The Eighth East African Safari



This rally is rightly regarded as the greatest test of a motor car in the world, as competing vehicles receive a tremendous battering over some of the most tortuous terrain to be found in Africa. It is perhaps significant that of the thirty-four British cars to start, only the Ford Zephyr and Anglia teams reached the finish together with one very battered Hillman Minx which had been inverted and driven without a windscreen for two thousand miles. Of the six Sunbeam Rapiers not one started the second half of the rally, mainly because of front suspension damage, although one suffered clutch failure and another had its radiator blocked with mud. The four Mini-Minors were completely out of their element due to the tiny wheels, while other British cars which failed to finish were two Vanguards, two A55s, a TR3 and a Herald, a Jaguar and a Morris Oxford.

The car buyer in East Africa is very discerning as his vehicle will have to stand up to some of the worst roads in the world, so he looks first of all for durability, value for money, good road-holding, ease of maintenance and high resale value, rather than for great comfort, wooden facia layouts, and high power which cannot be used for much of the time. The best selling car in Uganda at present is the Peugeot but the excellent showing of the Ford teams will undoubtedly take effect in the next few months.

The 1960 3,400-mile Safari was the first to be run under F.I.A. rules, which eliminated the practice of previous years which grouped the cars into price brackets. The largest class was the 1,300-2,000 c.c. saloon-car class, which included the Mercedes 190s, Sunbeam Rapiers, Peugeots, A55s, and Citroën ID19s. The Citroëns took the honours in this class, being first and second, and the lone Hillman Minx finished ninth.

The works teams were at an advantage throughout the rally as they were able to make repairs during stops. Three of the Mercedes suffered clutch trouble, one of them having a new clutch fitted during a 30-minute stop! The winning Mercedes 219 required oil pouring into a cracked differential during most of the second half of the rally, and Mercedes service teams were available at many of the check points. Goodyear tyres were used on many of the Fords and Mercedes, although Michelin “X” and Pirelli were also popular.


General Classification: 1st: W. A. Fritschy/J. L. Ellis (Mercedes-Benz 219). 2nd: M. Temple-Boreham/Mrs. M. Temple-Boreham (Citroën ID19). 3rd: V. R. Preston/J. F. Harrison (Ford Zephyr). 4th: A. R. Vickers/S. Gastellier (Citroën 1D19). 5th: N. J. Thomas/D. W. Lead (Mercedes-Benz 190).

Class A (Up to 750 c.c.): No finishers.

Class B (751 to 1,000 c.c.): 1st: P. J. Hughes/R. Bensted-Smith (Ford Anglia). 2nd: J. M. Uren/M. P. Armstrong (Ford Anglia). 3rd: F. Brown/F. H. Collis (Ford Anglia).

Class C (1,001 to 1,300 c.c.): 1st:  Joginder Singh/Jaswant Singh (Volkswagen). 2nd: E. Earnshaw/N. Fjastad (Simca Montlhéry). 3rd: J. Vadgama/J. M. Jivraj (Peugeot 203).

Class D (1,301 to 2,000 c.c.): 1st: M. Temple-Boreham/Mrs. B. Temple-Boreham (Citroën ID19). 2nd: A. R. Vickers/S. A. Gastellier (Citroën ID19). 3rd: N. J. Thomas/D. W. Lead (Mercedes-Benz 190).

Class E (Over 2,000 c.c.): 1st: W. A. Fritschy/J. L. Ellis (Mercedes-Benz 219). 2nd: V. R. Preston/J. F. Harrison (Ford Zephyr). 3rd: T. C. Harrison/P. R. Davies (Ford Zephyr).

Manufacturers’ Award: Ford Zephyr Team.

Analysis of finishers

Make – Started –Finished

Ford Zephyr – 8 – 4

Ford Anglia – 6 – 4

Mercedes-Benz – 6 – 4

Citroën – 3 – 2

Peugeot – 8 – 4

Auto Union 1000S – 5 – 1

Volkswagen – 7 – 2

Simca Montlhéry Aronde – 8 – 2

Hillman Minx – 1 – 1

Sunbeam Rapier – 6 – 0

N.S.U. Prinz – 5 – 0

Fiat – 5 – 1

Standard Vanguard – 2 – 0

A55 – 2 – 0

Triumph Herald and TR3 – 2 – 0

Morris Oxford V – 1 – 0

Borgward Isabella – 2 – 0

Goggomobil – 1 – 0

Jaguar 3.4 – 1 – 0

Morris Mini-Minor – 4 – 0