The 2010 AccessKenya Africa Concours d’Elegance, held annually at the Nairobi Racecourse in Kenya, was a rousing success. This year’s event celebrated the 10th anniversary of the AccessKenya Group, the Internet Service Provider which sponsors the event, the 40th anniversary of the Alpha Romeo Owners Club (Kenya), the organizer, and the 100th birthday of legendary Italian auto manufacturer Alpha Romeo. This time it ran on 26 September 2010. It is a comparatively small event when compared with most other Concours, but autos and motorcycles from Kenya and at least four other nations, including the UK, were in attendance and competing in over 21 classes for top honors.
Concerned readers here will be most interested in knowing about the two-wheelers entered in the contest. A 1915 Indian Model B owned by Philip Gordon took top honors, but he was up against tough competition from a 1937 Moto Guzzi GTC and a 1925 DKW owned by local club Sati’s Classics. An unusual entry was a custom built 1800cc chopper with a long and low chassis which pleased the crowd immensely; builder/owner Andy de Mare was greeted with loud applause when it was announced that his beast took the top prize for Most Elegant Motorcycle. Up next were the 11 members of the Uganda Bikers Association who dominated the large trail and enduro motorcycle class honors; the overall winner was Peet Coetzee and his 1997 Honda Africa Twin.
The Africa Concours is unlike many others in the world as much more emphasis is placed on the condition of the vehicle – fit & finish, cleanliness, etc. – as opposed to model originality. It brings out a much broader range of entries. Beyond the bikes, several rare and beautiful automobiles were also on display and awards were given to the best in each class of that group as well. The owners of the cars also showed up in costumes which represented the autos they entered in the Concours, and awards were given to some of them for creative representation of the time period represented.
The event featured more than just land-based vehicles; throughout the day guests were treated to model aircraft flybys and stunts and even a skydiving display. And, to make it more fan-friendly, some spectators were awarded with prize vouchers (gift cards) for the best dressed in the blue and yellow colors of the day.
Sounds like the Alpha Romeo Owners Group (Kenya) and AccessKenya know how to throw a good time…and bring out some incredible – and very rare in Africa - machines too! See here for more details: http://www.concourskenya.com. It may have been far away from many of us, but the AccessKenya Africa Concours d’Elegance demonstrates the simple truth that our passion is shared the world over.