Advertised without a reserve price, the one-of-a-kind 1985 Ford Hot Hatch could reset the auction record for cars owned by Princess Di.
A 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo Princess Diana’s estate will be auctioned later this month in the UK.
Released by Silverstone Auctions with no reserve price, the third generation 1985 Escort RS Turbo is one of approximately 8,600 ‘Series 1’ models built by Ford, and was delivered new to Princess of Wales in August 1985.
While the Princess originally had her eye on a red convertible Escort to replace the Ghia, SO14 Royal Protection Command didn’t think the car’s canvas roof offered much privacy or protection.
As an alternative, Princess Diana insisted on Ford’s latest hot hatch: the Escort Turbo RS.
The hatchback’s 1.6-litre turbocharged engine produced 97kW when new, with power being sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
However, to divert attention from the Escort, Ford created a unique example specifically for the Princess. Ford painted the RS Turbo black instead of the white of all other 1 Series examples.
In addition to this, the Escort was fitted with a five-slat grille from a lower grade variant instead of the RS Turbo’s three-slat grille.
A secondary rearview mirror and radio were installed in the glove box, both of which were used by the protection officer accompanying the Princess.
The Princess returned the Escort to Ford in May 1988, having driven around 6,800 miles (11,000 kilometres) with the RS Turbo used primarily as a London mobile vehicle.
Sold internally to a Ford manager, the Escort RS Turbo was used as a promotional giveaway car by a UK radio station. Kiss FM in September 1993.
The competition winner then sold it in November 1994 to a Mr Windsor, not a real one, who owned the Escort until 2008, selling the RS Turbo to its current owner.
The Escort, due to be auctioned on August 27, could break the auction record for a car owned by the late Princess, currently held by a 1994 Audi 80 convertible that sold for £58,000 (AU$102,000) in March. of 2020.