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 World Motorcycle Week 2018

FIVA National Organisations around the globe are taking part in this year’s ‘FIVA Motorcycle Week’.  A concept which has been evolving over the last few years, brainchild of the FIVA Motorcycle Commission, this series of motorcycle events connected to the classic motorcycle world was designed to attract the attention of the world’s vintage motorcycle scene.

Taking place during June, several motorcycle events from different countries aim to outline the importance of classic motorbikes, increase their visibility in the world and promote FIVA.

The number of countries participating this year has increased to 15 and it is anticipated that over 4,000 participants will take part to celebrate one thing they have in common – a love for two-wheeled machines.

This years’ events taking place around the globe are listed below.  Please contact the organisers, or the Secretary of the Motorcycle Commission, for more details or if you would like to participate.

Country Event Date Organiser

If you know of any other events taking place during June in your country, which you would like to be included in the list, please send the information (name of the event, place and date, organizer contact) to the FIVA office at and the Secretary of the Motorcycle Commission, Nataša Jerina at

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FIVA at Retro Classic motor show Stuttgart

FIVA’s VP for Trade and Skills, Jos Theuns, visited the Retro Classic motor show and was asked to speak a few words for the opening of the show during the Allianze evening on Thursday the 22nd of March. Having just been told the Retro Classic show would be renamed ‘Die Fahr Kultuur Messe’ from 2019 onwards, the link to FIVA’s UNESCO efforts, started in 2016, became immediately clear. Due to FIVA’s efforts, that go way beyond the vehicle itself, FIVA’s aspirations have been recognized by UNESCO, ensuring that vehicle preservation now has a broader basis and a recognition that is worldwide.

Historic vehicles and all that comes with them are seen more and more as not only a fulfilling hobby but also a major part of culture that has influenced and still influences people’s lives to a very great extent.

Individual motorized transport freed people from geographical boundaries and allowed people to venture further away from home. Think not only about vacations, but in some cases people meeting their life-partners further away from their own homes became possible, as much as food travelling further and spreading to wider markets than was ever possible with horse and wagon.

With motorized transport other things changed too, not only the obvious improvements in roads and bridges but also hotels, road side restaurants, garages and other constructions themed and/or based on individual motorized transport.

FIVA, having celebrated its 50th birthday on 2016, has three main objectives: Protecting, Preserving and Promoting the Historic Vehicle movement in the broadest sense of the word. The FIVA Preservation Award is already recognized as a prestigious award for vehicles that have been maintained in their original state and form, and have certainly not been restored to ‘better then new’ conditions.

Back to the Retro Classic motor show, it was noted that the number of unrestored but still functional vehicles on show is increasing, in line with FIVA’s Preservation Award. Remanufacturing of parts and components is now at a higher standard than ever before, while prices for these parts are stabilizing due to cheaper production processes such as 3D printing.

Are remanufactured parts against the grain of FIVA? Certainly not! Using the Charter of Turin as a guideline, remanufacturing in the right way (!) is always better than storing the vehicle until another similar vehicle is broken-up for parts. After all, an older motto of FIVA was ‘keeping yesterday’s vehicles, on tomorrow’s roads” something all owners and stakeholders still underline and live up to.

Retro Classic Messe, with clearly the largest floor space of all historic vehicle shows, is a statement that this hobby is still a major aspect in many people’s life. A nice thing to see is that we see more of the younger generation and families enjoying this show and the nice weather during this weekend, very well deserved after the cold and snowy first two days.

FIVA would like to extend its thanks to the organizers of the show, the many members we met, the FIVA Global Partners and Professional Members that relentlessly offer their support for FIVA’s goals of Protecting, Preserving and Promoting historic vehicles and all related material.


Opening by Karl-Ulrich Hermann, CEO of Retro Messe GmbH and Ms. Petra Klein (SWR1) who was the moderator.

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4th Edition of “ANGLO CARS”

During the first week of December, our Chilean ANF : CLUB DE AUTOMÓVILES ANTIGUOS DE CHILE (CAACH) organized the 4th Edition of “ANGLO CARS”,  which is the most important exhibition of Classic & Historic Vehicles in Chile.

This Event has been evolving extremely positively over the last four years, both in quantity and quality of the Vehicles shown, as well as the venue and overall organization. Worth underlying is the fact that this Show is also centered on raising funds for the “14th Fire Brigade”, which is ably supported by the Anglo-Chilean Community. The drive of the organizers is reflected for example, in having obtained Prince Edward’s patronage, who last year presented the Best of Show Trophy.

This year Anglo Cars moved to the very attractive San Cristobal Polo Club and was extended to two full days, allowing the numerous visitors admire the 150 Classic & Historic Vehicles, which for the first time included a promising section of Motor Bikes and Bicycles.

A Team of Local Judges focused on their corresponding Categories with their top choices being:

  • VINTAGE – Pierce Arrow – 1917 – 488 Touring 7 Seats
  • POST VINTAGE – Lagonda – 1938 – Le Mans Racer 12 Cyl
  • POST WAR – Mercedes Benz – 1956 – 300 SL Gullwing
  • CLASSIC – Aston Martin – 1967 – DB-6
  • EXOTIC & RACING – Alfa Romeo – 1958 – 1900 SS Zagato
  • CLUB SPIRIT – Paige – 1917 – Touring
  • SPECIAL MENTION – Land Rover – 1951 – Series I /80
  • FINNISH/MEGUIAR – Cadillac – 1947 – Cabriolet
  • RESTORATION/CAACH – Buick – 1931 – Restoration
  • EFFORT 1 – Rolls Royce – 1929 – 20/25
  • EFFORT 2 – BMW – 1937 – R 6
  • PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Ford GT-40 – Recreation
  • FIVA-PRESERVATION – Renault – 1908 – Landeau Town Car
  • BEST OF SHOW – Alfa Romeo – 1958 – 1900 SS Zagato


Additionally, South American Ambassador Alec E Daly handed Mr. Gerard Khalbenn (CAACH President) a Plaque from FIVA celebrating the CLUB DE AUTOMOVILES DE CHILE’S 50th Anniversary.

More pictures here

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HERO – Rally of the Test

This year RAC Rally of the Tests sees a return to a more challenging format.

Starting at Garden Park near Chester the rally went the way around classic rallying terrain over three days to finish in the historic spa town of Harrogate. To keep the navigators on their toes, the rally had more “on the move” plotting as the years before. But it was generally straightforward with long road sections to get sorted and on the maps.

Starting in the manicured surroundings of Carden Park, near Chester, 95 competitors from all over the globe set off , the traditional start to what has become a “must-do” event in the historic rallying world. Spanning three and a half days, crews will travel no less than 780 miles 29 tests, 21 regularity sections and 2 Time Control Sections set in the dark.

The first full day of the RAC Rally of The Tests lives up to its name with five tests situated in the picturesque Cheshire countryside to start the day. The first regularity section took place in another RAC Rally of The Tests favorite, Cheshire Show Ground, the section uses the numerous tracks and roads that bisect the fields that host the Show Ground. A great lunch at Haddon Hall preceded what was to be a long afternoon and evening, the first cars leaving Haddon Hall were only due to the final control of the day at Redworth Hall.

Day two of the RAC Rally of The Tests dawned with a distinct chill in the air, this was another long day in the saddle with 280 miles to be covered, the second day saw us took in some new territory for the event as we entered into the north part of the Lake District.

A welcome stop at Hartside Café which is an extremely popular place, the views from here west are stunning and allow you to gaze across the Lakeland fells with some uninterrupted views. The final action of the morning took place at the Lake District Wildlife Park where a test in a farmyard saw a distinctly muddy feel to the section. This preceded a fine lunch at Armathwaite Hall, one of the Lake District’s and possibly UK’s finest hotels.

The final day of the RAC rally of The Tests dawned with another crisp and clear morning to greet crews as they departed for the final action of the event. This was a classic RAC Rally of The Tests. One that challenged crews and forced errors from those who lost concentration, the consensus is that the balance of the event was just right and heralded a return to the more competitive events of years past.

Ralf Stamm
FIVA Steward to the Event

More pictures here

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Rebublic Day Rally – Turkey

The last rally of the season, the “Republic Day Rally” took place between Sapanca and Bolu on 28th and 29th of October 2017.

The event began after the technical supervision at NG Sapanca Bedesten on Saturday, October the 28th, which was observed by the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) authority  Mr. Valentin Zbynovsky.

The area where the rally took place is known for its nature and fresh air, so the attendees enjoyed all shades of green and spectacular mountain view.

Totally 30 Precious classic cars rallied. The oldest classic car was 1957 made Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. Mr. Sinan Evman and Mr. Zeki Baştürk who are the owners of this car were the winners of this rally.

As in Turkey classic car rallies are known by the population of women attendees in motorsports, Turkish Automobile Sports Federation’ s (TOSFED) Women’s Commission (TOSK) has prepared a special stage awarding women racers separately in this rally. Mrs. Elif Şakar, who is the General Class Champion of the previous year, has won this special stage for women.

Yeliz İnanç Balıbey

Pictures here

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General Assembly 2018: Gibraltar

Please note that the next General Assembly will be held in Gibraltar in November 2018. Exact dates and more information will be published soon. See the pdf on this little rock on the sunny side of Europe for more information.

Download pdf

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YanQi Island Concours d’Elegance…

and Great Wall International Classic Rally

On 3rd October 2017, the third YanQi Island Concours d’Elegance, held in spectacular surroundings, impressed with its display of 38 top-level historic vehicles and 14 modern automobiles. This is the third time the stunning concours event has been held at YanQi Island, Huairou District, near Beijing (venue of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation), and it’s certainly among the top exhibitions of its kind in China.

This year’s classic historic automobiles included the 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo owned by eminent collector Corrado Lopresto, the car that won Best of Show at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este; a 1967 Porsche 911 Targa from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart; and the 1967 Red Flag Hongqi CA770 from the Beijing Classic Car Museum. There was also a very rare 1950 Skoda VOS, the car of Marshal Zhu De, restored by Skoda China and now part of the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution. This was its first appearance at a concours event.

In the competition section of the YanQi Island Concours d’Elegance, the five-person judging committee consisted of Gautam Sen, Vice President of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA), Rodolfo Gaffino Rossi, curator of the Italian National Automobile Museum, Camille Bourges, representative of the organising party of French Avignon Automobile Festival, Pierre-Antoine Faure, and Wu Jianxin, joint publisher of Racemaker Press. The committee gave their marks and judgments on the competing historic vehicles as per an internationally adopted marking system of concours d’elegance events across the globe.

Under observation by FIVA this year, it is hoped that the YanQi Island Concours d’Elegance and Great Wall International Classic Rally will be accorded international status by FIVA for next year, 2018.

A 1951 Volkswagen T1 Pickup Truck was awarded best in class in the ‘Functional Classic’ category, a 1983 Volkswagen Beetle in the class ‘For The People’, a 1914 Ford T for ‘The Oldtimers’, a 1930 Skoda 422 in ‘Pre-War Classics’, a 1980 Mercedes­-Benz 230TE in ‘The Youngtimers’, a 1959 Borgward Isabella Coupé Cabrio in ‘The Borgward Classic’, the 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo in ‘La Dolce Vita’, a 1967 Porsche 911 Targa in the ‘Sunshine Express’ class, a 1982 Audi Quattro Rally A2 in ‘The Competition Car’, and the 1950 Skoda VOS in ‘The Luxury Classic’.

While Corrado Lopresto’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo deservedly scooped Best of Show, the Red Flag Honqi was awarded a special Jury Prize, while the Porsche 911 Targa, along with a 1957 Hansa 2400 Pullman and a Bentley Mulsanne won awards based on the jury’s personal favourites.

In the run-up to the concours itself, the 2017 Borgward Great Wall International Classic Rally – a five-day, 550km run – was successfully organised by the magazine Auto Bild China. This was the fourth running of the road rally since it launched in 2014, during which time it has established itself as one of China’s most important historic vehicle events. Departing from the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Convention Center, the rally took participants through the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, China Film Group Base, Beijing Classic Car Museum, Borgward Automobile Production Base, Huiyuan Group Base, Gubei Water Town, Longqing Valley, the ancient town of Yongning and the Lakeside Great Wall, before arriving at Yanqi Island in Huairou, Beijing, having completed nine timed sections and seven non-competitive road sections. Sixteen historic vehicles completed the rally, with victory going to Xu Tao/Song Shan in their 1994 Porsche 993; second place to Albrecht Rolf Karl/Lautenbacher Wolfgang Georg in their 1982 Audi Quattro Rally A2; and third to Wang Yin/Zhang Qi in their 1980 Mercedes-Benz 230TE.

Mr Wang Yin, founder of the Great Wall International Classic Rally and the YanQi Island Concours d’Elegance, concluded by commenting: “The Great Wall International Classic Rally is a moving ‘poem’, while the YanQi Island Concours d’Elegance is a static ‘painting’, as well as a wonderful interaction between historic vehicle culture and Chinese culture. This is the vital significance of these two activities. As organisers, we are tasked to steadily hold these two annual events, striving to make them ever more wonderful.”

Pictures here

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. In April 2017, FIVA signed a partnership (consultative status) with 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, +33(0) 6 87 16 43 39 (mobile), or +33(0) 1 53 19 14 20 (landline).

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The 17th Edition of the most relevant South American Classic & Historic Vehicle Show was successfully held in Buenos Aires in mid-October, organized by the Club de Automóviles Clásicos de Argentina (CAC), by a Team headed by its new President, Mr Guillermo Viacava.

The 4-day Event was visited by 50.000 enthusiasts (including many foreign visitors), who enjoyed viewing the wide variety of over 1.000 vehicles, (with the presence of local and international Clubs) in excellent Spring weather.

Additional to the much awaited Autojumble (100+ stands ) and the ever growing presence of Motorcycles (including Historic GP winners), this year’s Autoclásica celebrated the Anniversaries of Ferrari, Lancia, Volvo & Lotus Seven, all of which had special displays with models representing their rich histories.

Local heritage was centered this year on the 80th Anniversary of the very traditional Turismo Carretera racing cars (which included those now known as Fangio Coupes) as well as the Argentine Formula One cars that competed in the 60’s & 70’s, with special celebrations honouring Designers, Drivers and Mechanics. Considering the wide scope of Autoclásica, a selection of family cars manufactured in Argentina in that same period were exhibited in a prominent section of the extensive grounds.

To continue developing our movement, this year visitors had the opportunity of enjoying a series of open air presentations given by specialists, centred on topics like Period Innovations, Road Safety, Design, Ferrari, Formula One, etc.

As in previous editions, the proceeds from the parking is donated to the local Children’s Hospital

After 2 days of Judging, the Prize Giving Ceremony was held on Sunday, centred on the Concurso de Elegancia covering numerous Vehicle Categories, plus distinctions to Best Club, Sponsor and Autojumble Stands

Once again the definition of the Best of Show was a hard choice in Cars, with the judges finally selecting the stunning Type 57 Bugatti Atalante by Gangloff.

In Motorcycles, the Best of Show was awarded to a recently restored Coventry Eagle Flying 8 B 160, 1926, powered by a 998 cc JAP OHV engine with 3 gears.

Considering its importance and profile, Autoclásica was again distinguished by FIVA with the implementation of the prestigious Preservation Award. This year a 1953 Volkswagen Series 1 Beetle caught everybody’s eyes, not only because of its originality, but also its condition, plus the fact that it has been in the same Family for 3 generations, since the current owner’s grandfather purchased it new.

Alec E. Daly
FIVA Ambassador – South America.

Pictures here.

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Swiss Historic Vehicle Federation starts Culture Initiative

The Swiss Historic Vehicle Federation has started their own Culture Logo program 2018.

2018 is the year of cultural heritage! Together we show how important our common cultural heritage is. Nationwide, we make it possible to experience it in a personal and fun way, and for all: we want to appeal to the young generation as heirs of the inheritance. Hence the Swiss federation is planning to have 20 vintage car events of SHVF members to be a “Culture Event.”

See for more information.
Other links: (the Swiss partner of the European Year of Cultural Heritage:

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