They become vintage motor vehicles.
Motor vehicle manufacture and design has a long history. In fact, very interesting albeit one very few have knowledge about. Hybrid and electric vehicles are the latest in motor vehicle manufacture and technology, but way before this, there were vehicles that did not have power steering as they do now. Vehicles that beat tough terrain even before we had tarmac roads in most parts of Kenya. These vehicles, despite the energy it took to turn the steering, faced the wild landscapes of Africa with no fear. They have seen much of our wildlife than we have and can say about today. They have also been through much of the country’s political history. These vehicles deserve all the respect and recognition for getting this far.
On Sunday 30th September 2018, the CBA Concours D’Elegance, an annual motor vehicle showcasing the best in vintage cars and motorbikes, in its 48th year, was held at Ngong Race Course, Nairobi. Concours, as it is commonly known, is organized by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club Oners and open to all makes of cars and motorcycles, is the classiest even on the Kenya Motorsport Federation (KMSF) calendar. This year, the off-road vehicle entrants were eight cars; two Toyota Land cruisers, three Volkswagen Kombis, one Volkswagen Camper, one Land Rover Defender and one Range Rover. The cars were on average manufactured between 1968 and 1983.
To maintain vintage cars, especially the off-road type for many years comes with a lot of work. However, the proud owners of these cars have taken the chance to ensure the cars are in top shape for the entrance and they can also be used on a daily basis and not just sit pretty in the garage.
All off-road vehicle entrants exuded confidence. Today’s technology may outpace these models but their uniqueness has kept them on top of the list. The Volkswagen Camper, for example, will give you the camping bug when you have a look inside. If you really do not enjoy camping just because you are so close to the ground, the Camper comes with a bed on the roof inside the car. It’s interesting to know that the Camper was a metal body with a Subaru engine next to its end days. However, the owner, Larry Asego, took ‘Scooby’ as he calls it, under his wing and fixed it to where it is now. Experiencing the outdoor activity with this vehicle must be amazing. The upholstery itself is enough to look forward to the weekend.
The Land Rover Defender was a Series III and a two sitter. The owner, Harry Thuku, has ensured the car is accommodative and can still be used daily. To maintain a Defender must be expensive, you may think, but if you love the car, nothing costs too much.
Instead of an entire man-made metallic motor vehicle laying in a garage or yard and rotting aware making it of no good use other than trashing our planet with piles of metal, old cars can be of use. When revived, they become classics and vintage. In fact, there should be warehouse display centres to showcase vintage cars, to remind us where we have a come from and to even inspire future engineers to rethink the motor vehicle industry for the future of a green planet. Ensuring that old vehicles run properly and are in good condition has a far less ecological impact than constantly replacing new cars every day when they get old and lose market value. There is also no need of driving a car that will fall at any moment producing black smoke every time it is turned on. Maintenance is key for this vehicles.
It makes sense to maintain an old car because, when new vehicles are manufactured they have a more environmental impact in terms of building a new body design, engine or the battery for the hybrid and electric cars. It is more environmentally friendly to actually fix the beautiful vintage car or motorcycle lying in the garage or yard. However, there is also the option of converting the parts it into a greenhouse or chicken coop, populary known as upcycling.
As the human population continues to grow and the consumerism culture continues to build up, where will we take all the cars that have been made in an entire generation? Millions of cars are manufactured every year. Thousands get into accidents and many become old or breakdown and due to poor mechanical infrastructure in the country, they become unfit to be used on our roads. Production and consumption being under Sustainable Development Goal 12 highlight our consumerism culture and how we should be responsible not just as consumers but even producers and manufacturers.
Concours D’Elegance, which has gained popularity over the 48 years since its inception, is an inspiration to owners of classic and vintage motor vehicles. Owners become more inspired to keep their cars and motorcycles in good condition and show it off at the event with the probability of winning the coveted first place. For off-road motor vehicles owners, the chance to explore the beautiful landscapes of Kenya is still available when you properly maintain your vehicle.
For the first time in Concour D’Elegance history, a lady won this year’s event.
Overall Winners in the Cars Category
Overall Winners in the Motorcycle Category