We took a closer look at the cars of Lady Diana, whose every item she used sold for record prices.
To date, no Royal member has been followed as much as Diana Spencer and has not continued to be talked about even years after her death. Lady Diana, who became a member of the British Royal Family after marrying Prince Charles, became known as the “People’s Princess” and became the greatest trendsetter of all time, following every step she took, every outfit she wore, her hair, her make-up, from head to toe, and setting trends. became one of them. We took a closer look at the cars used by Lady Diana, whose items sold for record prices at auctions.
Diana Spencer, who was attacked by the paparazzi as her flirtation with Prince Charles started to be talked about, hit the road with a blue Renault 5 as her first vehicle after getting her driver’s license. Simple-structured, single-door, without any of today’s basic equipment such as electric windows or power steering, the Renault 5 was the ideal city car for a young woman who had just gotten her driver’s license, with its very low fuel consumption, comfortable viewing angles and small dimensions.
Austin Mini Metro 1.0L: Charles’ gift
Diana Spencer’s first British car was an Austin Metro. Red in color, with license plate MPB 909W and with a 1-liter engine, the Austin Metro was a completely renewed, modern version of the legendary Mini, which hit the roads in 1959. Diana Spencer, who once again chose a single-door small hatchback, gave many more photos to the press with this car as her relationship with Prince Charles was reflected in the press. More precisely, the incredible press interest made Austin Metro famous. The Austin Mini Metro in question was purchased by Prince Charles for £3,495. The car given to Diana was sold in June 1981. The car, which changed hands for around £6,000 in the 1990s, is currently on display at the Coventry Transport Museum.
Ford Escort: Moving to the next class!
After her royal wedding with Prince Charles was watched by millions of people both on the streets of London and on television, Diana Spencer, who now had to drive a higher-end car and became known as Lady Diana or Princess Diana, was the first of the Ford Escort models that she would use extensively in the coming years. He got behind the wheel in 1981. The Ford Escort, with a gray 5-door hatchback body and Ghia equipment, was made available to Diana three months before the wedding ceremony, as a gift from Prince Charles. With the arrival of the new car, it was now necessary to add a symbol to the vehicle as a royal sign. In the personal cars of British Royal members, a small statue is usually placed near the front bonnet, symbolizing which royal member that car belongs to. Her older sister, Sarah, chose the figurine for Diana’s first car, which was included in the “Royal Family”. Sister Sarah, who found it appropriate to have a statue of a frog diving headfirst into the water, gave Diana such a statue as a gift because she loved swimming and compared herself to a frog when diving headfirst into the water. While this car changed hands for approximately 6,000 Pounds in 1982, with the birth of Prince William, it was sold to a museum in Chile for 52,640 Pounds at an auction in 2021.
Ford Escort Convertible: The opening roof created a safety concern!
Convertible, the coolest version of the Ford Escort in the 80s, which was among the British-made people’s cars, was Diana’s favorite for a while. This choice, which was effective in reinforcing the title of “People’s Princess”, was adopted by the public, even if it was a red Ford Escort 1.6i Convertible with an opening roof. However, for a Royal heir who was always accompanied by his bodyguard, it was a bit too exposed and posed security vulnerabilities. It was also immediately noticeable with its bright red color. Therefore, while many members of the Royal family drove Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin or Land Rover, Diana’s insistence on using the Ford Escort gave birth to a rare series: Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1!
Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1: Record holder with only 4 produced in black!
Princess Diana’s refusal to give up the Ford Escort led to the production of a very special model. The “Series 1” special edition of the compact 3-door hatchback model with RS Turbo extension was produced only in black for Princess Diana. All other models were white in color. Apart from being black, there was also a radio system in the glove compartment for Princess Diana’s protection. Diana, who preferred to drive her own cars, was caught on camera with this car on the streets of London for three years. In 2022, this special car, whose odometer had not yet reached 25 thousand miles, was auctioned for 100 thousand Pounds, and the final bid hit the hammer at 722,500 Pounds. Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1, for which approximately 35 thousand Pounds were paid for similar examples, passed to its new owner at a price of more than 800 percent above normal. This, in a sense, set a record for cars owned by a royal family member.
Jaguar XJ-SC Convertible (Targa): Finally a choice fit for royalty!
It was a good idea to offer Princess Diana a Jaguar so she could give up the Ford Escort. However, it was very difficult to decide which Jaguar it would be. The sporty Jaguar XJS, which started to hit the roads with its renewed version at that time, could be preferred as a Coupe or Convertible. It was also one of the best GT cars of its era with its magnificent V12 engine. The power that could cover long distances in a flash was a great design and too expensive for everyone to have. Princess Diana’s XJS was no ordinary XJS. It had both Coupe and Convertible features at the same time. The roof of this version, called the 1987 model Jaguar XJ-SC Convertible (Targa), could be opened, but the roof pillars provided protection from the sides up to the trunk. In this way, Diana’s request was met and the guards’ job was made easier. It was possible to travel for Princes William and Harry with two small seats placed in the back. Of course, the front left seat was for protection because Diana always drove her own cars.
Mercedes-Benz 500 SL: It caused a royal crisis!
When the calendar showed 1991, the climate between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was starting to change from a cold breeze to a storm. When Prince William started boarding school and Prince Harry was now the only one in the backseat, it was time for change. Wanting to vent her emotional problems, Diana replaced her British Racing Green Jaguar with a Metallic Red Mercedes-Benz 500 SL (R129) in December 1991. The fact that no one in the British Royal Family, except Princess Diana, had ever driven a non-British car, caused a crisis. The Palace even had to make a statement in the face of this situation. It was announced that the car, which had a price of around 130 thousand dollars at that time, was offered to Diana’s personal use through the leasing management, and that Jaguar models would be used for official occasions. As a result of pressure from the state and public institutions and domestic tension, 500 SL was returned in September 1992. This car in question continues to be exhibited next to the “Pope’s Car” in the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart.
Audi 80 Convertible:
The most photographed car of summer 1994 might be an Audi! Because Princess Diana was under constant surveillance by the paparazzi, as her separation from Prince Charles became more publicized in 1992. During this period, the green 1994 model Audi 80 Cabriolet 2.3E given to Diana by Dovercourt Audi brought with it criticism, as in the previous Mercedes incident. Diana, who came to the point of breaking ties with the palace and her husband, met her transportation needs with an open-top car, which was her choice as always. Sometimes we saw this Audi when teenage princes were traveling in the backseat, and sometimes when Diana was photographed leaving the gym. Diana returned this car after driving it for several months and 4 thousand miles. During this period, sales of Audi’s 80 Cabriolet model in the UK doubled. Although the car, which was sold for 47 thousand Pounds in 2014, was auctioned at 65 thousand Pounds in 2020, the desired price could not be achieved and it is expected to be on sale again.
BMW 3 Coupe and 5 Series Sedan: Their latest cars
Princess Diana and Prince Charles, who were allowed to divorce by the Queen after the interview in 1995, which started in 1992, were officially divorced on August 28, 1996. Many photographs of Lady Diana, who was seen with many BMW models during this period, while driving the BMW 3 Series Coupe, known as the E36 chassis, and the BMW 528i models, known as the E39 chassis, were reflected in the press. Diana Spencer, who was with Dodi Al Fayed in the last period of his life, traveled many times in his official vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz S Series, known as the W140 chassis. In the accident on August 30, 1997, they were traveling in the back seat of a 1994 model armored Mercedes-Benz S 280. After the accident, only Dodi Al Fayed’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, who was wearing a seat belt in the front right seat, survived.