September 27, 2010 – Phoenix Aviation’s 1928 Ford Tudor was declared the overall winner in this year’s Concours d’Elegance that took place in Nairobi on Sunday.
In a packed event, the overall prize for motorcycles went to Philip Gordon from South Africa, with his 1915 Indian Model B.
The event spelt out a 40-year anniversary of the Kenya’s Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club and sponsors Access Kenya’s 10th year in business.
According to a statement, this year is also the year Concours has achieved recognition by the FIM Africa (the Federation International de Motorcyclisme), which means that it is listed in the FIM world calendar.
Significantly, a good number of competitors came from other countries: for example, there was Tony Page with his 1972 Triumph X-Hurricane, two competitors from South Africa – one of which, Michael Milner-Smyth, entered his amazing 1920 ABC Sopwith – and there was a record entry of 11 motorcyclists of the Uganda Bikers’ Association, who had ridden all the way from Kampala.
For Tony Page, a motorcycle journalist, this was his first time in East Africa, and he was loving it!
“I had entered before I fully realised what was involved,” he said. “Then I found out that I would need to clean the bike even underneath. Meticulous. Fantastic.”
For Michael Milner-Smyth this was his eighth visit.
“We have nothing like this event in South Africa. There is nothing like it in Uganda, too – which is one of the reasons why the 11 members of the Uganda Bikers’ Association rode all the way from Kampala.”
“But we do it for the fun of it,’ said Milton Aineruhanga, the Vice-Chairman of the Association, waiting to show off his 1989 Honda Africa Twin. Most of the members will be making the most of the trip by riding on to Mombasa for a holiday.
This year many more competitors kitted themselves out in suitable – sometimes outlandish – costumes. There were many throwbacks to the swinging Sixties and the more sober Seventies, expressed by a crop of Afros and a Pop group that the actor, Ian Mbugua, said was more like a Brat Pack than a Rat Pack.
The Concours has become a favourite day out for both car enthusiasts – ‘petrol heads’ as some call them – and for families. The attendance this year was a record. As usual, there was lot going on besides the judging of cars. The motor trade stands were well stocked with the latest models – and there were a number of classic cars and motorcycles for sale.
Away from the cars, other popular distractions were the flypasts, parachute drop, model aircraft display, face painting and donkey cart rides in the Minute Maid children’s corner.
The Grand Finale was elegant fashion show of elegance by Deacons and an exotic performance by the Sarakasi Dancers.