Somebody Please Purchase Me Princess Diana’s Superior Ford Escort RS Turbo

There are plenty of causes to throw across the phrase “iconic” when speaking concerning the late Princess Diana, from her style and activism to the scandals and drama that surrounded her life and loss of life. However she was additionally a legit automobile fanatic, preferring to drive herself round somewhat than be chauffeured, a lot to the chagrin of the royal household’s safety element. Diana owned a slew of superior automobiles, and one of many coolest goes up for public sale later this month: her 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo Collection 1.

This was the third Escort that Diana owned, following a modest, silver Escort Ghia that was an engagement present and a crimson Escort 1.6i Cabriolet that was deemed unsafe to drive by the Royal Safety Command — the convertible roof did not supply sufficient privateness or safety. After being pushed to get a stealthier automobile, Diana apparently insisted on the then-new Escort RS Turbo mannequin. Constructed for homologation in Group A racing, this efficiency trim featured a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower, chassis upgrades, Recaro seats and a few rad styling mods.

Diana incessantly used this sizzling hatch.


Tim Graham/Getty Pictures

Diana’s Escort was specifically modified on the suggestion of Ford’s PR crew. Whereas almost each single one of many RS Turbo’s 8,604-unit manufacturing run was painted in white, Diana’s was completed in a stealthier black paint job, although it retained the RS Turbo’s blue racing stripes. It was additionally fitted with a five-slat grille as a substitute of the RS Turbo’s sportier single-slat grille, and it acquired a second rear-view mirror to be used by the safety officer that might sometimes experience together with the Princess as a passenger. 

The princess drove this Escort from August 1985 by means of Could 1988, utilizing it to scoot round London’s Chelsea neighborhood and transport her younger children round. In later years she gained a passion for luxurious automobiles, proudly owning automobiles like a Jaguar XJS, an Audi 80 Cabriolet and a number of BMWs together with an E36 3 Collection and an E39 5 Collection. (She by no means owned a Porsche 911, although, regardless of its look within the film Spencer.) My private favourite of Diana’s automobiles is her maroon Mercedes-Benz 500SL — I am a fellow R129 proprietor — which is now on show within the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart. She was principally compelled to surrender the SL in 1992 after the lease was over, because the royal household did not like that she was driving an costly German-made automobile, particularly throughout a recession.

It is in excellent situation.


Silverstone Auctions

After Diana was by means of with the Escort, it was returned to Ford and given a brand new registration and license plate. It was then bought for round $3,200 to a supervisor at Ford for his spouse’s use, and in 1993 the automobile was utilized in a promotional giveaway by Kiss FM. A person named Mr. Windsor then acquired the Escort in 1994, and he owned it till 2008 when it was purchased by a distinguished Ford RS collector.

Now in glorious concours-ready situation and with simply 24,961 miles on the odometer, Diana’s Escort goes up on the market by means of Silverstone Auctions on Aug. 27, and will probably be supplied with no reserve. Silverstone Auctions expects the Escort to go for over $100,000 — Ford RS fashions are already extraordinarily collectible and extremely valued, and that is possibly one of the best identified of all of them. Diana’s first Escort bought at public sale for $63,000 final summer time, and her 1994 Audi 80 Cabriolet went for almost $66,000 in 2016. When you’re wealthy and studying this, you can purchase it for me.

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