Today: Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mack; Lost Love

Mehshekan: About 100 meters after the entrance to Beryank on Qazvin S‌t. in Tehran, there is a multi-story building that can be considered as the golden age of the presence of Mack (the American truck manufacturer company) in Iran. A building that is too old now and the only reason that it is still stood, is the presence of its founder "Asghar Gandchi".

«Asghar Gandhchi», after a difficult period of heart disease, is currently under the care of his loyal former employees and friends, especially «Abbas Foladi» This gray hair industrial man is s‌till hopeful to the future growth and development and his only hope to continue life is coming to this place which were once the former Kaveh factory (a truck making factory which were Mack authorized service center in Iran). currently Saipadizel is located there. We had the chance to interview with this hardworking old man in his former office and workshop.

Mehshekan’s special Interview with «Asghar Ghandchi» started this way.

 

Would you please tell us about your own young age and the situations on those days?   When and how did you start?

I've worked since the age of 12 in different garages, including the garage next to the "Kafeshekoofe" of that time. At that time, many of the technical people were from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and other foreign countries. The garage was designed by the Americans to represent "Mack" trucks. American experts who used to work in the garage informed the "Mack" headquarter officials that "Ghandchi" did all the technical work of Mack, and the Mack representatives did not know much about technical information.  At that time, various models of the Mack truck came to Iran completely. I loved manufacturing and producing of molds, press units and mapping all the Mack tools myself. Of course, we did not have any special plan and only copied the spare parts, and gradually turned them into a machine.  Once before the Islamic revolution, several government officials came to my office and asked: what are you doing?  I showed them the truck chamber and the pieces we had made; when they found out that I had made both the car and its chamber parts, immediately informed the higher authorities and allowed us to manufacture truck inside Iran. At that time, we held an exhibition and high ranking officials visited our productions. The head of the visitors told me: To continue my work and added you need a laboratory and loan. I agreed to expand my activities with the establishment of the laboratory, but did not accept taking loans and facilities. At that time the trucks came directly from the US. The chassis and the underlying parts of the trucks broke repeatedly. We informed the Americans that the pieces would break down, they said: "American truck, American road ", these trucks are not made for Iranian roads! I replied: "Iranian truck, Iranian road", Of course, one of the reasons that the American trucks were damaged was that Iranian drivers loaded them more than standard and authorized level. I removed all the broken pieces and replaced them with original parts of Mack trucks. I have the pieces I had built 40 years ago right now and I have not found any faults on them.

How did you develop the parts you created? How did the Americans let you become their authorized dealer and Mack representative?

After World War II, some people  used to buy second-hand trucks from different countries and sell them to Iran, Iranian buyers only used the tires, I bought the chamber and chassis of the trucks and after necessary repairs, they were ready to work.  To do so, sometimes I got some help from foreign experts. After a few years I bought a shop, hired a few skilled mechanics and blacksmiths and began to repair the body of trucks that did not have tires, and s‌tep by step, I began to make parts of the Mack, and became famous as Expert Asghar. Mr. Mostafa Homayoon and his partner, Hussein Mirdamadi, who were the owner of this place (referring to the current location on Qazvin S‌treet) and representatives of Mack were not interested in the indus‌try, but, I loved the work. The Americans representatives here noticed my love and eagerness to work and what I had made and reported the issue frequently to Mack central office officials in the United S‌tates. After a while, we moved to the Ramin Garage, where we also repaired cars of the Iranian oil company. When they realized my ability, offered to support me with a garage and did it. This led to expansion of our activities. On the other hand, the Americans gave me the Mack representative for being dissatisfied with Mack's previous representative.

What did you do after taking the dealership?

We firs‌t serviced internal vehicles and imported some parts like rings and pistons.

Did you continue to build components?

Yes, we continued to do our former work and build the parts.

How long did the delivery of parts, servicing drivers and owners of the Mack trucks last?

It las‌ted until the beginning years of the Islamic revolution, But, gradually our activities became less and less till the two countries broke up.

End item//

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