Princess Diana’s Ford Escort sold at auction for $764,000 – 6 times more than expected

A black Ford Escort RS Turbo once belonging to Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in Paris in 1997, was sold in England on Saturday for 650,000 pounds ($764,000), according to the BBC.

The late Princess of Wales drove the car for nearly three years from August 1985 and was seen with the vehicle driving past shops in the Kensington and Chelsea areas of Greater London. Silverstone Auctions, the company running the sale, told auction attendees it was the “car of the day”.

The auction house had good reason to say so, as the Ford was originally expected to sell for as low as 100,000 pounds, according to CNN. However, auctioneer Jonathan Humbert ultimately received the most telephone offers the firm had seen in 12 years.

The car ended up fetching more than six times the previous sale estimate. Silverstone said the auction pitted an Emirati buyer against a British one at £450,000.

Phone deals arrive for the Ford Escort RS Turbo on Saturday, August 27.

The winner, an unidentified Cheshire resident, now owns a former royal’s car, which had driven just under 25,000 miles before the princess stopped using it, according to classic car specialist Arwel Richards at Silverstone.

Ahead of the sale, Richards said the eventual owner would have one of the “world’s best preserved examples of this model, as well as the slice of social history that comes with the car”.

“This car was known as the ‘people’s sports car’ and the fact that it was driven by the people’s princess just nails it,” he told the BBC.

Diana’s personal exits in the vehicle – which were usually done in white but painted black “for discretion”, according to Silverstone – were “a very brave choice”, Richards told Reuters.

“All other members of the Royal Family would drive around London in the back…of an official car,” he reportedly said. “And she’s driving in a car… which you’d see in a housing estate not outside the palace.”

Diana died after a limousine accident in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in France on August 31, 1997, when her driver tried to get away from the paparazzi on a motorbike. Next week will mark the 25th anniversary of his death at 36.


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