The 2019 CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance Raised the Bar for Higher Standards of Kenya’s Classic and Vintage Cars and Motorcycles


John Wroe wins tough tussle for top honours at CBA Africa concours d’Elegance and Sati Jabbal takes first place for motorcycles

John Wroe scored a very close fought victory with his Ford Model A in the 2019 CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance. His ancient Ford finished with 275 points and tied with his daughter Veronica’s 1934 Rolls Royce Boatail.  His Ford was given the advantage by virtue of being the older car. Sati Gata-Aura finished only one point in arrears with his superb 1947 MG TC sports car.

The tussle for the title illustrated the higher standards of preparation and competition which characterized all the car and motorcycle entries wowing the large crowd thronging the Nairobi Racecourse. Rated as the classiest event in the Kenya motor sport calendar the 2019 Concours was the 49th in the annual series organised by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club.

Sati Jabbal fended off a strong challenge from Peter Giraudo to take the top prize for bikes with his immaculate 1925 DKW giving him a four point margin over Giraudo’s 1959   BSA Shooting Star. Giraudo had the satisfaction of also capturing third place with his 1966 Triumph TR 6C competition machine.

Kevit Desai, the PS for TVET, in his capacity as Patron of the Concours d’Elegance led from the front with his 1968 Jaguar 420 saloon and finished fifth overall and first in the class for cars with over 3000cc engines.

Visiting competitors from South Africa and Uganda made their presence felt by taking home with them 15 prizes. The greatest success registered by Uganda contingent came in the Trail and Enduro motorcycle class for bike made after 2000.

The visitors from Uganda captured the top three places headed by Valentino Salvatore with his BMW bike made in 2010. Under the sponsorship of the Galleria Shopping Mall the BMW Café Racer of Vintage Motorcycle Club of South Africa member Barend Barnard won the coveted trophy for the most elegant two wheeler.

Among the new class winners were Richard Kariuki who won the up to 650cc street motorcycle class with his 1981 BMW R65 and Anwar Fatehdin who captured   the top award in the class for utility vehicles made in 1970 or, earlier with his giant 1947 Ford V8 pick-up. Another competitor who achieved his first class win was the Alfa Romeo Owners Club treasurer Shailesh Chandaria who was placed first in the 1800cc touring class with his 1983 Giulietta sports saloon.

Paul Chemngorem who has contested the Concours for over 30 years was the proud winner of the up to 1300cc touring car class in his gleaming silver grey 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia sports coupe. Jinja based Leslie Carvell was the runner up in the class with her crimson  1970 Volkswagen Beetle after driving to Nairobi for the event.

Trainers and pupils of the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute were warmly praised by the officials and the Institute was chosen for a meritorious award to recognize the impressive rebuild of a 1970 Volkswagen pick up. This classic VW has been owned by the Institute since new and was retired several years ago after running errands and collecting supplies.

Kevit Desai expressed the hope this will inspire other technical colleges to find scrap vehicles and restore them as work experience projects for trainees.

Tumaini Muthiga had a very busy, but highly successful day. He fielded three cars and a motorcycle and shuttled between the Total Excellium car judging ramp and the motorcycle enclosure and wore several costumes at different times. His efforts were rewarded with his gleaming giant Harley Davidson bike winning the class for big motorcycle and being awarded with the prize for the best car costume.