A car used and driven by Diana, Princess of Wales has sold for £650,000 at auction.
The black Ford Escort RS Turbo was driven by Diana while accompanied by a bodyguard from August 23 1985 to May 1 1988.
The RS Turbo Series 1 went under the hammer on Saturday during a sale held by Silverstone Auctions.
The firm had expected the car to sell for more than £100,000, but the news that the car was driven by Diana herself seems to have sparked many people’s interest.
By comparison, a new Ford Fiesta is available from £18,665 today.
Diana was previously pictured with the RS Turbo Series 1 outside the boutique shops of Chelsea and the restaurants of Kensington.
Diana preferred to drive her own car and had a member of the Royalty Protection Command (SO14) in the passenger seat.
The car is believed to be unique as the first and only black RS Turbo Series 1, as agreed by S014 and the Ford PR department for reasons of discretion, instead of the only-white manufactured model.
Princess Diana is photographed getting into the car in 1986, wearing a chic autumnal ensemble and court shoes
Silverstone Auctions’ classic car specialist Arwel Richards polishes the 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo previously owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, on display at the Silverstone Race Circuit near Towcester, Northamptonshire
The stealthy, black Escort RS Turbo was insisted on by the royal and was given a special ‘stealth makeover’ by Ford’s Special Vehicle Engineering department
The historic hot hatch was driven by the People’s Princess from 1985 to 1988, during the early years of Prince Harry and Prince William’s childhoods
Princess Diana driving her Ford Escort with Prince William in a car seat in June 1986. The royal car is expected to fetch six figures at auction this month
The steering wheel of the Ford Escort RS Turbo – which was driven by the People’s Princess from 1985 to 1988
The seats where Diana would have sat with a detective for protection while out and about seeing friends. It is assumed the car was used for more casual social occasions
The Ford Escort’s interior, which is in pristine condition decades on from it’s initial use over 35 years ago
The Ford factory’s special vehicle engineering department was tasked to supply the car and it fitted a regular five-slat front grille to assist in the ‘stealth makeover’.
There was also a secondary rear-view mirror for the protection officer with a radio in the glove box, with the cable still visible.
The car has just 24,961 miles on the clock and is in an excellent condition.
It also has a lifetime tracker fitted which can be transferred to the new owner, a spare key, Ford Motor Company internal memos, and period registration documents.
Arwel Richards, a classic car specialist at Silverstone Auctions, said: ‘The RS Turbo is a driver’s car and the late Diana, Princess of Wales was clearly a fan, and it was a fascinating choice for the daughter of an earl, mother of the future king, and the daughter-in-law of the Queen to choose.’
‘Isn’t it fascinating that the Escort RS Turbo was to be synonymous with the white stilettos of Essex but it’s first champion was the most glamorous woman on Earth?’
In June 2021, another Ford Escort used by Diana sold at auction for £52,000.
After being won on a radio station competition in the 90s, this car was privately owned for a number of years before becoming part of a Ford RS collection, where it has been kept in ‘top condition’.
The auctioneering firm said: ‘Parallels could be drawn with the RS Turbo’s reputation as the People’s Sports Car and the honorific of People’s Princess bestowed by the British public on Princess Diana.
‘The RS Turbo was never designed to be driven by the wife of the second in line to the British throne nor to transport the future King.’
Princess Diana’s Ford Escort expected to fetch over £100k at auction