Calling all Princess Diana fans: an iconic piece of her memorabilia is up for auction now, and it can be yours — if your pockets are royally deep. As People reports, the late princess’ light silver 1981 Ford Escort Ghia is for sale, and it comes with a bit of romantic history. The car was given to her by Prince Charles in 1981 as an engagement gift, and she drove it for a year into their marriage before it came into the collection of a private owner.
It’s been kept in pristine condition since it was driven by Diana. The private owner stored it in “a dry barn or garage,” said Lewis Rabett to People, whose firm Reeman Dansie is organizing the auction. He noted that, in the 1980s, Escorts didn’t have the same anti-rust technology that is commonplace on vehicles now, and many of them have long since rusted away. Diana’s Escort was expertly protected from rust and environmental degradation, making it a marvel of modern car crafting in addition to its royal history.
As for wear and tear, she put 83,000 miles on the vehicle, which is passable mileage as far as used cars go. The owner didn’t change the dark gray upholstery, upgrade the transmission, radio system, or license plate. “Nobody has changed it and fitted a super modern thing, so it's just as Diana would have driven it,” said Rabett. “I've driven the car myself and it's a lovely step back in time.”
The bidding for the Escort is expected to reach up to $55,000 — not including any costs associated with getting back into perfect driving condition, should the new buyer wish to sit in Diana’s driver-side seat. The auction takes place on June 29.