“African Odyssey” to make stop-over in Nairobi to take part in the annual motor show, dubbed ‘beauty pageant of vehicles’ to be graced by spruced-up cars as old as half a century and a 1925 war bike among other timeless attractions that make the event singularly spectacular
A group of classic car enthusiasts led by Roger Pearce, a former head of the governing body of motor sport in South Africa, will be driving 12,569 kilometres from Cape to Cairo under the “African Odyssey” banner. Their marathon motoring adventure will include three days in Nairobi to participate in the 2011 Accesskenya Africa Concours d’Elegance. The Alfa Romeo Owners Club will hold this event on September 25th at the Nairobi Racecourse.
This will be the third in the series of African Odyssey outings arranged by Roger Pearce who will be driving his 1957 MG Magnette saloon. He will contest the class for up to 1,800 cc touring cars in the Concours.The inspiration for the first African Odyssey in 2006 was prompted by a television programme featuring the Concours d’Elegance, the classiest event in the motor sport calendar. Roger invited a few friends to join him for a classic car run to Nairobi to attend the Concours.
Roger has been the South African historic circuit racing champion and has competed in marathon endurance rallies such as the London to Sydney and London to Mexico. Having represented his country at the FIA, he is well known in motor sport circles around the world. His African Odyssey venture quickly attracted enthusiasts from countries a far afield as Australia, England and Germany who shipped their cars to South Africa to join the classic cavalcade from Johannesburg to Nairobi.
Participants in the initial African Odyssey which was held in 2006 added a new international dimension to the Concours d’Elegance. Several of them took home prizes with Peter Aneck-Hahn winning the up to 1,800 cc touring car class in his 1965 Volvo P1800 coupe which was also placed eighth overall. Clive Winterstein’s rare 1964 Porsche convertible was awarded second place in the sports car category.
Two years later, the African Odyssey brigade again drove 5,670 kilometres from Johannesburg to Nairobi to attend the Concours. The oldest car in classic convoy was a 1957 MGA sports car and the youngest was Les Mcleod’s 1977 Peugeot 404 which was second in the up to 1,800 cc touring car class.
This year’s Cape to Cairo African Odyssey has attracted classic car enthusiasts from six countries and cars are being freighted from Australia, Germany and Mexico for the drive to the pyramids. Chris Buckley and Sandi Webb who are based in Malawi will motor to Cape Town in their 1964 Volvo to be at the start at the most southern point of the African continent.
Their classic Volvo is the first ever entry from Malawi for the AccessKenya Africa Concours d’Elegance. They purchased the Volvo in a derelict condition and the car is now undergoing a complete restoration with parts sourced from Britain, South Africa and Sweden. Chris Buckley and Sandi Webb competed in the 2007 Concours d’Elegance when they were based in Dar es Salaam. They drove from the Tanzania coast in their 1965 Triumph TR 4A sports car and earned a meritorious award and the prize for the best entry from Tanzania.
Mexico will be represented for the first time by Ron Bellerive and Wendy Wilchynski with a 1971 Volkswagen Camper which will boost the popular class for utility vehicles. Classic car enthusiasts from Namibia will be showing a 1968 MG BGT and a trio of magnificent Mercedes all made in 1970. Going by past Concours results members of the African Odyssey cavalcade are expected to pick up prizes despite the long drive from Cape to Nairobi.
They will be arriving in Nairobi on the Friday before the Concours and will be spending the Saturday at the workshop of the Ford and Mazda Division of the CMC Motors Group to check and repair their cars. The Concours entrants will devote the day to preparing for judging and the parade of all the cars and motorcycles in the event.
Commenting on the African Odyssey participation, Jane Njoroge, the Coordinator of the Concours d’Elegance, said, “We are delighted and proud that the event has been included in the African Odyssey programme. This adds to the status of the Concours which has been recognized and sanctioned by the FIM AFRICA since 2006.”
“Overseas participation in this year’s Concours will help the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to attract more entries from outside East Africa in the future. This will strengthen the international reputation of the event, add to spectator interest and promote Kenya as a destination offering more than beach and bush holidays.” Turning to the state of car and motorcycle entries, Njoroge said, “Our car entries are nearing the 50 mark which indicates that we will have a full house of 70 before the closing date early in September.”
“Already there are over 20 motorcycle entries including several of the regulars like Sati Jabbal’s 1925 DKW and his 1941 BSA M20 war bike. We are particularly pleased that the Uganda Bikers Association has entered ten machines including the 2002 BMW 1150 GS of Donato Laboke, the Club’s Chairman.” “Among the cars which will be seen at the Nairobi Racecourse on September 25th for the first time is the 1974 Ferrari 308 GT4 of Marzio Kravos. This will be the debut appearance of a Ferrari in the 41 year history of the Concours. The Italian performance car will be contesting the competition car class in the Concours and will be driven in the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic in November by Marzio Kravos.”
“Other crowd pulling cars which will be on show for the first time for viewing by Concours fans are a 1958 Jaguar Mark V which is being prepared by the staff of Phoenix Aviation working in their spare time and the 1972 Jaguar E-Type of Matthias Koehler. 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the E-Type and this iconic Jaguar sports car will be given special prominence at major Concours and classic car events around the world.
Jaguar E-Types will feature at the Goodwood Revival in England and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California which is the most important Concours in the world. It is fitting that we will have an E-Type in this year’s AccessKenya Africa Concours d’Elegance.”
The Concours d’Elegance has been organised for the past 41 years by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to reward the owners of well kept cars and motorcycles and to provide a forum for them to show their prized machines to the motoring public. The regulations are available on the Concours website www.concourskenya.com together with the regulations for the Classic Sale and Auto Expo (the motor trade section).
The judging of the cars and motorcycles is based on cleanliness and condition without reference to originality. The process for cars commences on the Total inspection ramp in front of the Racecourse grand stands where officials assess the under side. Subsequently cars are driven in front of the grand stands for checks on the external finish, the interior and boot and the engine compartment.
Motorcycles are marked in a similar way in the Racecourse parade ring. Competitors ride their machines between the judging points giving spectators the opportunity to view the bikes.
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