March 25, 2023

The black Ford Escort RS Turbo previously owned by Princess Diana, which was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, sold for £650,000 ($764,000) in England on Saturday, According to the BBC.

The late Princess of Wales drove the car for nearly three years, starting in August 1985, and was seen outside the boutique in Greater London’s Kensington and Chelsea district. Silverstone Auctions, the company leading the auction, told auction attendees it was a “car of the day”.

The auction house has reason to say this, as the Ford was initially expected to sell for just £100,000, According to CNNHowever, auctioneer Jonathan Humbert ended up receiving the most telephone bids the company has seen in 12 years.

The car ended up selling for more than six times the previous sales estimate. Silverstone said the bid pitted an Emirati buyer against a British buyer for £450,000.

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

Silverstone classic car expert Arwel Richards said the winner was an unidentified Cheshire resident who now owns a car belonging to a former royal that was driven before the princess stopped using it less than 25,000 miles.

Before the sale, Richards said the eventual owner would have “one of the best-preserved models of this kind anywhere, along with a piece of social history that accompanies the car.”

“The car is called the ‘People’s Sports Car’ and the fact that it was driven by the People’s Princess,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

According to Silverstone, Diana’s personal outing in the car – usually white but painted black for “discretion” – was “a very brave choice”. Richards told Reuters.

“All the other royals will be sitting in the back of an official car… circling London,” he reportedly said. “And she’s driving… you’ll see it in residential areas that aren’t outside the palace.”

Diana died on August 31, 1997, after a limousine crash in the Pont d’Alma tunnel in France, when her driver tried to escape the paparazzi with a motorbike speeding. Next week will be the 25th anniversary of her death at the age of 36.

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