VINTAGE cars vied with all the latest models for the attention of the crowds during a jaw-dropping motor festival hailed as the biggest and best yet.

Bonnets gleamed and windscreens glimmered in glorious sunshine during the 9th annual Worcester Motor Festival in Worcester city centre between 9am and 5pm on Saturday.

The festival, organised by Worcester BID and the Worcester News, and going from strength to strength featured 49 cars from a range of local dealerships compared to 38 cars last year.

Adding some old fashioned glamour from the golden age of motoring were 90 vintage and classic cars including Morgans as well as motorbikes, including Triumphs.

The PopbangColour workshops literally put British artist Ian Cook in the driving seat as he painted striking car designs using remote control cars, car tyres and toy car wheels.

Eye-catching cars included a Ford Crown Victoria 300 brake horsepower police interceptor from Prince William County in Virginia with a 4.6 litre V8 engine and top speed of around 130mph.

The car was being displayed by retired police officers and a police widow, all helping raise funds for COPS (Care Of Police Survivors).

Among those raising funds was Kate Hall, widow of West Midlands officer Colin Hall who died in 1987 after suffering a heart attack.

Other vintage police cars on display included a 1974 Rover P6 and a 1993 Jaguar XJ40 Police Special.

Diesel engineer Andrew Young, aged 62, of Malvern brought with him a head-turning white 1936 Chevrolet Master Town Sedan lovingly restored from a 'wreck' he imported from New Jersey in the US, even converting it to right hand drive.

His other display model was a black 1955 Thunderbird (diesel) which also drew admiring glances.

Mr Young said: "The festival is great for the city. This is the fourth year I have been and I plan to keep coming back. People who look at the cars are stunned."

For those people looking to buy a new car they were spoiled for choice as dealerships turned the High Street into an open air car showroom.

More and more dealerships are reaping the benefits of the festival, including Westlands Motor Group (Toyota and Hyundai), Bristol Street Motors (Ford and Fiat), Listers (Audis, SEATS and Volkswagen), Startin (Hondas and Skodas), Baylis (Vauxhall), Edwards Motors (Volvo, Mazda, Kia), Autovillage (Ssanyong), Chevron (Citroen), Mercedes and AE Clegg (Vauxhall).

Andy Mitchell and wife Sue looked the part dressed as a gentleman and gentlewoman of the 1950s while stood by Mr Mitchell's AC Aceca Bristol built in 1956. Mr Mitchell spent 22 years putting it together with his father and it was back on the road by 2010.

Mr Mitchell, who also has a 50s race suit and helmet, said he likes to use the car for the purpose it was intended like the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb.

The handsome car was also raced at Silverstone last year. The couple get a warm reception when they take it to Italy for the Vernasca Silver Flag and they have been invited to a hill climb event at the Chateau Impney, Droitwich on July 11 and 12 this year.

Mr Mitchell said of the car: "Why lock it up? I think if the car has any race or rally history it should be used for that."

Cllr Alan Amos, the Mayor of Worcester, tried out the driver's seat of a yellow Toyota GT86 outside the Guildhall.

He said of the festival: "It's absolutely incredible. You really see so much beautiful engineering in such a small space. I would be happy to have any one of these cars."

Sue Griffiths, group advertising manager at the Worcester News, said: "It has been great entertainment for the whole family, not just car enthusiasts. There is something for everyone. It is the most numbers of dealerships and cars we have had at the festival."

David Greenhill of Britannia Square, Worcester, was enjoying the show with his children, Bessy, four, and Tom, five.

He said: "It's great. It's the old stuff that is more enjoyable to see because it's unusual. Both my children are really enjoying it. They have sat in some of the cars."

Another family enjoying the spectacle were Sally and Paul Johnson of Crowle with their daughter, seven-year-old Kira.

Mrs Johnson said: "These E-Type Jaguars have caught our eye. We're also hoping to change our car in September so we'll be looking at some of the newer models."

Keith Lickley of Westlands Toyota in St John's said: "There has been a lot of interest. The Aygo and the GT are causing the most interest."

Ashleigh Lewis, a sales executive from Listers Audi, said: "It's the first time we have been down here. It's a good opportunity for some open air promotion."