While it isn't that uncommon to see cars belonging to celebrities and dignitaries roll across the auction block these days, this car is a little extra special. This particular 1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was the car that Prince Charles and Princess Diana arrived at the White House in during a visit in 1985. As some added trivia, this was also the visit where Princess Di cut a rug with none other than John Travolta.

Volo Auto Museum will be auctioning off this piece of American and British history on November 9th – exactly 27 years from Princess Di's White House visit. According to the auction listing, this armored Silver Shadow was the official car of the UK's embassy, and it has been valued at around $2 million by the Berman Museum of History. The auction will have no reserve with some of the proceeds going to the Children with Cancer UK charity that Princess Diana started in 1988.

Scroll down for more information about this car and its auction as well as a video showing Prince Charles and Princess Diana arriving at the White House in the car back in 1985.


Show full PR text
No-reserve auction to feature Princess Di's first official U.S. Ride – 1979 embassy-owned, armored Rolls valued at $2 million by Berman Museum of History

Volo, IL - October 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/
- Get in on the excitement as the Volo Auto Museum hosts an online, no-reserve auction on Nov. 9th featuring the heavily armored Rolls Royce that carried Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles during the princess' first-ever visit to the U.S. in November 1985.

This Rolls Royce is thoroughly documented to be the United Kingdom's official embassy car, specifically retrofitted for use of the Royal Family and other UK dignitaries of the highest order.

The car is all-original except for a gorgeous, new paint job. Gleaming silver with a red leather interior, it features a 600-pound, inches-thick windshield and nearly equally hefty rear window. Side windows, also bullet-proof, are sealed against possible toxic gas exposure, and the exterior trim is fitted with intercoms.

Documents show in excess of $200,000 was spent armoring the Silver Wraith II, and the process took three years.

But the most exceptional document is the diplomatic logbook, in which entries show it was used during the princess' introduction to the United States. In fact, videotape footage has been discovered showing the statuesque princess and Prince Charles in the car approaching the White House, where they met then-President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.

"One of Jay's customers called and told Jay about the car," Volo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams said, speaking of his brother, Jay. "An associate of the Berman Museum of History, which valued the car at $2 million, had purchased it from Berman."

"We just thought it was an armor-plated Rolls Royce that had been embassy-owned," he continued. "But after digging through the documents and doing some research, we figured out what the car really was."

In conjunction with the 27th anniversary of Princess Diana's first visit, the museum will offer this exquisite car and fantastic embodiment of history to the highest bidder. In honor of Princess Diana, a portion of the sale of the car will be donated to CHILDREN with CANCER UK, Britain's leading children's charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer, which the Princess inaugurated in 1988.

CHILDREN with CANCER UK funds life-saving research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer and works to protect young lives through essential welfare and campaigning programmes.

Other cars featured in this Nov. 9th eBay auction will include Jon Bon Jovi's personal BMW, the last car ever owned by Groucho Marx, and others. Full details are available by calling (815) 385-3644. Or visit volocars.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      critterkitty13
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its for Charity isnt that still a nice thing? geez
      Phil Collins
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Late Princess is England's version of the Late Senator Robert Kennedy who after his brother John's Tragic Death began to change and wanted to help America's poor and disenfranchised. Ted said of Robert at his funeral "My Brother was a kind and decent man who saw War and tried to stop it, saw wrong and tried to right it, saw sickness and tried to heal it" Two Great but very different people who both tried to make a difference in the lives of the little folks.
      Kathy Westbrook Huck
      • 2 Years Ago
      FLASHBACK~ I was watching the early morning news live on CNN the night Princess Di was killed. It was as if it happened before my very eyes. I was dumb-struck, not believing what I was seeing live on TV, sitting on my couch at 3AM. I worshipped Princess Di~ she was my Hero...and then she was dead. No words can describe how one feels about a person they never met that was such a HUGE influence on their life. I would need at least an hour to tell you how much Princess Di influenced my life. As for this car on acutioned for charity, I'm glad that this auction has once again brought Princess Diana's name to light.
        Kathy Westbrook Huck
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kathy Westbrook Huck
        When I said I worshipped Princess Di and that she was my Hero, I meant it. I was working with AIDS patients in Hospice care at the time, and so was Diana, and we were BOTH compassionate women. Princess Di showed all of us that compassion is far-reaching if we will just reach out. She was awesome beyond her time and I'd like to think that she fulfilled her legacy with people like me.
      mr SAM TREESH
      • 2 Years Ago
      princess di,, who were the men she picked up with and some indian or arab guy she was going with ?? and she was no differant then just any other woman ,, if you saw a picture of her that was not planed , she was not good looking skinney body and bad looking legs with big feet ,,, what did she do besides pop two kids for charley then left him to his real ugly woman he then married,, other than that , what real good was she ?? ok a few charitys and what else?
        iwantarizona
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mr SAM TREESH
        You are an ass!
        shelleyaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mr SAM TREESH
        YOU ARE A TOTAL IDIOT!!!!
        shelleyaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mr SAM TREESH
        THE SAD PART IS, PEOPLE LIKE HER HAVE PASSED BUT A**HOLES LIKE YOU ARE STILL HANGING AROUND. WHAT GOOD HAVE YOU OR DO YOU DO FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN RUN YOUR MOUTH.
      ThinkAboutIt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait a minute. A rented car that a couple of royals took one trip in is somehow transformed into the "princess Diana Rolls Royce"? When it comes to star premium at the auction house, this is really stretching ... this is nothing more than a clean old Rolls. If it's really worth more, just think how many valuable NYC cabs there are out there today because someone famous once brushed their rump across the back seat of a hired car. There could be millions of 'em ...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ThinkAboutIt
        [blocked]
      mr SAM TREESH
      • 2 Years Ago
      ok i bid 5000$$ for the old 1979 car to take my dobe dogs rides in as i dont get my seats messed up in my truck,,, but only if they pay for shipping
        abrath8793
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mr SAM TREESH
        Obviously...you made funny !!...Sad to say even your $5,000 bid wouldn't pay the shipping to the US. I would rather have a 1969 Silver Shadow. I think they're trying too hard too bring their design into the 21st century.A classic is called that for good reason. You knew it even from a 1/2 mile.If it's not broken...don't fix it !!
      tbird57w
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks more elegant than the current brick--imo
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Jay
      • 2 Years Ago
      Took me a minute to realize that "... this armored Silver Shadow was the official car of the UK's embassy..." presumably refers to the UK embassy in the US since it is LHD. Premium price since it is armored. A neighbor has an '87 Silver Shadow that he bought for around $20K a few years ago. This R-R was owned by a local Southern Baptist Convention leader, Rev Henry Lyons, who had this R-R, a couple Mercedes-Benz sedans and a substantial waterfront house seized and sold by the state for hnt. Must be reliable, he or his wife drive it several times a week to and from their business. And like others have commented, the body style is still distinctive and handsome.
    • Load More Comments