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Laleh Seddigh, the Makings of a Pioneer

Laleh Seddigh, the Makings of a Pioneer

Dr. Laleh Seddigh, a Ph.D. in industrial production, is an Executive Vice President with one of Iran’s largest vehicle parts manufacturers. She is also an accomplished equestrian and is well known for her charitable works with a number of charities dedicated to a number of social welfare causes. But what is of greater interest to us is that Laleh is one of Iran’s most accomplished race and rally drivers, better than many of the men, beating many of them to win the national saloon car racing title in 2005, as well as nearly 50 other wins and trophies.

Laleh’s start in motorsports commenced in a way that was far off from the beaten path, namely by receiving a religious Fatwa (edict) from a prominent Ayatollah stating that there were no religious limitations for women to partake in motorsports. Using this Fatwa, Laleh broke through the proverbial glass ceiling that had prevented women from participating in motorsports in Iran, and thanks to her efforts, it is now quite common for women to compete in nearly all motorsports activities in Iran.

Incidentally, it was thanks to the efforts of the Laleh Seddigh and the Iran’s Women’s Motorsports Commission, as well as the President of the Iranian Motorcycle and Automobile Federation (MAFIRI) that since July 2016 Iranian women have had the right to compete in motocross events, for the first time in history.

In an interview on the sidelines of the “Tina Brown’s Women in The World (WITW) Conference,” held in India in 2015, Laleh Seddigh commented on the limitations that she has hd to face and why she has even turned down opportunities outside of Iran: “In Iran, I may have hurdles… but it means that I will have to make the road clear for myself and other players to continue. That has a big meaning for me; that’s why I decided to stay back in Iran and help other drivers. To be strong and give them my motivation, to send them and my country a message.”

Currently, Laleh is training some 80 women in different areas of motorsports. In the 2014 FIA Middle East Regional Championship Rally held in Shiraz, Iran, Laleh Seddigh went head to head against competitors from across the region, and for the first time there were several lady time keepers, as well as support and logistics personnel, playing an active role in the managing an event of this caliber.

Having achieved championship titles in saloon car and professional rallying, Laleh Seddigh has branched into other fields of motorsports, as well as into historic vehicle events. Since the last many years Laleh has also been competing in historic vehicle events, as well as modern car rallies, participating in vehicles as diverse as a Renault 5 to Minis. She is also one of the national organizers of the national classic rallies, specifically the national Tehran to Shomal Rally.  She currently heads the Women’s Commission of the Classic Vehicle Committee of Iran, which is the FIVA ANF and is also a part of the Motorcycle and Automobile Federation of Iran, the FIA ASN. In this capacity she has been working to attract more and more women to the historical vehicle events.

Laleh Seddigh has not been limiting her efforts to Iran only. In October 2015, at the FIVA AGM in Krakow, a meeting between the Classic Vehicle Committee of Iran and the Turkish AFN the Classic Car Club of Turkey, Iran joined an initiative started by Yeliz Belibey to attract more women to the historical vehicle movement. In full support of this initiative, Laleh Seddigh travelled to Turkey to compete in the Spring Classic Rally of Turkey, held on April, 23, 2016. The purpose of this trip was not only to show solidarity and support for the Turkish initiative, but to also promote more inter-regional ties between enthusiasts, in particular women, across the region.

Dr Laleh Seddigh’s story has the makings of a Hollywood movie for sure, and maybe we will hear more about this in some time. Nothing could be more appropriate to sum up with this movie tag line: “If you want to stop me, you have to catch me first.”

–          Ramin Salehkhou, MAFIRI

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FIVA Culture Award


FIVA Members are invited to submit nominations for the FIVA Culture Award. Nominations should be submitted no later than 31st August 2018. Award descriptions and submission information can be found at the bottom of this page and here (then click on downloads on the right of the page).  

The Culture Award celebrates and promotes best practices related to historic vehicle promotion, management, research, education and communication. In this way, it contributes to a stronger public recognition of historic vehicles as a part of humankind’s cultural and technical heritage, as well as a strategic resource for our global society and economy.

The FIVA Culture Award is also designed to encourage people to understand, respect and support mobile heritage.

The awards are given for the following categories and related projects:

    Outstanding research projects which lead to tangible effects in the enhancement of cultural and technical mobile heritage worldwide. 
    Open to those whose contributions over a long period of time demonstrates excellence in the protection and enhancement of cultural and technical mobile heritage worldwide, far exceeding normal expectations.
  3. EDUCATION, TRAINING and the raising of AWARENESS
    Outstanding initiatives related to education, training and the raising of awareness in the field of cultural and technical mobile heritage, with focus on the promotion and/or contributions to the sustainable development of the environment.


How to proceed:

  1. Download the Application Form and fill it in
    1. FIVA Culture Award Guidelines
    2. FIVA Culture Award Application Form
  2. Submit the materials by email: office@fiva.org and culture@fiva.org
  3. All applications must reach the Cultural Commission by August 31st, 2018.
  4. Nominees will be informed of the results by October-end, at the latest.
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“You don’t touch culture:” FIVA President Patrick Rollet on defining and protecting historic cars.

Interview of Patrick Rollet by Hemmings Daily

Our recent articles on the Charter of Turin Handbook and on what categories of vehicle the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens considers historic prompted a good deal of discussion, not just in our comments section, but also among FIVA leadership. Should FIVA – which aims to be a globally recognized authority on historic vehicles and an advocate of keeping them on the road – include modified cars in that definition? Should it even be making such distinctions? And how do questions like these influence the organization’s goals and activities across multiple continents with vastly different automotive cultures?

To answer these questions, we spoke with FIVA President Patrick Rollet, a British car enthusiast who lives in Paris and who has helmed the organization since 2013. The resulting interview below has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Hemmings Daily: Can you quickly tell us the history and mission of FIVA?

Patrick Rollet: We published a book of our history last year to celebrate the 50th anniverary of FIVA – it’s pretty heavy stuff.

It started in ’56 – it was a sort of European old gentleman affair started in a chateau in Switzerland with a few people from Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and England, of course. We took two pre-federations and merged them to create FIVA.

Our first mission was, as they say in the Netherlands, to keep yesterday’s vehicles on tomorrow’s roads. So we were lobbying, later in Brussels, to make sure with all their clean environment and road safety rules that these cars have exemptions.

Read the full interview here

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Ms. Yeliz Balıbey joins T,S & Y Commission

Ms. Yeliz Balıbey speaking during the FIVA GA in Bucharest.

FIVA, the International Federation of Classical Automobiles, gathered in Romania’s capital city Bucharest from November 15th to 19th where it held their General Assembly with more than 220 representatives of local federations from all over the world. For the first time in the history of FIVA a commissioner was installed from Turkey; Ms. Yeliz Balıbey joined the commission of Trade, Skills and Youth, and became the first female member to be elected to this commission.


Yeliz Balibey is working in the Real Estate business but in addition to her professional life, she also created a platform for women who, such as she, love classical vehicles: www.klasikkadin.com. She writes about classical cars on this site and shares her impressions from the rallies she participates in.

FIVA: We welcome Yeliz in this new and exciting position whereby attracting the younger generation to the Historic Vehicle scene will be one of the main tasks of this very active lady!

The full interview (in Turkish) can be seen here

Ms. Yeliz Balıbey and Patrick Rollet during the GA in Krakow, Poland in 2015

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Historic Vehicles and the Younger Generation

There is great interest in Historic vehicles by the younger generation and FIVA tries to inspire more of them to keep the Historic Vehicles and related culture alive, on the streets where they belong.

Lluis Dejuan of our AFN in Andorra made this beautiful video to stimulate the preservation and enjoyment of Historic Vehicles.

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GA 2017 – Bucharest

Dear Bogdan, dear members of the RETROMOBIL CLUB ROMANIA,

On behalf of the FIVA General Committee and all FIVA Officers, I want to thank you for the remarkable work you and your RCR team achieved to prepare and organize the 2017 FIVA General Assembly. I personally received only compliments from the delegates and their companions about the choice of venues, the comfort of the hotel, the meals and, above all, the sense of service and attention to details you demonstrated over these few days.

The gala dinner was a wonderful place to be and a souvenir to remember. We all appreciated to meet the President of the Romanian Senate and could only rejoice about his enthusiasm as a collector of historic vehicles. We hope that this international gathering of FIVA delegates in Bucharest will help RCR in fostering new initiatives and developments in Romania for the benefit of the movement. I hope in particular that you will be in a position to send us good news about the national museum in the near future.

Please transmit our thanks and gratitude to all the members of your team.

Looking forward to meeting you soon

Patrick Rollet
FIVA President

Photo’s: HERE

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FIVA welcomes new members from Nepal, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Namibia

FIVA welcomes new members from Nepal, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Namibia

Up till now, Nepal, Bosnia and Namibia might not have been the first countries to spring to mind when thinking of the classic vehicle movement. Yet each is a nation with a strong ethos of historic vehicle ownership and enjoyment – and a unique history of extraordinary cars.

By becoming members of FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens, or international federation of historic vehicles), organisations from these three countries have demonstrated their commitment to the international historic vehicle movement.

“It is with great delight that we welcome Vintage & Classic Motor Inc Nepal, the Oldtimer Club of Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and – as a Museum member – the Old Wheelers Club of Namibia, to our global community of historic vehicle enthusiasts,” says FIVA’s Director for Membership, Howard Danino.

“Each of these countries embodies a distinctive car culture, and our existing members from 65 nations will be enriched by association with three such vibrant new members. It’s clear that the passion for historic vehicles we all share is becoming an increasingly global phenomenon. This can only be good news for the future of the movement.”

The organisations that have committed to join FIVA are:

Vintage & Classic Motor Inc. Nepal
Of the 131 members on the club’s books, a significant number are lifetime members, and there are also 26 registered vehicles with the oldest being a 1928 Ford Model A Standard Phaeton 35A.

Oldtimer Club of Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The current membership is 145 individuals with 45 vehicles, the oldest being a 1929 Mercedes SSK. By joining FIVA, the club hopes to spread through Bosnia and Herzegovina, attracting others to become members.

Old Wheelers Club of Namibia (Museum member)
In June 1986, 26 historic car enthusiasts got together to form a club with the aim of encouraging the ownership, use, restoration and preservation of motor vehicles more than 25 years old. The membership has since grown to more than 500 and the club is about to start work on building ‘The National Motoring Museum’ in Namibia.

Notes to Editors

FIVA is the only global organisation of its kind aiming to encourage the safe use of historic, mechanically propelled road vehicles, while remaining equally focused on preserving and promoting the very culture of motoring. Since April 2017, FIVA has been a non-governmental partner of UNESCO, and continues to pursue its successful FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year programme.

For more press information, or to speak to a FIVA representative for a specific country, please contact Gautam Sen, FIVA’s Vice President Communications on communications@fiva.org, +33(0) 6 87 16 43 39 (mobile), or +33(0) 1 53 19 14 20 (landline).

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FIVA membership of the Oldtimer Club Mostar

Following the confirmation of the Oldtimer Club Mostar membership at FIVA, a press conference was organized in Mostar. Here are a press article and photo. FIVA, whose activities around the world I have personally presented and its efforts to promote and preserve culture. Speech translated into Croatian and presented by Tina Vidovic, Communication Director of Oldtimer Club Mostar.

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Classic Car Club of Turkey has moved its new Lounge to Maslak42, Istanbul.

The opening was celebrated with a cocktail on 20th of September.

President Aydın Harezi and his board members Bahar Sunman, Durgut Berberoğlu, Murat Şakar, Mustafa Bağrıaçık gave intensive care to all of the guests individually. More than a hundred guests; club members, leading classic car fans, and media members were served traditional Turkish food; delicious Doner Kebab, and Baklava. The guests enjoyed live music, till midnight.

Guests had tremendous interest on the “One Brick From You” campaign, which will be funding the club’s upcoming programmes. The new lounge Maslak42 is in the city center, has very easy access to main roads and  is located right next to the Maslak Atatürk Auto Industrial Site where all the classic car lovers like to spend their time.

Classic Car Club of Turkey ‘s new contact is;

Klasik Otomobil Kulübü
Maslak Atatürk Oto Sanayi 55. Street
42 Maslak Arts & Shops
No:4/18  34398 Sarıyer,
İstanbul / Türkiye
T: +90 (212) 803 40 10
F: +90 (212) 803 40 02

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HERO hosted the very first FIVA Stewards’ Seminar

HERO was honoured recently to host the very first FIVA (Fédération Internationale Véhicules Anciens) Stewards’ Seminar to be held in the UK. Twenty-two Delegates from around the world attended and after a welcome to the UK and HERO offices in South Wales, delegates settled into an informative and enjoyable day.

At the Stewards’ Seminar, a wide range of technical information, upcoming advice for owners of historic vehicles and general discussion on the promotion of the historic movement were discussed. HERO provided the premises and some of its Arrive and Drive fleet for delegates to use for training in the inspection of vehicles against their FIVA Identity Cards.  This is an important document issued by FIVA technical specialists to vehicle owners that documents the build and identity of historic vehicles.  It is valid for 10 years after which it can be renewed.

In 2016 FIVA received UNESCO patronage for its World Motoring Heritage Year to promote and educate people in the relevance of historic vehicles from motorcycles to cars, buses, trucks and utility vehicles illustrating the huge role that these vehicles have played and continue to play as part of our cultural heritage.


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