A unique black Ford Escort driven by the late Princess Diana in the 1980s is to be auctioned this weekend at Britain’s Silverstone race track.
One of 130 lots up for sale on Saturday, the RS Turbo Series 1 Escort was owned by Diane between 1985 and 1988. It is believed to be the only example of the model made in black, according to Silverstone Auctions, who expect it to be sold. over 100,000 pounds ($118,000).
The RS Turbo Series 1 was normally produced in white, but the Royal Family’s police bodyguard requested that Diana be painted black “for consideration”, the auctioneers said.
For the princess to drive the car, which has around 25,000 miles (40,000 km) on the clock, it was “a very bold choice,” Arvel Richards, a classic car specialist at Silverstone Auctions, told Reuters.
“All the rest of the royal family will be driving around London in the back of a … official car … and she’s driving in a car … that you see on an estate, not outside the palace.”
Next week marks 25 years since Diana died aged 36 when the limousine she was a passenger in crashed in a Paris tunnel as it drove away from paparazzi chasing her on motorbikes.
Other lots in the auction, which runs alongside the Classic – a three-day motor racing festival at the Northamptonshire circuit – include a Rolls-Royce convertible once owned by Bee Gee’s Maurice Gibb.
The singer, who died in 2003, bought a black 1973 Corniche in 1979. The car, decorated with a red leather interior, remained in the family until 2012. Its estimated list price is £100,000 – £115,000.
Also going under the hammer is a 1973 Rover P5 used to drive former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during her election in 1979 to meet Queen Elizabeth, estimate £35,000 – £45,000.
A 1988 Volkswagen T25 Caravelle GL 112 minibus used to transport the late British physicist Stephen Hawking is being offered with no reserve price. ($1 = £0.8459)