The 1981 Ford Escort Ghia Saloon of Princess Diana will go under the hammer in Colchester, England on June 29, 2021.
Prince Charles gave the car to the late princess as an engagement gift, two months before their wedding in July 1981. The 40-year-old vehicle was well-preserved, with its original paintwork and upholstery still intact. “Nobody has changed it and fitted a super modern thing, so it’s just as Diana would have driven it,” auctioneer Lewis Rabett said.
Kept it a secret
Princess Diana used the car for over a year, just until after the birth of her firstborn, Prince William. In 1995, it was sold to an antiques dealer, then later on purchased by its current owner, Tina Kirkpatrick in the year 2000. Tina, who is a fan of the princess, maintained the car and kept details about it secret.
“I knew when I bought it that it once belonged to Princess Diana, that is why I wanted it. I was a big fan of hers,” she told The Times.
“I have driven it around as a second car ever since. A lot of people ask me why I had it and I used to tell them that it was the first car I passed my test in and that I was attached to it. I felt that its history and provenance were so unique and I didn’t want many people knowing,” she added.
In good condition
Lewis Rabett from Reeman Dansie auctioneers said that the bidding price could go up to $55,000, considering the condition of the car. “This is really nice because keeping it stored in a dry barn or garage has kept it in a really nice condition,” he told People Magazine.
“Escorts of that age weren’t like modern cars with really good galvanizing and rust proofing, so a lot of them have just rusted away. Now, 40 years later, you don’t tend to find Escorts at all, let alone ones with the provenance of this car.”
The silver car still has its original license plate, 1980s Ford radio, and silver frog mascot on the hood. The latter is a copy of the wedding gift Princess Diana received from her sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, to serve as a reminder of the “fairy tale of a beautiful girl whose kiss turns a frog into a prince.”