Elegance at classiest cars city show

Daljit Sayambi drives a MGTF, 1953 make. [Photos/Elvis Ogina/Standard]

The sun struggled to shine, the breeze was a little chilly, but that did not matter. The cars at the classiest event on the Kenyan motoring calendar still gleamed, and the spectators trooped in, in big numbers.

The CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance was held once again at the Nairobi Racecourse on Ngong Road.

The classiest motor show is now one of Kenya’s best days out for families keen on elegance and eye-catching fashion.

The emphasis was, of course, on the showing of classic cars and motorbikes that attracted 77 entries from Kenya and beyond.

Though, of course, it was their owners who were competing after the many hours spent rebuilding, repainting, titivating and polishing their classic entries.

It was simply for the love of cars that the competitors had lavished so much of their time and money.

First show

And Kenyans, particularly, love cars – and motorbikes. What has been noticed over the years is that there are more and more African competitors showing interest. The first show in 1970 was dominated by Kenya-based Europeans.

The ‘Africa’ in the full name of the event – the CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance – is also becoming more and more significant.

This year, there was a record 24 competitors from outside Kenya.

Matthew Wilson, with his Yamaha VMax, was the first ever entrant from Rwanda.

There were 15 members of the Uganda Bikers’ Association who rode their ‘Big Street’ or ‘Trail and Enduro’ motorcycles from Kampala to Nairobi.

Uganda also had four classic car entries.

There were other competitors from Tanzania and South Africa.

In the morning, there were flypasts by Safarilink Aviation.

And in the afternoon when the sky was clear, the parachutists of Skydive Diani performed a dramatic free-fall, pin-pointed right onto the racetrack.

The variety

There were also more grounded and static shows: the Auto Expo's 25 stands for new vehicles and accessories; a classic car sale; the Heritage Collection, a fascinating exhibition of machinery from the old days of farming, and a number of farming implements.

There were plenty of places for al-fresco eating and drinking as well as the old favourite Steve’s Steakhouse for spectators.

And while parents were enjoying all the stuff, their youngsters were very well taken care of at the Brookside Kids Zone.

The overall winning entry in the car class was Phoenix Aviation’s 928 Ford Model A Tudor.

In the motorcycle class, it was Sati Classic's 1925 DKW.