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Princess Diana’s Ford Escort sold at auction

A 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo has this week sold at auction for an astonishing total of £722,500.

SOURCE: Top Gear

But why is this vehicle so expensive? It was owned and driven by none other than the late Princess Diana.

In its day, the Ford Escort was very much considered the people’s car, so it makes sense that the people’s princess should have driven one.

This model that sold at auction for £722,500 was ordered and made specifically for Princess Diana, and modified to be black in colour, whereas the majority of RS Turbo series vehicles were white.

Amazingly, this mega-expensive motor does not even breach the top 100 most expensive vehicles sold at auction.

So, with this in mind, the team at Select Car Leasing has revealed the most expensive vehicles ever to be sold under the hammer.

1. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR - £116.7 million (2022)


Earlier this year, an extremely rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction in Stuttgart, Germany for a record-breaking €135 million, which is roughly equivalent to £116.7 million.

The Mercedes-Benz Group AG, which had owned the car since the time it had been built, said it planned to use the money to launch a fund for scholarships in environmental science.

The vehicle, which is named after the car’s chief engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, was one of only two ever manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. It was described by one expert as “the Mona Lisa of the car world”.

2. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO - £48.4 million (2018)


The previous record-holder of the most expensive vehicle ever sold at auction was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California in 2018 for the equivalent of £48.4 million.

This vehicle had long been considered the “holy grail of the collector car world” and at the time of its sale, smashed the world record for the most expensive vehicle by more than £10 million.

3. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO - £37.7 million (2014)


The third-most expensive ever vehicle to be sold at auction is also a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, demonstrating just how sought after this vehicle is.

This particular model was sold in 2014 at a Bonhams auction in Carmel, California for the equivalent of £37.7 million. There were just 36 of these vehicles produced by Ferrari between the years 1962 and 1964.

The ‘250’ in this vehicle’s name refers to the displacement in cubic centimetres of each of its cylinders, and the GTO stands for ‘Gran Turismo Omologato’, which is Italian for ‘Grand Touring Homologated’.

4. 1957 Ferrari 335 S - £34.8 million (2016)


The fourth-most expensive vehicle ever sold at auction failed to break the world record at the time of its sale after selling for the equivalent of £34.8 million at an Artcurial auction in Paris, France.

This very rare vehicle was one of only four ever made by Italian sports car manufacturer, Ferrari. The car was built as a direct response to the Maserati 450 S and painted in a signature red colour.

5. 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 - £29.7 million (2013)


The battle for the crown of the most expensive vehicle ever sold has been hotly contested between Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari for the past decade.

Before 2022, the last time that Mercedes-Benz broke that record was in 2013 with the £29.7 million sale of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 at a Bonhams auction in Goodwood, UK.

This vehicle was particularly famous for being a Formula One racing car, one that debuted at the 1954 French Grand Prix. It was driven by such notable drivers as Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024