Princess Diana’s Ford Escort RS Turbo sells for £725,000

Iconic 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo Mk1, Once Owned by Princess Diana, Shatters Auction Records!

In an unprecedented turn of events, a 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo Mk1, formerly in the possession of Princess Diana, has been sold for an astonishing £724,500 at an auction, including the buyer’s premium. This sale has caught the auction world by surprise, surpassing all expectations and leaving seasoned auction enthusiasts in disbelief.

According to the Hagerty Price Guide, the estimated value for the Mk1 Escort RS Turbo in concours condition is typically below £36,000. However, the historic connection to one of the 20th century's most iconic figures skyrocketed the car's value, marking a phenomenal 2062 percent increase. The final sale price places the once modest Ford on par with some of the most coveted classic cars, like the 1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4, commonly known as the Daytona, which fetches around £686,000 in fair condition.

This remarkable event took place at Silverstone Auctions, kicking off the Silverstone Classic weekend with a bang. Jonathan Humbert, the auctioneer, revealed to the BBC the intense interest surrounding the vehicle, noting it attracted the highest number of phone bids the firm has seen in over a decade.

The allure of celebrity-associated vehicles was further underscored earlier this year when Hagerty released The Power List. It showcased the significant premiums people are willing to pay for cars with notable provenances. Princess Diana’s Escort topped the 'Royalty' section with an average increase of 813% over the standard value, a figure set to rise following this groundbreaking sale.

The turbocharged Escort, hailing from a private collection, has a unique history. It was previously given away in a Kiss FM radio promotion in 1993 and had served as a vehicle for the wife of Ford’s Government Sales manager, Geoff King, prior to that. Silverstone Auctions holds the record for the sale of an Escort RS Turbo S1, which fetched £63,000 last year, built in the same year as the Princess's car, though without the royal connection.

John Mayhead, Editor of the Hagerty Price Guide, commented on the sale's significance, stating it will undoubtedly be marked as a highlight of 2022. The excitement around this sale reflects not just the celebrity effect but a broader trend of investors seeking tangible assets amid uncertain economic times.

With this event, the auction scene has witnessed one of its most surprising and memorable moments, proving that the association with royalty can elevate the value of collector cars to unprecedented heights.

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Photos: Silverstone Auctions