Princess Diana’s Ford Escort sells for more than $760,000 at auction

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A souped-up variation of a well-known ’80s family auto that when belonged to Princess Diana has bought for nearly $764,000 at auction, a record for the product, after a bidding war broke out concerning British and abroad collectors.

Diana drove the black 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo for practically 3 many years and was frequently pictured employing it on journeys to the posh London shopping strips of Chelsea and Kensington.

“This is a small moment of record, females and gentlemen,” the auctioneer explained as he commenced the bidding at 100,000 pounds ($117,000) — a beginning determine that currently eclipsed the preceding file for a related automobile, in white, marketed previous yr. The ultimate rate, which includes a 12.5 per cent buyer’s top quality, was extra than $850,000.

Princess Diana died 25 a long time in the past but endures as a role product for women of all ages

The sale came just times just before the 25th anniversary of a motor vehicle crash in Paris that killed Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. She was not driving the wheel of that car — a Mercedes-Benz S-280 — when it crashed at higher pace early on Aug. 31, 1997.

The princess, and memorabilia marking her everyday living, retains enduring general public charm long right after her demise. Final 12 months, a slice of cake from her royal marriage to Prince Charles — 40 several years outdated, and likely not in shape for consumption — went underneath the hammer in another auction, going for about $2,000.

Individuals in attendance at Saturday’s auction certainly appeared keen to hold a slice of U.K. heritage and a memento to the “People’s Princess,” cheering as bids emerged from Coventry and Cheshire, and booing when the guide bids shifted overseas.

“This is heading to be like the Elgin marbles. It will have an embargo on getting sent abroad,” the auctioneer quipped, referring to a collection of 2,500-year-old sculptures that are the matter of a person of the longest cultural disputes in Europe. (About the a long time, lots of have tried to persuade the British Museum to return them to Greece.)

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Traditional vehicle values have soared in new yrs as folks cooped up through the coronavirus pandemic poured their wanderlust into other ventures these types of as cars, authentic estate and art.

Diana’s auto was finally sold to a customer in a bucolic Cheshire village, just south of Manchester, that is favored by British Leading League soccer gamers.

The auctioneer explained the auto as an “immaculate example” of the Ford Escort, which was just one of the greatest-selling autos of the 1980s in Britain. Recognized as the “people’s sports vehicle,” it ranged from basic to totally souped-up activity editions.

It was a scarce black model of the auto, seemingly ordered at the ask for of palace protection officials who desired Diana to drive a extra discreet automobile. She most popular to push herself, with a bodyguard riding in the passenger seat.

Also on sale Saturday was a 1973 black Rover P5 employed to travel Margaret Thatcher to Buckingham Palace ahead of her appointment as Britain’s very first woman key minister and a 2015 Land Rover Defender that showcased in the 2015 James Bond movie “Spectre.”

The Escort was just one of a number of environment car product sales data damaged Saturday, the auction household claimed. Even the auctioneer appeared surprised as the bidding escalated: “550,000 lbs . on the Ford Escort. I’ve by no means claimed that just before.”

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