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Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo just sold for 1.1 million

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Daniel Rufiange
Vehicles that belonged to public figures have value. Sometimes it's beyond belief, as we saw with the sale of this Ford Escort.

Last Thursday, we showed you the 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo that belonged to Princess Diana. The car, which she owned from 1985 to 1988, was auctioned off. On Saturday, it was sold for a hefty price: $1.1 million to be exact when converted to Canadian currency.

That price, as Bloomberg reports, is 10 times higher than an identical model sold at auction last year. The value placed on the vehicle that changed hands last weekend was only possible because of one thing: its provenance.

Yet another Ford Escort owned by Lady Di, a 1981 Ghia sedan, was offered to the highest bidders last year. The sale price of $65,000 USD was high, but nothing as crazy as what was seen this weekend, although the RS Turbo version is more desirable for any collector.

What is clear is that more than ever, Lady Di remains very present and appreciated in the collective memory, even 25 years after her death on August 31st, 1997.

Let's remember that this Ford Escort was Lady Di's third car. Its purchase had been strongly encouraged by the royal security service, because it was more discreet than the one it replaced, a red convertible (version 1.6i), a version that made it more vulnerable too. And what also added to the appeal of the car sold was that Ford had offered to paint this RS Turbo version in black, which adds to the uniqueness of the model today. Until then, all the RS Turbo sold had been white.

The RS Turbo version of the Ford Escort was the most powerful of the third generation of the model. As the name suggests, it added a turbocharger to the 1.6L inline-4 used in the previous XR3, XR3i and RS 1600i models. It was rated at 130 hp. The model sold had only 24,961 miles of wear and tear.

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Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists