Princess Di's car up for auction


A 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo, driven by Princess Diana between 1985 and 1988 and retrofitted for security reason. Photos: Silverstone Auctions/dpa

Cars with a royal connection always command a higher price and a 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo, which is coming up for sale at auction on Aug 27, is set to be no exception.

The three-door, 130-horsepower car is the definitive hot hatch, although its stealthy black paint with a blue pinstripe sets it apart from its sporty brethren. Regular go-faster RS Escorts came in all-white only.

Princess Diana could often be seen driving the car between 1985 and 1988 and was spotted around London or outside the boutiques of Chelsea and the restaurants of Kensington.

The young princes William and Harry were frequently in the back seat, with a plain-clothes detective on board for security reasons.The interior of the car.The interior of the car.

Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering department was tasked to paint the car and it fitted a regular five-slat front grille to assist in the stealth makeover.

The Escort also had a secondary rear view mirror for the protection officer with a radio in the glove box, the cable for which is still visible today.

The car was returned to Ford in May 1988 with some 6,800 miles on the odometer and it has still covered only 24,961 miles from new.

The Escort is being offered by Silverstone Auctions on Aug 27 at no reserve and will probably fetch at least six figures, owing to its connection to a still very beloved public figure.

Diana, Princess of Wales, died from the injuries sustained in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris, France, in the early hours of Aug 31, 1997. – dpa

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