A Ford Escort RS Turbo is a rare find these days, especially one in original condition. The car, originally designed to compete in Group N and Group A rally events, quickly became a cult hit amongst motoring enthusiasts due to its balance of performance and affordability. Ford only had to produce 5,000 units to meet Group A homologation requirements, but the demand was so high that they made 8,604 blue-oval beasts.
While many of these 8,604 units went to your average joe, a handful of high-profile figures couldn’t resist the rally-inspired package. From athletes to entertainers, celebrity Ford Escort RS Turbo owners are well documented — and perhaps the highest profile owner of them all was none other than the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Unlike the rest of the royal family, Diana insisted on driving her own cars (with a detective in the passenger seat). After the royal command deemed her 1.6i red Escort cabriolet to be “unsuitable,” the RS Turbo was the likely progression. At the time, you could only purchase the car in all-white, but the royal flex meant that Ford UK produced a stealthy, incognito, all-black version of the pocket rocket.
The car was initially sold (or returned) back to Ford in 1988 with 6,800 miles on the odometer; then, it was used as a promotional giveaway by a radio station in 1993, where it was won and driven by its new owner up to the 12,000-mile mark. In 2008, a Ford RS collecter managed to get his hands on the rare piece driving it to the well-maintained 24,961 miles it sits today.
Silverstone Auctions are now offering up the 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo formerly owned by Princess Diana for the first time since Kiss FM’s giveaway on Saturday, August 27th at 10:30 AM (BST).
Princess Diana’s Ford Escort RS Turbo Specifications
- Lot Number: 491
- Make: FORD
- Model: ESCORT RS TURBO S1
- Registration Number: C462 FHKMOT
- Expiry: 06/07/2023
- Chassis Number: WF0BXXGCABFA81486
- Engine Number: FA81486
- Body Colour: Black