Princess Diana’s unique 1985 black Ford Escort expected to sell for £100,000

Diana with the Ford Escort in 1987 (Brendan Beirne/Shutterstock)
Diana with the Ford Escort in 1987 (Brendan Beirne/Shutterstock)

The Princess of Wales’ iconic black 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1 will be up for sale at the end of this month.

The car, which is the first and only black RS Turbo Series 1, will be auctioned by Silverstone Auction house on 27 August, days before the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.

The vehicle is the last Ford Escort to be owned by the royal and has driven less than 25,000 miles.

In a statement to The Independent, a spokesperson for Silverstone Auctions said they expect the car to sell for upwards of £100,000.

“Due to the significant international interest in this car, coupled with the fact it is a one off – the only black turbo out of 6,000 white cars – I suspect the price to start at £100,000 and may very well set a new world record for this type of Ford,” the spokesperson said.

“What is so interesting is that Princess Diana chose the people’s sports car. It would be the equivalent today for the Duchess of Cambridge to drive around in a Ford hatchback, like a Ford Focus.”

It is believed that Diana was supposed to acquire a Forst Escort 1.6i Cabriolet in red but it was deemed unsuitable by the Royalty Protection Command SO14, who are responsible for protecting members of the royal family.

This is because the canvas roof of the car was considered to offer little privacy and protection.

Diana died in 1997 (AFP via Getty Images)
Diana died in 1997 (AFP via Getty Images)

After being encouraged to purchase a stealthier car, a special black version of the RS Turbo – which only came in white – was made for Diana.

The car was customed to include a secondary rear view mirror for the protection officer and a radio in the glove box, the “cable for which is still visible today”, the auction house said.

Diana was often photographed out and about in the car in Chelsea and Kensington, after acquiring the car in 1985. In one photograph, Prince William was seen sitting in the backseat while Diana smiled at the wheel.