Azar Anwar during Standard Group's revival of a 1950 partnership with EASCR, January 17, 2022. The BMW, KRW 786, is a 1978 model. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

For 44 years, Azar Anwar’s BMW, number plate KRW 786 has been on the road. It is one of the oldest classic cars in the country.

It has been in the East African Mini Classic Rally besides comping kilometers in mileage. It is still going strong. Now, Anwar, one of the most decorated rally drivers in the country having won a number of top championships, wants his machine back on the race.

The BMW stands out as one of Azar's motorsport creations but this time on the classical side of the motor sport.

"The BMW is my creation and so far I have not found another one like it in the world..."

According to him, the car is a 1978 model which was sold in Kenya while still brand new. After years of use, it was dumped for 15 years after which he re-modelled it to fit its current state.

The car is a budget build; meaning it has been made out of locally sourced materials as this was relatively cheaper.

With three years of research and work time, the champion rally driver has been able to make several changes to the machine to qualify it as a classic car; all these to fit the rules for categorising it as one according to rally rules.

"This is a classic car. The way you see it, it is must have been produced before 1985 December. This is inclusive of the engines and transmitters. Because it's a unique car, I really struggled looking for the parts and also I had to create, design and engineer things to make it work. The reason I chose to build that car is because motorsport runs to rules. These are classic cars and classic rally favours cars with  large engines," noted Anwar.

Classic cars are allowed to make some modifications but still maintain the classic standards.

Anwar goes ahead to state that he chose to sacrifice the size and weight of the car for power thus installing a 3.5-liter fuel injection engine whose cutoff date is before 1985.

He has incorporated stronger rims, stronger rally tires, rally seats and the roll cage plus suspensions and safety equipment.

The car is made from locally sourced materials and while speaking to The Standard, Anwar reveals that so far he has spent Sh6 million to assemble this particular piece of art. He also talks of an estimated Sh1.5 million yet to be incurred for some of the car suspensions.

This will enable the car to participate in the Classic Rally come 2023.

“I am happy to say that my design works. It finished the rally and was reliable as much as we were moving slowly. The car can go much faster than what it went. We didn’t have some modified parts,” he concludes.