A Ferrari belonging to actor Hugh Grant and a Ford Escort once owned by Princess Diana are both going on sale.
Classic car enthusiasts and petrol heads with a spare few thousand in the bank could drive away in either unique vehicle this month.
The Ferrari California, which was bought by the British actor as a 50th birthday present to himself in 2012, is being advertised through car selling site Auto Trader for £79, 950. It has 27,000 miles on the clock and reportedly cost the Notting Hill star £143,000 from new.
While the 1981 Ford Escort silver 1.6L Ghia saloon, which was an engagement present to Diana from Princess Charles, is going to auction on June 29 where it is expected to fetch between £30,000 and £40,000.
The Escort is not the only car with royal connections to have gone to auction in the past few weeks. – a Rolls-Royce once owned by Princess Margaret was listed for sale at the end of May.
The 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II belonged to The Queen’s sister for 22 years and carried many distinguished passengers while she was its owner, including the Queen and former US president Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy.
But it seems you don’t always need to head for a car auction to own wheels with Royal connections.
The Audi RS6 owned by Prince Harry for a year – who used the car to drive then-girlfriend Meghan Markle to his sister-in-law Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception in May 2017 in one of their earliest public appearances – was also advertised through Auto Trader in 2018.
It was perhaps just one of a few journeys the car undertook as it was sold with less than 4,500 miles on the clock and a price tag of £71,900, which included £11,000 of hand-picked extras such as privacy glass, heated front and rear seats and a panoramic sunroof.
Auto Trader’s Rory Reid said cars can go for a ‘premium’ if they’ve a celebrity connection.
He explained: “Auto Trader has a long tradition of advertising the cars of the rich and famous, and usually they have a premium attached to them because of the celebrity ownership.”
Referring to Hugh Grant’s Ferrari currently for sale on the website, he added: “This one bucks the trend though and is less costly than other Ferrari Californias.
“You could even go as far to say this is a bit of a steal.”
The convertible, which can reach speeds of up to 193 mph, is not the first celebrity-owned car Auto Trader has advertised on its site this year.
In March former Manchester United captain Roy Keane’s 1998 Aston Martin DB7 appeared for £29,500, along with a 1999 Man United football shirt signed by the whole squad.
Roy Keane bought this custom-painted gold car to celebrate Man United’s treble win in 1999. And if you were an autograph hunter alongside a football fan and car enthusiast – the DB7 also came with a signed letter from the footballer confirming there was no damage caused to the vehicle during his ownership.
Fellow team mate David Beckham’s Aston Martin also appeared on Auto Trader last year but with a price tag far heftier than that of Roy Keane’s.
The vintage Aston Martin AMV8 Volante – in deep red with cream leather interiors and deep pile carpets – was advertised for a cool £445,000. It was a price pushed up not just by its former celebrity owner but also because of the car’s highly desirable X Pack engine. The car was in pristine condition and had been on display at the London Classic Car show just before lockdown.
But selling on Auto Trader for a relatively similar price to Hugh Grant’s Ferarri last year was a Ferrari belonging to legendary blues guitarist Eric Clapton.
Renowned for his classic car collection – after his music career of course – it was the second of his cars to be doing the rounds on the online selling site. His Lamborghini Superleggera was the first to be snapped up for a rumoured £125,000 with the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1 added to the selling site for £89,900 in 2020.
Fellow musician Madonna was so attached to one of her cars that she dedicated song lyrics to it in her 2003 hit American Life. The 2002 Mini Cooper S Hatch was bought by the singer when living in London with then husband Guy Ritchie and their family.
The single, which went to number two in the UK and topped the US charts, included the line: ‘I drive my Mini Cooper, and I’m feeling super-duper, yo they tell me I’m a trooper, and you know I’m satisfied’.
But after falling out of love with Richie and consequently life in the UK, the car – with 25,000 miles on the clock – appeared for sale on Auto Trader in 2018 for £55,000. It had reportedly first gone to auction in 2016 but the car’s former insurance details and V5 logbook – both of which were available with the vehicle – listed both Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s names.
Unsurprisingly the Mini carried a higher price tag because of its former celebrity owner – perhaps seen as an important piece of pop memorabilia after Madonna L Ciccone placed the order for the 1.6-litre petrol car in October 2002.
By all accounts the Mini plant in Oxford knew exactly who its A-list customer was at the time and all the plant workers signed inside the bodyshell under the bonnet before it left the production line. Like many of the cars once owned by celebrities this too included a few optional extras not routinely available on an ordinary Mini, including privacy glass.