Sports

Full House ahead of Sunday’s Africa Concours d’Elegance

Thursday, September 21st, 2023 11:00 | By
The 1970 Volkswagen pick-up entered by the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute will be in the Utility Class at Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance. PD/ EDWIN OTIENO

The Africa Concours d’Elegance has received the maximum entry of 70 cars and 40 motorcycles for this Sunday’s classic car and motorcycle contest.

This will celebrate the 51st anniversary of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club and has earned the title of the classiest event on the Kenya motorsports calendar.

The Alfa Romeo Owners Club which arranges and runs the Concours has confirmed that the Nairobi Racecourse gates will open at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday and the judging of the cars and motorcycles will commence one hour later.

The assessment of the cars will take place in front of the main grandstands and will commence with the of check the underside at the Quartz inspection ramp. Cars will then be driven for the inspection of the paintwork and finish, the interior and the engine. Subsequently there will be a road safety check.

Motorcycles will be marked in a similar way at the Racecourse parade ring. Riders will visit judging stations while spectators admire the old and rare bikes.

The massive motorcycles entered by Pearl Bikers Africa and the Uganda Bikers Association will be an important part of the Concours.

The judges will start their work with marking the 1991 Mitsubishi Pajero of Rudra Sarvaiya which will be up against a horde of other utility vehicles including Land Rovers, Volkswagen Kombis and old Land Cruisers.

Rwanda motoring enthusiast Kassim Ndayambaje will add spice to the utility vehicle classes with his 1983 Volkswagen transporter.

Benson Muli also will be driving along the judging line in his 1970 Volkswagen Kombi. The Rift Valley Technical Training Institute students are putting the finishing touches to the Institute’s pickup which was bought new in 1970 to collect mail and supplies.

Spectators will divide their time between watching the judging of the classic cars and motorcycles and the Classic Sale which is open to cars and bikes which are 25, or more years old. They will also visit the Trade Stands which are located near the car competitors parking ground.

While watching the assessment of the motorcycles in the Racecourse parade ring spectators will be astounded by old and rare bikes and the massive machines of Pearl Bikers Africa and the Uganda Bikers Association. These are being ridden from Kampala to contest the Concours.

The rarest vehicle at the Racecourse will be the 1973 Laverda of Mikey Hughes which is undergoing final preparation at the family’s Gilgil home.

Laverda motorcycles were made in Italy for several years and they were high performance bikes which scored successes in major motorcycle events. The Laverda of Mikey Hughes is probably the only one in Africa and one of the few remaining examples anywhere in the world.

For the first time in the History of the Africa Concours d’Elegance a Triumph Spitfire convertible will appear at the Nairobi Racecourse on Sunday (September 24th). Spitfires were made to rival MG cars, but went out of production after a few years and there are few remaining examples.

Paul Nguru will contest the Concours with his 1971 MGB and will be up against Matthew Peevers who will drive a modified 1977 MGA along the judging line. Kamene Wanday and Alec Davis will be placing their hopes on their Alfa Romeo Spiders. The impressive sports car list also features a 1966 MGB prepared and entered by Vitafoam.

On Sunday spectators will view the car judging in front of the main grandstand, the assessment of the motorcycles in the Racecourse parade ring and visit the motor trade stands in Auto Expo and the Classic Sales. This features cars and motorcycles which are over 25 years old. Some are in good condition and others are restoration projects and sources of spares.

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