The restaurant owners bought the three-wheeled tuk-tuk in Mumbai, haggled with bureaucrats in India and the UK, shipped it more than 7000 miles and lovingly restored the vehicle.
However, joyriders stole the tuk-tuk in Edinburgh on Monday night, and took it for a short ride, before burning it nearby.
The devastated pair, Tahmir Hussain and Chisti Iftikar, today hit out at the "ruthless" destruction of their vehicle.
The tuk-tuk was one of three, bought at a total cost of £45,000, to promote a new restaurant selling Indian street food.
Jackir Hussain, one of the team who managed the restoration project, said: "I felt devastated when I found out. I put so many hours into fixing it up."