Story behind Kenya's only presidential convertible car [Photos]

Kenyans granted public access to the only presidential convertible vehicle

Lincoln Continental and the Mercedes 300SE vehicles at Uhuru Gardens. Photo courtesy: Kenya Pixels

Kenyans can finally have access to the first and possibly only presidential convertible car; a Lincoln Continental that was gifted to founding father Jomo Kenyatta.

The vehicle was among three cars Kenyatta received from the United States, the two others being a Mercedes Benz 300SE and Rolls Royce.

While the whereabouts of the Mercedes and Rolls Royce were known, the white Lincoln Continental seemed to have been secretly phased out of the convoy after it was used at the first Madaraka Day celebrations in 1963.

Not much was known or even seen of the spectacular car that is now considered a classic, until recently when the vehicle was made available for public viewing at the Uhuru Gardens Museum along Lang’ata Road.

It sits in all its glory next to the Mercedes Benz 300SE. Both cars seemed to have gone through some repairs and upholstery and are now in mint condition.

The Rolls Royce has severally been spotted at State House during past parties.

The Lincoln Continental received an honourable mention in the memoirs of Jamaica’s Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Dudely Thompson, who recalled being picked up by Kenyatta at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

I looked through the window and saw a grey Lincoln Continental drive up to the plane, and out of it came Jomo Kenyatta,” recalled in his book.

A similar model of Kenyatta’s car forms part of US history in that five months after Madaraka Day, former US President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, inside a blue 1961 Lincoln Continental.

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