The next problem was how were we going to lift the 1250kgs Porsche 911 onto the Dhow? Major Parviz walked us around the port and we came across the only crane there. I looked it over and it’s maximum lift capacity was 1.5 tons. Knowing something about cranes, I knew this was lifting a dead weight vertically and the crane could not do this with its boom extended off the jetty with a 1250kgs Porsche 911 dangling on the end of it!
The other problem was where to lift the Porsche 911 on without damaging it. We initially left it to some of the locals, but as soon as we saw them wind the windows down and put the straps through the doors, we realised they would try and lift the car on the Targa roof, Bob & I jumped in and took charge at that point.
We searched around and we found an old metal tubular frame shaped like a large letter H with its footprint roughly the size of the 911. I asked the Major to get this hooked onto the crane and bought over to the jetty. I drove the Porsche 911 over to the jetty and the crane had this H frame dangling above the car, which allowed us to attach large four flexible straps to each corner and then down onto the Fuchs wheels. Shortly after this we did a trial lift of the 911 Targa by it’s wheels and all seemed fine.
The Dhow Captain arranged for his Dhow to be moored alongside the Jetty and we then arranged to load the Porsche 911 on it. Bob was filming all this with his Super 8mm camera and I stopped occasionally to take some black and white still shots, although to be honest I missed all the decent shots as I was engrossed in the lifting process, fearing my car would end up toppled into the sea. The time came when we lifted the Porsche 911 off the jetty and it was raised until we could see right underneath it. Then slowly the crane operator rotated the crane’s boom with the Porsche 911 dangling under it. I knew that once the boom was extended near to being over the deck of the Dhow, this would be the most risky part of the exercise. Sure enough the opposite wheels of the crane started getting lighter and looked like lifting off as the boom got near the Dhow. I had visions of the whole lot rolling into the sea and goodbye to my faithful Porsche. We halted the process and fortunately we had a lot of onlookers and able helpers, so the Major Parviz had ordered these people to hold the crane down with ropes and wooden joists to act as a counter balance and finally we got the Porsche loaded onto the deck of the Dhow albeit very precariously! This would have been a great photograph but unfortunately I could not leave the locals to it and Bob was on his cine camera.
I went aboard the Dhow to lock my car up securely, silently wishing my baby well on it’s potentially hazardous trip across the Gulf and wondering if I would ever see it again if the weather was as bad as were informed.
We had asked Major Parviz to have dinner with us that evening as he agreed to meet us at our hotel. Later in the evening he told us he would take us to the airport the next lunchtime to see us safely on our flight to Bahrain. We had recently found out the Shiraz airport was back up the mountain range and some 70kms away, so at least we could do was host a small dinner for this man who had helped us so much. We all had a very pleasant evening, making sure to avoid the mad professor.
The next morning Bob and I got a taxi down to meet the Major at the police station and I said, “I need to get something out of my Porsche.” He said no problem, so I went off to attend to this. However when I got to the Jetty the Dhow had gone. After I was seen by some of the same locals they pointed it out to me and I saw it moored alongside several other Dhows side by side style. They were all pointing and waving me on as I made my way climbing across Dhow after Dhow but I could not see the Porsche 911 on any of them. When I got to the last one they all waved and shouted it was the one, but all I could see large green striped watermelons on the entire deck. I suddenly realised that the Porsche 911 was under all these loose melons and proceeded to start to clear these away to get to the driver’s door. However this was a hopeless task and I soon gave up and returned to the police station.
When I got back and told Bob and the Major they started laughing. The Major had got us a really good deal on the transport costs and he said, “Now you know how I got you such a good price!” There was no point in worrying, as the car would wash up clean when we got it to Bahrain.
Those Iranian tourist folk in Regent Street were going to get a piece of my mind when I was next back in London on leave!
We shortly drove off to the airport with our hand baggage and cameras and we were soon airborne flying towards Bahrain.
I often look back on all the changes that have happened in Iran and wondered what ever happened to Major Parviz since the revolution as we lost touch with him.