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Maragheh, Iranian City of Jeeps
People, Travel

Maragheh, Iranian City of Jeeps

What catches the eye first when traveling to Maragheh, East Azerbaijan, is not historical monuments or tourist attractions but the variety of Jeep vehicles from different years, as stated in maragheh.org.

The streets of Maragheh are the living museum of the Jeep brand including all the corresponding makes and models; the well known Willys and MK, manufactured in different countries from USA to Korea and India.
Even Shahbaz or American Motors Corporation’s CJ5, the first jeep assembled in Iran by Pars Khodro Company is still extant and functioning in Maragheh.
There is no precise information on when and how the first Jeep came to Iran but in Maragheh a chronologically broad range can be found: from World War II Jeeps made in the 1940s to those manufactured in Iran from the 1990s. Jeeps comprise 30% of cars in this city.
Maragheh is located in a mountainous and almost impassable region on the bank of the river Sufi-Chay. The place is surrounded by extensive vineyards and orchards, all well watered by canals running from the river. The people, therefore, need vehicles that can climb the hills and treacherous roads to reach their farms and orchards.
The nomads in the region, still inclined to form caravans, are among the faithful advocates of Jeeps as they can move their belongings around in them.
Contributing to the ever increasing Jeep family in Maragheh, the local people believe the district 4 military logistic garrison to be another major factor. Over the years the garrison has held several auctions selling its Jeeps to the locals.
Nobody really knows the number of Jeeps in Maragheh; but the figure has largely dropped due to a government enforced replacement program for car owners to replace their old cars with new ones. However, it is a general belief in Maragheh that no new car matches Jeep in strength and endurance.

 

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