Heritage Collection is an Added Attraction for the CBA Africa Concours D’elegance

Article by The Editor
Posted: September 15, 2017  

Since the inception of the annual Concours d’Elegance in 1970, the Alfa Romeo Owners Club has added new attractions each year.  In 2014 the organisers introduced “The Heritage Collection” to showcase old equipment and machinery.  This is located on the inside of the Nairobi Racecourse near Auto Expo (the motor trade stands) at the Concours which is scheduled for September 24th.

The centre piece of the collection continues to be the 1916 steam engine of Roger Tanner. This was made by Ransomes Sims and Jefferies at Ipswich in England and imported to Kenya by a company called Gailey and Roberts who were their agents.  The engine was used to power saw mills in the Elburgon and Molo areas.

The steam engine was in running order 35 years ago when Roger Tanner found it at an agricultural contractor’s yard in Langata.  The engine was in reasonably good condition and needed only a light restoration which took six months.  

The Heritage Collection will have a sub theme titled “The Old and the New”.  The steam engine will be flanked by an old Ferguson tractor which was made for small holders 60 years ago. This will be displayed by FMD East Africa, a leading agricultural machinery distributor.  The latest Massey Ferguson for land owners with limited acreage will be placed beside the predecessor machine. 

On display there will also be a 1911 Ford Model T owned by Michael Hughes, a former CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance Car Chief Judge.  This is believed to be the oldest remaining car in Kenya and was the Staff Car of General Smuts in World War l.  The ancient Ford was used extensively in Voi, Taveta and part of what was then German East Africa.

Also on show at the Heritage Collection will be the first Mercedes Benz truck owned by DT Dobie after the company was founded in 1949. This truck was used to ferry supplies of spare parts from Mombasa to Nairobi. A new Actros prime mover will be parked alongside the historic lorry.

There will also be a more than 60 year old service station petrol pump belonging to Total Kenya Limited.

For the first time, Rongai Workshop and Transport will show their 1942 Diamond T Tow Truck which was a wrecker truck and was a standard issue to the American Forces during the World War ll.  This vehicle has all wheel drive was ten to 15 years ahead of its time and was equipped with Westinghouse air brakes and drive to all wheels.  It is powered by a 135 horse power side valve Hercules petrol engine and is fitted with three power winches and Holmes Wrecker twin boom recovery equipment.  

Although this ancient truck is 75 years old, it is still used by Rongai Workshop and Transport to rescue the Company’s vehicles around Kenya when they have rare problems.  

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The Editor


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