This was about $30,000 more than the $41,500 to $55,400 price range that the auctioneer had suggested the 1981 Ford Escort Ghia would fetch. The seller, who remains unnamed, is a woman who admired Diana and the car's royal history was one of her well-kept secrets.
History of Princess Diana’s 1981 Ford Escort Ghia
Princess Diana was without a doubt a princess of the people. Her friendliness and charisma greatly endeared her to the public.
The modest Escort, which Prince Charles gifted her two months before their wedding, was one she drove a lot until August 1982. There are numerous photos of her driving it and even one of her sitting in the car watching the Prince play polo.
The auctioneer said that the princess used the car during her "early and happiest part of her relationship with the Prince of Wales." The car was sold with its original registration number, WEV 297W, paintwork, and
Diana only drove the car for about a year, and she stopped using it in 1982. The auctioneers, Essex-based Reeman Dansie, did not reveal the identity of the previous owner.
However, they did say the seller was a woman who was a great admirer of Diana. The anonymous seller drove the Escort sparingly and kept its royal roots a secret even from her close friends.
Its auction price means that it was sold for ten times its current value. A similar Ford Escort without the royal connection goes for 4,700 pounds or $6,500.
The Ford Escort comes with a leaping frog mascot
The Ford Escort comes with a silver frog hood ornament which is a replica of a gift from Sarah Spencer, Diana’s eldest sister. Reeman Dansie said the gift was to remind Diana of "the fairy tale about a beautiful girl who turns a frog into a prince with her kiss."
The Princess of Wales transferred the original ornament to her new car after she stopped using the Escort. This isn’t the first time a vehicle that has been driven by Diana fetched an impressive price. Just last year, another one of her cars, an Audi, was auctioned for 58,000 pounds, which is around $80,300.
Jane Lu is excited about writing and digital media. She has published blog posts for SAP’s Digitalist Magazine with a focus on emerging technology and trends. When she’s not writing about car insurance or upcoming vehicles, you can find her drawing on a graphics tablet or trying to find new places with good french fries.