Aug. 27 (UPI) — A car driven by Princess Diana, who died nearly 25 years ago, sold at auction Saturday for more than $760,000.
Diana, the Princess of Wales, was photographed with the 1985 black Ford Escort RS Turbo outside the shops of Chelsea and in Kensington.
The car, bearing the registration C462FHK and just 24,961 miles on the odometer, was sold by Silverstone Auctions for £650,000, around $763,000, after bidding started at around $117,000.
Diana’s car eventually sold to a buyer in Cheshire after a spirited bidding war between hopeful buyers in Dubai and Coventry that elicited cheers from the crowd.
“In of itself, it is an immaculate example of an RS Turbo,” auctioneer Johnathan Humbert said during the auction.
“But the fact that it has the added massive providence of having been ordered and specified by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, gives it a huge — a huge, indeterminate amount of added value. It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of this car.”
Humbert said that the car, which he described as a “piece of history,” received the largest number of phone bids of any lot in the last 12 years.
“It’s £550,000 on the Ford Escort. I’ve never said that before,” Humbert quipped during the auction.
In a press release ahead of the auction, Silverstone Auctions said that Diana’s choice of personal cars in the early 1980s “reflected her modest status as a nursery school teacher.”
“Princess Diana far preferred to be at the wheel of her own car, albeit with a detective in the passenger seat, a member of The Royalty Protection Command,” the press release reads.”
Princess Diana was a city girl at heart and nipping to the shops or meeting girlfriends for lunch, at the wheel of her own car was perhaps seen as a break away from the police outriders flanking an armored Rolls-Royce, and the attention it drew.”
Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed died on Aug. 31, 1997, while fleeing from aggressive paparazzi trying to snap their picture in a Mercedes S280 driven by Henri Paul, acting head of security at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.