The biggest Autofest so far

This year’s Autofest Cranfield was the largest yet. Visitors had the chance to get close to around 140 vehicles. The entrants included  minibikes, motorbikes, vans and various cars ranging from classics to the latest sports models. There was even a tractor.

Event organiser, Anthony Hoarty, said:

“Autofest has been increasing every year. We had about 40 cars for the first festival, the second one had 80. This year we have around 140”

Autofest has always been open to all sorts of vehicles and it is part of Cranfield United’s fundraising events.

“The club runs several events over the year. Such as fireworks and a music festival called Cranfest. The whole point of these is to raise money for the club, as it runs on really tight margins year on year.”

Ford Popular 103e: Found on a trip to the beach

Not all classic cars involve months of painstaking refurbishment. Sometimes a bit of luck is all you need. Mike Bennett, from Luton, found his car while on a trip to the seaside.

He said:

“I came across it by accident. I had always wanted one – a Ford Popular in black and in good condition. Luckily it was.”

Mike has had the car for ten years. It was first registered in 1956 and had one lady owner. She only drove it for 5,000 miles in 34 years. Its 1172cc engine produces 30bhp, and can sometimes get to 60mph. Why does Mike take it to events such as Autofest Cranfield?

“I just like the social side of it, and to see other cars that people cherish as well.

“We use it during the week if the weather is nice, we go out for a pub lunch, picnics, or just a drive around.

“I enjoy maintaining it and it’s just a nice car to have.”

Fireworks and the airport expansion

The football club is close to Cranfield Airport, which will be expanding over the next few years, which will mean more flights. Is the club concerned that this could have an effect on the firework event?

Anthony said:

“It is a really popular event, with a fantastic display as well as being really good value for money.

“At the moment we are ok as the planes don’t fly after dark. [The expansion] could have an impact, and we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Prize winners

Tim won the best motorcycle with his Triumph Bonneville

Joe won the best car with his Pontiac

The nosiest bike was a Harley Davidson and the loudest car was a C-Type racing Jaguar.

Next year

Autofest Cranfield will be running again next year at a date to be determined. For those who are interested in displaying their vehicle in 2019 should ‘like’ the event’s Facebook page to get their entry in as soon as the date is announced (in February or March).

Club membership is available, visit Cranfield United or call 01234 751444 for more information.