive industry. Among the notable exhibits are the gold-plated Paris Arvo limousine, Ahmad Shah Qajar's Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the rare bulletproof Phantom IV model, and Naser al-Din Shah Qajar's royal carriage, to name just a few.

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Most Important Cars at the Royal Car Museum

The number of cars in the museum has increased over time, and currently, the Royal Automobile Museum in Tehran has 4 halls accommodating 61 historical cars. These 61 historical cars include 55 passenger cars, 4 motorcycles, and 2 carriages. However, this number may increase or decrease over time due to various reasons.

Collecting and maintaining such a unique and comprehensive collection of antique cars is a challenging and difficult project, much of which has progressed well so far. Some of the cars you'll see in this museum are the only existing examples in the world! Here are some of the important cars at the Royal Car Museum in Saadabad Complex.


Royal Carriage of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar

Royal Carriage of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar

Perhaps it can be said that the royal carriage of Naser al-Din Shah is the oldest carriage that has remained from Iran's past. This carriage, also known as the rare carriage, is almost 120 years old and was designed and built by the famous Waggonfabrik factory in Vienna by the order of Naser al-Din Shah.

The rare carriage is somewhat similar to Cinderella's magical carriage: golden-colored window frames made of gold, the design of two lion swords on the carriage, and wheels as large and equal to the carriage itself.

The rare carriage has a famous story that you will be amazed to hear. Naser al-Din Shah, when he was on his way to the shrine of Shah Abdul Azim with this carriage, was assassinated by Mirza Reza Kermani.

The Shah's courtiers, to prevent news of Naser al-Din Shah's assassination from reaching the public too soon and to prevent chaos, placed his body inside the carriage and headed towards the capital. You can see this adventurous carriage right at the entrance to the Iran Historical Car Museum.

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Special Coronation Carriage

Special Coronation Carriage

In the past, the Waggonfabrik factory in Austria was one of the most important carriage manufacturing factories, producing numerous royal carriages for kings around the world. The special coronation carriage is one of these carriages, which is now close to 100 years old. This carriage was purchased during the Qajar period and brought to Iran.

Parts of the special coronation carriage were made with gold. This carriage circulated for years during the reign of the Iranian monarchy until it was also used during the Pahlavi era. This black-colored carriage was used in royal coronation ceremonies and official Pahlavi celebrations.


Rolls-Royce of Ahmad Shah Qajar

Rolls-Royce of Ahmad Shah Qajar

Ahmad Shah Qajar's interest in luxurious English cars led to the presence of two very rare Rolls-Royce models in the Royal Car Museum in Saadabad Complex.

The first car imported into Iran was purchased by Ahmad Shah Qajar. This car was a six-cylinder Rolls-Royce, known as the Silver Ghost model from the 1920s. This model, built in 1906, could reach speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Of this Rolls-Royce model, 6,000 units were produced worldwide, and one of them is on display at the Royal Car museum for public visitation.

The second highly rare Rolls-Royce car purchased by Ahmad Shah was the Phantom IV model. Just to illustrate its rarity, know that only 18 units of this luxury car were ever made worldwide, and only one of these 18 units has bulletproof bodywork. You can also witness this bulletproof model at the Royal automobile museum! The Phantom IV is an eight-cylinder car with a thick body and windows that can reach speeds of up to 260 kilometers per hour.

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Mercedes-Benz K500

Mercedes-Benz K500

One of the halls of the museum is dedicated to super sports cars, and the flagship of this collection is the Mercedes-Benz K500. This car, manufactured in 1934, with its green and cream colors, attracts all attention towards itself. Interestingly, the Benz K500 was one of the classic car collections of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The Benz K500 was among the first super sports cars with a speed of 200 kilometers per hour, of which a total of 354 units were produced worldwide.




The Tehran Royal Car Museum includes two old limousine models, one being the Benz 600 and the other being a six-cylinder limousine with lights on the bumper. These bumper lights were installed to improve the driver's visibility. Interestingly, it's worth noting that 6 kilograms of gold were used in the construction of this limousine model!


Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

The Lamborghini Countach Pahlavi is one of the super sports cars made in Italy, the model displayed in the museum dates back to 1974 and has 12 cylinders with a speed close to 310 kilometers per hour. The Lamborghini Countach can be considered one of Lamborghini's most successful models in history.

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Red Morris Oxford

Red Morris Oxford

The Red Morris Oxford is the oldest car in this museum, dating back to 1912. This red-colored car is considered one of the most valuable and popular cars in this museum, manufactured in England with an engine capacity equivalent to 1800 cc.


Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen Joint Production

Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen Joint Production

Another unique and historic car held in this museum is the result of a short-term collaboration between three famous German companies: Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen.

This collaboration resulted in the production of only one car in 1972. Unfortunately, this product was not well received, and the collaboration came to an end.

This car, named "MPV Tehran," was commissioned by German Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1972 and was presented as a gift to Reza Pahlavi, the crown Prince of Iran on his 12th birthday.

The driving force of this car is a four-cylinder gasoline engine, cooled by air like the Volkswagen Beetle. This car can reach speeds of up to 170 kilometers per hour using the Volkswagen engine equipped with an injector fuel system.

An interesting point in its design is that this car has two golden and silver switches, allowing the driver to use only gears one and two with the silver switch and reach a speed of 30 kilometers per hour; however, there are no limitations with the golden switch, allowing it to easily reach 170 kilometers per hour.

Other rare and unique examples in this museum include the only Pentor laser produced in the world, Benz SL190, Lamborghini Miura, Ferrari Superfast 500, Bitzarini, Porsche model 356, Porsche 911 Turbo, Chrysler 300, Cadillac Fleetwood, Lincoln Continental Limousine, Fiat Tipo 519, and more.

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Tehran Royal Cars Museum Location

The Tehran Royal Car Museum is situated on 25th Street in the Istighlal Town, Tehran. This area is known for housing various car manufacturing companies including the Iran Apco Custom Cars Company, Iran Khodro company.


How to Get to the Royal Automobile Museum

How to Get to the Royal Automobile Museum

There are several convenient ways to reach the Historical Car Museum:



If you want to visit the Museum by metro, you have to take the metro line 5 (Sadeghieh-Golshahr) and get off at Chitgar Station. From Chitgar station the buses of the university town will take you to the museum, just get off at the Sepah store station.

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If you plan to use the bus, you must use BRT buses or other regular buses to reach Azadi Square. From there, catch the University Town or Municipality Town buses and get off at the Sepah store station.


Private Car

If you prefer to drive, access Karaj-Azadegan Highway and watch for the Karaj Special Road exit sign. Take the exit and continue until you reach kilometer 11, where you will find the sign indicating the Royal Car Museum. Follow the signs to 25th Street, where the museum is located.



Another option is to take a taxi from Azadi Terminal. Choose taxis from Shahre Qods or Andisheh and inform the driver to drop you off at kilometer 11, near Shahid Lashgari Expressway. The museum is situated at the corner of 25th street.

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Royal Cars Museum in Tehran Ticket Price

Royal Cars Museum in Tehran Ticket Price

Visitors under seven years old can enter for 28,000 Tomans, while domestic visitors aged seven and above are charged 40,000 Tomans. Foreign visitors are required to pay 250,000 Tomans.

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Working Hours

Working Hours

The museum is open every day from 9:00 to 17:30 except on Saturdays and official holidays.


Bottom Line

The Tehran Royal Car Museum is not just a collection of visually appealing vintage cars. It holds a profound story that extends far beyond four wheels and a steel body.

Within its walls, you'll find cars that may be the only of their kind in the world. While this blog couldn't cover all the cars in the museum, hopefully it has ignited a spark within you, urging you to visit and explore this treasure trove firsthand.

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