Once owned by Princess Diana herself, arguably the world’s most famous Ford Escort has sold for an eye watering price at auction – but what is its true value?
Beloved by the British public, there’s never been a member of the Royal Family more universally celebrated than Princess Diana. Although the Princess Of Wales was renowned for her style and was closely associated with the fashion world, she was best known for her charitable work. During her marriage, the Princess was president or patron of over one hundred charities, as was henceforth known as the ‘People’s Princess’ throughout the world.
Despite her untimely death twenty-five years ago, Princess Diana is now once again in the headlines for a surprising reason: the sale of her Ford Escort. While famous vehicles pass through auction houses on a regular basis, the sheer amount that this relatively unremarkable vehicle has commanded seems to be what every auto enthusiast is currently talking about.
Diana’s Ford Escort Fetches AU $1.2 Million At Auction
On Saturday 27 August 2022, a Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1 that was driven by the late Princess Diana fetched an eye watering £724,500 pounds – or approximately $1.24 million Australian dollars – at an auction held at Britain’s Silverstone racing circuit.
Silverstone’s website describes the car as the Princess Of Wales’ last Ford Escort, with 24,961 miles on the clock. It belonged to the Princess of Wales between 1985 and 1988, and the Princess was often seen driving the car around the affluent suburbs of Chelsea and Kensington.
While it was unusual for a member of the Royal Family to prefer driving themselves around London, Princess Diana did manage to click up almost 11,000 kilometres before returning it to Ford. In addition to the car’s unusual usage, the RS Turbo Series 1 was usually made in white, but the royal family police guard asked for Diana’s to be painted black for increased discretion.
Upon its initial return to Ford, the car had multiple owners before making its way back to Ford once again. Although Silverstone Auctions made no reference to the timing of the car’s auction, Princess Diana’s death on August 31 in 1997 may have contributed towards the final auction date of her Ford Escort.
For car lovers and automotive enthusiasts, the Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1 is estimated to still have 500-600 models available throughout the world. However, the real question is this: did the Ford Escort command such a high price because of its limited availability, or was it purely down to its ties to its previous owner?
According to Wayne Ormond, classic car collector and owner of Classic’s Garage, it’s likely to be the latter. When recently speaking on Millsy At Midday, one of Perth’s leading radio broadcasters, Wayne outlines that there’s a number of factors to consider, and whether Diana’s ownership was the sole factor in the Ford Escort’s final sale price.
“Silverstone Auctions really specialise in selling those very notable types of cars, and have often sold vehicles previously owned by the Royal Family. With the buyers premium, the buyer actually paid £730, 000 pounds, or roughly $1.25 million dollars, so the buyer has paid a 12.5% buyers premium on top of the sale price.
The other interesting thing about this particular car is the fact that there were only a handful of choices for colours at the time, so the custom black option that came directly from Ford just for the Princess does set it apart. Other than that, that model Ford Escort would typically command between £35, 000 to £55, 000 pounds depending on condition and specifications. The real value of the car in this instance is its ties to Princess Diana.”
While the Princess Of Wales may have been a big factor in the final sale price of her Ford Escort, there are a number of other things to consider when investing in a classic car. In fact, if you’re toying with the idea of doing so, then it’s never been more important to enlist the services of a seasoned industry veteran – but where do you find one?
Your Guide To Everything Classic Cars
Finding a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Classic’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world.
Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia.
Classic’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.