Princess Diana’s custom Ford Escort RS hot hatchback is being auctioned
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Princess Diana was not just a blue blood, she was a blue oval fan.
The Royal enjoyed doing the driving herself and had a pinchant for Fords, and not just the fancy ones.
Prince Charles famously gifted her a Ford Escort Ghia economy car as an engagement present in 1981, and she had several more examples of the model over the years, including a convertible and one that was a bit more exciting than the rest.
In 1985, Diana ordered a Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1, which was the hottest version of the hatchback available.
The RS featured a five-speed manual transmission, sporty Recaro bucket seats, a racy body kit and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 130 hp, which was considered quite potent in the day. The low-volume model was designed to homologate the Escort for use in rally racing.
Ford further customized the car for her by swapping its grille for one from the standard Escort that had a more low-key style and painting the car black, while all the other 1985 Escort RS Turbo series 1 cars were white.
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It is believed to be the only one built at the factory in that color, and was also updated with wiring for a two-way radio in the glove compartment for the security detail that traveled with her.
Diana was often seen driving it around with her children onboard and kept it until 1988, when she returned it to Ford with around 6,800 miles on the odometer.
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It was then sold to a Ford employee and later given away as part of a radio contest. Its current owner purchased it in 1994 and the mileage is now at 24,961, but someone new will be able to add to that total soon.
The car is set to be offered by Silverstone Auctions at its upcoming event in England on August 27. While the Ghia was sold for 47,000 pounds last year, the auction house expects the RS to go for over 100,000 pounds, or about $122,000.
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The current record sale for a 1985 Escort RS Turbo stands at 60,000 pounds in 2015, which was the equivalent of $130,000 at the time. That car was a standard white model that had been driven just 5,568 miles.