read all about it: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/07/tehran-cafe-racers
or from an article in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/automobiles/collectibles/14IRAN.html?hpw
It was a ride in a neighbor’s 1969 Shelby GT-500 that hooked him on muscle cars — when he was 4 years old and living in the United States while his father attended graduate school.
The eight-year war that followed Iraq’s 1980 attack on Iran brought fuel rationing to the country. Owners of thirsty American cars stored them and drove more economical vehicles or used public transportation, Mr. Salehkhou said. That hiatus helped to preserve some cars; others were scrapped.
While many of these cars are hardly fuel-sippers, Mr. Salehkhou noted that owners benefited from subsidies that have held prices for an initial monthly allotment to 10 cents a gallon for regular-grade gasoline and 15 cents for premium; additional quantities can be bought for 45 or 55 cents a gallon. The government is phasing out its subsidies, however, and prices will rise.
With chrome exhaust pipes down its sides, a large air scoop on its hood and a jacked-up stance, Mr. Salehkhou’s Camaro resembles the souped-up cars that prowled America in the 1970s. It is, in fact, muscle car royalty, a rare 1974 Baldwin-Motion Phase III Camaro from a long-defunct collaboration between a Long Island tuner shop, Motion Performance, and a nearby Chevrolet dealer, Baldwin Auto Company. This partnership produced some of the quickest Chevy muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s; the Phase III versions were the most powerful and most expensive.
Mr. Salehkhou authenticated his car with its builder, Joel Rosen, Motion’s founder, who confirmed that the Camaro was built in late 1973 and shipped to its original buyer in Tehran. By then, federal emissions regulations had ended sales of Motion’s superpowered Chevys in the United States.
“When I talked to Joel and told him I had found the car, his reaction was like an artist rediscovering one of his lost works,” Mr. Salehkhou said.
The blue Camaro, which had been the daily driver of a used-car salesman for several years, runs strongly but needs restoration. “My biggest challenge, right now, is finding an original set of Hooker big-block side-mount headers,” Mr. Salehkhou said, referring to the exhaust plumbing. “The originals have been repaired so many times that they’re all patchwork.”
Mr. Rosen referred Mr. Salehkhou to his longtime friend and business associate, Martyn L. Schorr, who was writing a book about Motion Performance. Mr. Schorr featured Mr. Salehkhou’s Camaro in his book, with a photo of the car in Tehran. A friendship developed, and Mr. Schorr helped Mr. Salehkhou establish the first satellite group of the Sarasota Café Racers, a diverse non-club club that started in 2003.