Bombing Around Kenya In a Former Safari Rally Winner.

Updated: December 20, 2013

It was my daily driver: 1965 Volvo PV544

The Driver:

Chander “Billy” Bali, age 73
Nairobi, Kenya


1965 Volvo PV544


  • [Rally champion] Joginder Singh got a job as the first Automobile Association patrolman in Kenya. My garage was next door, and we used to work on cars together.
  • He and his brother Jaswant bought the car used from a local Volvo dealer—it had 44,000 miles on it from previous rallies. I helped him fix it up as I trained in England with Volvo and Mercedes. It would later beat all the factory teams in the 1965 rally.
  • We used to do the reconnaissance runs together. In the bush, if you break down, someone might not come along for days. We used to keep a bag with drinking water and supplies tied to the front. Once, we had to repair the carburetor float with a piece of a sardine tin.
  • I left Kenya in 1965 but came back ten years later, when Joginder was already a hero three times over. The car had been completely restored with a new body, but it still had the same engine and running gear. Joginder gave me the keys, and I drove it all over Kenya.
  • I used to go out to the Mount Kenya Safari club on dates. The license plate on the Volvo was KHT 184, the same as when it won in ’65. People would cheer when they saw you coming.

News Source: ROAD & TRACK

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