It was a tough fight. A buyer paid 737,000 pounds (869,000 euros) to buy a former personal car of Diana during auctions organized on Saturday in the United Kingdom, approaching the 25th birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales.
After a fierce bidding war from Dubai and the US, this 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo should remain in its country of origin as it resides – so far anonymous – in the Manchester region that won it. The car had been priced at £100,000: the final bid reached £650,000 plus costs and VAT.
The car was the highlight of a sale organized by Silverstone Auctions at the Silverstone circuit 120km northwest of London. With its 130 horsepower, this Ford is a sporty version, typical of the “GTI”, popular vitamin cars that were popular in the 1980s. Examples of this model with a less famous history can be found in the classifieds at around £10,000.
40,000 km on the clock
Diana, according to Silverstone Auctions, drove this car herself to get around London, although a security officer accompanied her on the move.
In excellent condition and with only 40,000 km on the odometer, the car, which was loaned by Ford, was used by the princess from 1985 to 1988. The car transported, among others, Prince William, second in line to the throne after his father Charles.
Unique in its black color – the other Escort RS Turbos of this generation were white – it then changed hands several times before being fully restored for sale.
Another car was sold last year
In June 2021, another Ford Escort used by Diana, a 1981 1.6 Ghia sedan given to her for her engagement, sold for £52,000 to a South American bidder.
Saturday’s sale came four days before the 25th anniversary of the death of the princess, aged 36, in a car crash in Paris.