Recently, a Bentley formerly owned by the Queen failed to sell at auction – possibly due in part to its massive estimate of £180,000. But customers on a tighter budget who still fancy a slice of royal automobilia should head to Brooklands this weekend, where an Audi 80 Cabriolet formerly driven by Princess Diana is going up for sale.
The car will be auctioned by Historics at Brooklands, an auction house specialising in classic and rare cars. It carries an estimate of £14,000-£18,000 – well above the average asking price for an Audi Cabriolet of this vintage.
Although the car was driven by Princess Diana, it was never her own vehicle. Instead, it was loaned to her by Dovercourt Audi. The current owner bought it in 2004 and used it as their main transport until 2009, though it's been off the road since then.
As you might expect for a bona fide Royal transport, it's not a basic, entry-level model. Back in 1994 this would have been the height of luxury in Audi's range, with a 2.6-litre V6 engine, leather upholstery, wood-veneer dashboard and built-in carphone. Snazzy!
With 150,000 miles on the clock, it doesn't appear to be in particularly exceptional condition. The ad notes that the electric folding roof is non-operational, while there is visible cracking and marks on the white leather upholstery.
However, it's not short of provenance, and numerous press images feature Diana stepping into and out of the car. The vehicle's sale notes say Diana's choice of an Audi Cabriolet "... would well have been due to the car's understated elegance combined with a powerful engine".