According to Insider, the black Ford hatchback sold for £650,000 ($763,716) plus a 12.5 percent buyer’s premium at the Silverstone Auctions over the weekend. It’s a fairly safe bet that that is the record price for a 1985 Ford Escort. I can’t be sure, but I definitely have a hunch.
The BBC reports that the winning bidder came from Cheshire, England. The winner beat out another bidder from Dubai.
The auction site says she owned the car from August of 1985 until May of 1988. As you may imagine, it’s in excellent condition and has just under 25,000 miles on the clock.
Interestingly, this car is believed to be the only black RS Turbo Series 1 produced. All other examples of the car were white.
It may seem like a bit of a humble car for someone who was second in line to the British throne, but the car was picked somewhat purposely, as she reportedly really wanted to drive herself to her excursions or lunch dates with friends. Who can really blame her?
The late Diana, Princess of Wales’ choice of personal cars in the early 1980s reflected her modest status as a nursery school teacher, and even the engagement gift by HRH The Prince of Wales of an Escort Ghia was still rather sedate compared to later car choices.
The Royal Mews provided a selection of Rolls-Royces and Daimlers for official state occasions, often used by other Royals for off duty shopping trips, but Princess Diana far preferred to be at the wheel of her own car, albeit with a detective in the passenger seat, a member of The Royalty Protection Command (SO14). Princess Diana was a city girl at heart and nipping to the shops or meeting girlfriends for lunch, at the wheel of her own car was perhaps seen as a break away from the police outriders flanking an armoured Rolls-Royce, and the attention it drew.
There was even a police radio in the glove box and another rear-view mirror for the royal protection officer to use.
Princess Di had been photographed extensively outside of shops in Chelsea and Kensington over the years she owned the car. A few times, Prince William was spotted in the back seat.
When Diana was done with it in 1988, it was sold to a manager at Ford Motor Company for his wife. It was then used as a promotional giveaway by Kiss FM in September of 1993.
Diana owned several other cars that have gone up for auction with Silverstone Auctions:
Silverstone Auctions sold the late Princess’ 1994 Audi Cabriolet for £54,000 including premium in 2016. In June 2021 Princess Diana’s first Ford Escort was sold at auction for £52,000. With 83,000 miles was in a condition that reflect heavy, decades long, use. This black Escort RS Turbo Series 1 is incomparable in terms of condition, rarity and low mileage.
“We have sold a number of motorcars that have had a Royal pedigree but this car ticks every box in terms of history, rarity, condition and mileage,” Arwel Richards, Silverstone Auctions Classic Car Specialist, said. “The market adores early Ford RS models.”