The first East African Vintage Car Rally, held during the weekend ever a route from Nairobi to Mombasa, attracted 19 entries.
The first East African Vintage Car Rally, held during the weekend ever a route from Nairobi to Mombasa, attracted 19 entries. The event was organised by the East African Vintage Car Club as a dress rehearsal for the international vintage rally to be held in 1976 to celebrate the first run by a motor car from Nairobi to Mombasa.
In August 1926, the late Mr. Lionel Galton-Fenzi, with his passenger, Captain Gethin, made the trip in a Rilley Redwing. For part of their journey there was not even a track, and they had to hack their way through dense bush.
The very same Riley Redwing which the two men travelled in, was the first veteran to be flagged away outside Nairobi's Hotel Inter-Continental by Kenya's Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bernard Hings. This time the driver was Mr. Derek Gates, Chief Executive of the East African Automobile Association.
During the three hundred mile drive the competitors had to pass through eleven time control check points. Because the rally was designed as a test of reliability, the cars were penalised one point for every minute late, and lost two points for every minute early. After driving all day Saturday, the competitors made an overnight stop at Taita Hill Laogs, and the first vehicle was expected in Mombasa just after noon on Sunday morning.
SYNOPSIS: In Nairobi, nineteen vintage cars attracted hundreds of spectators as they assembled outside the Hotel Inter-Continental for the start of the first East African Vintage Car Rally ever the weekend. It was a dress rehearsal for the international rally to be held in 1976 to celebrate the first car journey from Nairobi to Mombasa.
The cars were started by Kenya's Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bernard Hinga, and the first car away was the 1926 Riley Redwing which had made the first drive forty-eight years ago. Driven by Derek Gates of the East African Automobile Association, it could now look forward to a drive on a well metalled road, instead of the dense bush which its driver had to cut his way through in 1926. The driver then, the late Mr. Lionel Galten-Fonzi, would have envied the comfort and safety in which the competitors could cover the three-hundred mile trip now.
However, for some drivers, the open road still has its hazards, and Mrs. M. Wree, one of the competitors, had to do some traffic control when her 1929 Model A Ford broke down with jammed brakes.
The traditional types of transport don't have such problems.
But with a bit of help, the veteran vehicle was able to retire to the roadside for emergency repairs.