LONDON: Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, a Ford Escort driven by the late royal has sold at auction for US$764,000 (RM3.4mil).
Princess Diana could often be seen driving the 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo between 1985 and 1988 and the car, retrofitted for security purposes, was often spotted around London or outside the boutiques of Chelsea and the restaurants of Kensington.
The young princes William and Harry were frequently in the back seat, with a plain-clothes detective on board for security reasons.
The three-door, 130-horsepower car is the definitive hot hatch, although its stealthy black paint with a blue pinstripe sets it apart from its sporty brethren. Regular go-faster RS Escorts came in all-white only.
The Escort RS Turbo – which sold for a total of just under US$850,000 (RM3.8mil) with fees – broke the record for the most car of its kind sold at auction.
Ford’s Special Vehicle Engineering department was tasked to paint the car and it fitted a regular five-slat front grille to assist in the stealth makeover.
The Escort also had a secondary rear view mirror for the protection officer with a radio in the glove box, the cable for which is still visible today.
The car was returned to Ford in May 1988 with some 10,943km on the odometer and it has still covered only 40,170km from new.
Diana, Princess of Wales, died from the injuries sustained in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, France, in the early hours of Aug 31, 1997.