The 2014 CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance


John Fox

The sun came out for the 44th running of the Africa Concours d’ Elegance. And so did the people, despite the other weekend attractions – the Rugby Sevens and the Xplorer Tourism Exhibition.

It was the second time that CBA has sponsored Concours – and they were obviously determined to maintain it as the classiest event in Kenya’s motorsport calendar.

Yes, the Concours is about Elegance. It is a beauty contest for cars – especially classic cars. It is also, it seems, a beauty contest for women – judging by the fashions on show. But, unlike the cars they have only their outsides for judging; not the insides and undersides that the cars have to suffer.

People flock to the Concours – about 10,000 of them – because Kenyans love cars. And this year the crowd was as big as ever. As well as the competing cars and motorcycles, in classes from new utility vehicles to veteran and vintage ones, there were the motor trade stands of the Auto Expo. And the event was about more than machines. There was the fly past, a parachute drop, a model aircraft display, a ‘Heritage’ collection of old farm equipment (including a magnificent steam engine, and a Model T Ford used by General Smuts in Taveta in 1916),  the usual distractions for children and, of course, plenty of eating and drinking places. It has become one of Kenya’s best family fun days.

Perhaps the stars of this year’s show were Herman and Cande Zapp who have been travelling the world for the last fourteen years in their 1928 Graham Paige, an American four-door sedan. They have covered over 250,000 miles, across all the continents – and had four children along the way.

All four children were with their parents at the Concours. Very sharp they are, too. The oldest, Pampa, who is 12, said that travelling for him is normal. His younger brother, Tehue, said that when they eventually stop travelling he will feel both happy and sad – happy because they will have more time with cousins and friends; sad because there will be no more adventures. Fortunately, Cande is a teacher – so the car is a mobile school.        

Yet again, the Concours was a great success: elegant, energetic – and delightfully eccentric.

The overall winner of the car entries was the Phoenix Aviation 1928 Ford Tudor.

And the overall winner of the motorcycles was Sati’s Classics 1925 DKW.


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