Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Into Iran

The Iranian border soldiers were turned out like they were in a military parade, all spick and span sporting white spats and the change inside a meter or two was unbelievable. Having parked the Porsche 911, we went to see customs. They once again stamped a car stamp in my passport and entered all the Porsche 911’s chassis and engine details there. We fuelled the car and headed towards Tehran. The roads were in very good shape and the country was very impressive after Turkey. These were the days of the Shah of Persia who was in power, so pre-Islamic revolution.
We finally drove into Tehran and took a look around before heading south towards our destination of Busheir on the Persian Gulf coast.
When we refuelled the Porsche 911 in Tehran, and the locals told us could buy super fuel (which had not been available in Turkey) and the attendant went off and left us standing at the pumps. He returned shortly with several large aluminium cans of around 25 litres each and proceeded to pour these into the Porsche’s tank by hand. Apparently this was normal for super fuel, which was only sold in these cans.
We headed off on our way and we were soon motoring on decent roads in the open countryside, which was very pleasant and dotted with small villages. The weather was absolutely fabulous and the oil temperature on the car had increased with the additional front oil cooler working all the time now. I doubt if this car had ever been in such a warm climate during it’s entire life to date. We were making good progress when we stopped for some lunch on the side of the road at a small cafĂ©. The food was strange but edible and we stuck to drinking bottled water.
The rear suspension dampers were now non-existent and the car carried on bouncing when it hit a bump and it was quite tricky to drive as it could build up a continuing momentum and become fairly unstable if you let it. We both found out that jabbing the brakes quickly helped to damp this down and managed to keep up a fairly good average.
Iran gave us a much better feeling of being secure, the complete opposite of Turkey. I was beginning to feel we would make Busheir by nightfall without incident but suddenly we had a surprise in store for us. I was driving at the time and we were in the middle of nowhere cruising along just fine, basking in the constant sunshine. The car had performed so well up to now and even I, ever the optimist, had expected some problems with it. A few weeks ago it had been sitting for years in Harper’s Yard unused and full of water and now it had travelled right across Europe and into Asia.
Surprisingly nothing had failed or had caused us concern except for the suspension. However the muffler was beginning to rattle and it started to sound very sporty like a rally Porsche 911, so I assumed that it would need replacing upon our arrival in Bahrain, as it would hardly be legal there for the traffic test (MOT). 

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