“One of things that I thought was most noticeable was the atmosphere,” said Adrian Grubb from Stratforward Business Improvement District.

“People were enjoying the freedom of the town so much and many people commented on it.”

The festival cost around £20,000 in total, but Adrian said Stratforward – who get their money from businesses in the town – only contributed around a third of that.

The owners of most of the cars paid a £25 entry fee, which made around £5,000. Car traders like Listers and Toyota also contributed, and extra cash was generated through advertising.

“The net cost to the bid was well below £10,000” said Adrian. “It was very good value for money.”

He ran the event with Tony Merrygold, Managing Director of tourism website Shakespeare Country and the man behind Sherbourne-based Classic Car hire company, The Open Road.

“The big difference between this year and last year is we closed all the streets,” said Tony.

“That increased the feeling of being special, and being welcomed to the town. It was a great advert for Stratford.”

Old Town resident Steve Johnson had a 1959 MGA Roadster on display.

“Standing by my car I lost count of the number of compliments I heard, not necessarily directed towards my MG, but about the whole event in general.

“The atmosphere in town, with the roads in the centre effectively pedestrianised for the occasion, was outstanding.”

It was the largest set of road closures Stratford has seen in recent history and opened up the case for pedestrianisation. For more on that see the front page of today’s Herald (8th May). Inside the paper there is a full-page photo spread of the festival.

Prize winners:

Mayor’s favourite car
David Pegg’s 1997 Marcos Mantara Spyder recovered from a dashboard fire on Sunday to be picked by the Mayor of Stratford Diane Walden.Only 137 were made, and only 30 survive.

The Mayor of Stratford Diane Walden with David Pegg.

The Mayor of Stratford Diane Walden with David Pegg.

The Cat’s Whiskers – picked by main sponsor Alscot Park Garage
Honington couple Ray and Suzie Coyte won this prize for their 1950 MG TD, which was found in a barn in America and then rebuilt. It won the prize because it is used regularly by all the family.

Ray Coyte, left, with his MG TD, pictured receiving his trophy from Alscot Park Garage's Andrew Sharp.

Ray Coyte, left, with his MG TD, pictured receiving his trophy from Alscot Park Garage’s Andrew Sharp.

Longest distance: Jeff Gordon brought a 1977 Triumph Stag from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Longest distance: Jeff Gordon brought a 1977 Triumph Stag from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.