Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo sells for £722,500

Described as 'the car of the day' by Silverstone Auctions, Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo has sold for £722,500.

Jonathan Humbert, the auctioneer at Silverstone, has said that the car received by far the most telephone bids in the history of the auction company.

Bidding began at £100,000 wth worldwide interest.

At £450,000 the bidding was between two bidders, one in Dubai and the other in Cheshire, United Kingdom. 

The British bidder was successful with the final £650,000 bid, which, with auctions commissions, left a final price of £722,500.

Princess Diana's Ford Escort auction at Silverstone
Image: Silverstone Auctions


On joining the Royal Family Princess Diana would have had a choice of Rolls Royce’s and chauffeurs, but instead preferred to drive herself in a red Ford Escort cabriolet that was quickly deemed unsuitable by the Royal Protection Unit as the canvas roof offered little protection.

Instead Diana opted for this black RS Turbo, the first and only black RS Turbo 1 provided by Ford.

The car, which has 24,961 miles, includes a second rear view mirror so Diana’s ever-present protection officer also had a view out the rear of the car.

Diana took delivery of the car on 23rd August 1985 and held it for just under three years before it was returned to the Ford factory with 6,800 miles on the clock, where it was replated – a normal occurrence with ex-Royal cars.

The Escort was later given away as a prize on Kiss FM radio station in September 1993, and a few owners later ended up in a Ford RS collection in the UK.

In June 2021 a 1981 Ford Escort Ghia gifted by Prince Charles to Diana as an engagement present, and with 83,000 miles on the clock, sold for £52,640 at Reeman Dansie Auctions in Essex, against an estimate of £30,000 - £40,000.

In 2013 Diana's 1994 Audi cabriolet, in which she was regularly seen driving William and Harry, sold for £36,500, and sold again in 2016 for £54,000 - a 48% increase in just 3 years.

Full details of Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1 are at Silverstone Auctions.


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