Zimbabwean born entrepreneur Ameerh Naran is making waves on the global scene after unleashing his very own super car. The Zimbabwean aviation and sex toy tycoon who has devoted his life to fulfilling a boyhood dream: building his own hypercar is currently trending. Ameerh Naran, who is 34, built a full-size model of the Naran, a 1,048 brake-horse-power “hyper-coupé” currently in production in Germany. He is making 48 of the four-seater cars initially, and offering buyers the chance to customise pretty much everything. Prices start at £850,000, but Naran expects most builds will exceed £1m.
Naran is proud of his home country, and has incorporated a fish eagle – Zimbabwe’s national symbol – into the Naran Automotive logo. But he is aware of the disparity between his world and a country on its knees.“Zimbabwe afforded me an incredible upbringing and I do what I can to give back,” he say, pointing out that his jet operations staff are all employed in Harare.The startlingly realistic reference model itself, handmade in foam and real car parts and finished with a gold leaf trim at a specialised workshop in the Midlands, cost Naran well over £100,000 to produce.It lands in London just days after the UK government announces a ban on new petrol cars from 2030. But Naran is unapologetic about his car’s obvious carbon inefficiencies
The car is a muscular looking beast, with a shark-like nose, gold leaf trim and giant spoilers. The boxy exhaust housings look lavish.
Ameerh has made claims that his customers come from sport, music and big business. All of them have already expensively stocked garages. They are the spenders for whom a million pounds on a shiny new toy isn’t such a stretch.Not that anything 2020 has thrown Naran’s way would have diverted him from a journey he says he began 30 years ago. While exotic car fantasies are hardly rare in children, Ameerh’s entrepreneurial background – he descends from Indian immigrants who built a small shoe manufacturing empire in Harare – gave him different ideas. Just getting behind the wheel wasn’t going to cut it.
Speaking of his dream, Naran stated recently,“I was four when I decided my purpose in life was to build my own supercar company,” he says, solemnly. Everything since has been in service to that dream – and amassing the huge pile of cash (an undisclosed amount) required to make it real.At school in Harare, Naran sold tadpoles to his classmates and later began importing Tamagotchi virtual pets. As a teenager, he wrote to Ian Callum, the renowned Aston Martin and Jaguar designer, and Adrian van Hooydonk, head of design at BMW. “And they both wrote back to this 14-year-old boy in Zimbabwe,” Naran says, still beaming at the memory.
On their advice, Naran left Harare to study industrial design at Brighton University and then automotive design at Coventry. He also got into car racing, and at one point thought his fortune might lie in Formula 1. But it soon became clear he wasn’t going to rival Lewis Hamilton, and he was eventually priced out of the sport’s higher ranks.A sleek and streamlined design, the Naran is expected exceed £1m
Naran was 23 when he talked his way into gaining exclusive operating rights across Africa for an American private jet firm. When that company failed, he launched his own brokerage, Vimana Private Jets, where he says many of his top clients have $1m monthly budgets for family travel.Vimana is now funding Naran Automotive, as well as providing a pretty handy mailing list; the majority of Ameerh’s car customers are his jet clients.There have been entrepreneurial side roads.