This CBA Concours D’elegance 2018 theme was ‘Aladdin and the Magical Rides’ and it was truly a magical event. Veronica Wroe made history by being the first woman to win in the classic and vintage car competition. But before there was something to celebrate, the competition began quite early. So for all car enthusiasts, a major tip to fully enjoy the event to get there early. Especially if you want to interact with the drivers, get to know more about the vehicles and take great pictures. This way you get to have a comfortable chitchat before the pressure of the competition kicks in and the majority of the people start to arrive.
So, of course, the first thing I did was take a couple of shots as I took a little stroll around the field to see what this year competition had to offer. I was really looking forward to seeing the 1928 Ford Model which is actually a pick-up. The state that car was in is actually quite impressive considering how old it is. I was also glad to actually see a couple of familiar cars return to the competition. The idea is to after all grow in your craft and eventually win an award.
The cars were categorized into 18 classes while the motorcycles were put into 7 classes. One by one the vehicles made their way down the ramp onto the judging line as a group of judges inspected the car from top to bottom. As usual, the driver’s costume was also part of the judging process and some people came out decked in colourful attire. Actually, if you stood out from the crowd due to your choice of clothing, you were called upon to enjoy a ride in one of the vehicles.
Right next to where the competition cars were packed was the Car Resale Section. The first car that caught my eye reminded me of Mr. Beans 1969 Morris Mini MK II. The cars looked well so well kept even with some being made in the 1970’s. Most of these cars are owned by people who like to compete in vintage and classic car competitions so if you wanted to know how to restore a car and start competing, these were the people to ask.
In the motorcycle section, everyone was busy polishing their bikes. When you go to this event a couple of times, you get to understand that these cars and motorcycles are like babies to their owners. So they are treated as such. The biggest spectacle of the motorcycle competition was Dominique Antoine’s ancient 1925 Triumph 550 SD motorcycle. As is the usual, people were taking as many pictures as they could as the motorcycles went at the judge’s table.
I met Gianfranco Maestro of the 2000 Honda Varadero VT1000, 142. He is a member of the Uganda Bikers Association. Each year these members ride their motorbikes from one place to another giving talks and sensitizing people about Cancer and HIV AIDS. This year, they rode from Kericho to Lake Baringo then Lake Bogoria then to Nairobi holding talks in each of their stops. Franco said that a large number of classic motorcycles moving together causes a spectacle wherever they go. They capitalize on that attention and use it to talk to people.
The reason Concours D’elegance is a family event is that the children’s fun is also catered for. The Brookside Kids Zone had a lot of fun activities. This year there were a couple of more diverse games to give the kids a selection of things to do. There were the virtual reality games, a number of video games, Face Painting, chess, paper painting, A bouncing castle, dance competitions, tug of war and a Foosball table.
The food and drink options were not lacking. The food area just behind the car competition area was constantly buzzing with people from the moment I got there to the moment I left. But I can not blame them, the aroma from the roasted and fried food was hard to miss. It just instantly pulled you there.
By lunchtime, the whole place was full so I decided to visit the Auto Expo at the very end of the field. There were a variety of modern cars on sale. I spotted my very first convertible tuk-tuk and the idea of an open-roofed tuk-tuk excited me. I have always loved tuk-tuks. Since the vehicle is so open, it’s like being outside of a moving vehicle. Having a convertible tuktuk is taking that a notch higher. Besides, with the price of fuel,l it does not seem like such a bad idea.
As is tradition, we were treated to a grand parade after the competition was over. Right after the winners for all the competitions were given awards. All top three contestants of each class were awarded. The overall winners were;
Veronica Wroe (1934 Rolls Royce Boattail) with 270
Sati Gata-Aura (1947 MG TG) with 269points
Sati Gata-Aura (1977 Nissan 1600) with 269
Mike Duder (1930 Ford Model A) with 269
Kevit Desai (1968 Jaguar) with 269
Bharat Pitroja (1972 VW Beetle) with 260
Neyen Kavia (1971 MGB) with 259
Veronica Wroe, the first woman to ever win the car competition in the 48 years of Concours D’elegance beat her fellow contestant with a mere point. They had been head to head with Sati Gata Aura who came in second throughout the competition. Although Sati had the upper hand on the underside and external finish of his car, Veronica bested him on the interior boot with four points. Last year when Veronica competed, she had come in third place so hers can be a testament to hard work and patience.
Stephen Warui’s 1968 Volkswagen Kombi won the first class for utility vehicles. It beat Larry Asego’s 1974 Volkswagen Camper by 13 points. The second class winner went to Vitaform’s 1972 Austin Martin Mini beating the 1973 Mini Morris of Tumiani Muthaiga. The third class winner was Sati Gata-Aura’s Nissan 160J and 1972 VW Beetle come in at second place.
The Bike Category winners were as follows;
Peter Giraud (1966 Triumph TR 6C)
Dominique Antoine(1925 Triumph 550 SD)
Martin Kaiser. (1964 AJS )
Peter won the overall bike category beating out Phoenix Aviation who have dominated the competition over the last couple of years. The 1964 AJS was one of the two motorcycles sponsored by Galleria Mall. It was entered the iconic event by Vivian Mathew Kuiper and Johannesburg based Martin Keiser.
The day ended with an electrifying live performance by Nyashinski and DJ Joe Mfalme. People listened and danced along as Nyashinski sang all of his songs. What goes down with great music? Food. So people continued to eat what had been left of the food as people began to head home. If you have a passion for vintage and classic cars, you should look into restoring a car of your own and entering it into the competition next year. You too might just make history.