Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cars, cars and more....

The Nabibii and their Mercs: winners of two prizes including cash

Update (1 October): some photos just managed to get uploaded)
Alpha Spider and Nairobe-belle

Jane the publicity company's photographer and the 1972 E-Type V-12

Nariobeans admire a Model A Ford

Like a day at the races for young Nairobeans

To an Africa neophyte like me, relations between
the races seem easier and more natural in Kenya than
in other parts of Africa.  She admired our Mustang; I admired her.
Her boyfriend has a very big lens....

Pretty in Pink (what...what.. in white?...)

Remember how Richard Pryor described the E-Type, when he was
convincing Billy Wilder that this was the car to steal?
[parental warning -- answer at bottom**]
This 1972 model had been completely rebuilt and was immaculate
A lovely 1952 Chrysler, just missing the hood ornament
Nice Roller, 1952

A Fiat Bambino. I took one of these on a date in 1972,
my head sticking out the top.  I told the guy selling it that I wanted
to test it overnight.  Took it back the next day and said "I can't fit in"...

Me, with 1968 Jaguar S, same colour as my old 1950 XK-120.  Note the "cool" hat!
We were invited to be part of Nairobi's 41st Councours d'Elegance, and a great event it was.  A real mix of folk, the middle class of Kenya.  I'm told that's one of the biggest changes in Kenya in recent decades: the growth of the middle class. And there we were at the Racecourse (next meet, 2 Oct), for a swell day in the sun for lovers of cars new and old.  The best we did was a second of Corbus' Mercedes; well done Nabimii!
Below, for hard-core car enthusiasts, some photos of the cars.
[woops: seems the connection is slow, so no photos for the moment.  I'll post when I can]
Update 1 October, now posted above
Meantime: we've been in Nairobi for a couple of days, and fine city it is.  I'd had expectations dampened by a comment in Lonely Planet, which said that visitors to Nairobi couldn't wait to leave it.
But downtown is rather pleasant, a bit like Canberra I thought -- if you took out the residents and replaced them with Africans, in a menagerie of multi-hued clothes.  The parts of Nairobi we've driven around have parks, topiaries, clipped hedges and fine housing.  Coming into the city, you can't help but notice the number of major companies here and the business parks.  Of course, it's a multi-million population city and most are in the surrounding slums, so one wouldn't want to over glamorise.  I've had pleasant walks in downtown, chats with locals, all friendly.  The luuuurve the car too, just like everywhere in Africa.
Update photos (1/10):
Garema Place Canberra on a Saturday arvo??  No, no, Nairobi!
Peter F, in downtown Nairobi shop, where I'm considering
buying one of these; James and Jacob.
NB: I'm the tall one without spots
A fellow asks me where I'm from.  "Australia". He says: "Cathy Freeman! I wanted to marry her, but she's too fast for me!"  Another says "we're brothers, man!  Just different mothers!"  Kenyans are cool.
**from above E-Type photo: "No, no man", says Pryor, "we gotta steal this one, man!  It's pure pussy!"