Princess Diana’s ‘very special car’ goes up for auction

A small car used by Princess Diana in the 1980’s is expected to fetch a six-figure sum when it goes up for auction Saturday.

The black Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1 was used by the princess for casual outings and was frequently spotted in London‘s upmarket Chelsea and Kensington neighborhoods when she owned it between 1985 to 1988, according a news release from Silverstone Auctions, which is managing the sale.

The vehicle is expected to sell for “a six-figure sum,” Arwel Richards, a classic car specialist at the auction house, told NBC News on Saturday.

The current owner, who he did not identify, purchased it 2008 and believed it was “the right time to sell,” Richards said, adding that it was a “very special car.”

In a separate news release, the auction house said that Diana used a fleet of luxury vehicles for official engagements but preferred to drive the modest Ford for personal errands.

A young Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne, was pictured in the backseat with his mother in one image from the period she owned it, the release said.

It said that the vehicle has changed hands four times since 1988. Having racked up only 24,961 miles, it was “incomparable in terms of condition, rarity and low mileage,” the release added.

The vehicle later used by a Ford Motor Company manager’s wife, and given away as part of a radio promotion in 1993, it said.

“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,” Richards said in the press release. “The market adores early Ford RS models.”

Bidders could attend the sale at the Silverstone racing circuit which sits around 80 miles north of London, or they could make bids online or via phone, the auction house website said.

It’s not the first time a vehicle that once belonged to Princess Diana has been sold at Silverstone.

Her first Ford Escort fetched £52,000 ($61,097) when it was sold at an auction in June 2021, while 1994 Audi Cabriolet that also belonged to the princess fetched £54,000 ($63,447) an auction in 2016.

Reuters contributed.

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