For Princess Diana fans, a bright red Tracker bike hitting the block on July 24 "is a chance to own a personal piece of her history," said Toy Specialist Lucy McCourt

By Phil Boucher
July 13, 2021 12:55 PM
Lady Diana Spencer
Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty

Before she was the Princess of Wales, a young Diana Spencer was riding around Althorp House on a groovy set of wheels — and now that piece of soon-to-be-royal history can be yours!

A bright red Tracker bike ridden by the princess at her childhood home in Northamptonshire is going up for auction on July 24.

Described as "all original," the bicycle features a central gear lever, chrome fenders, and Y-frame handlebars. Despite being around 50 years old, it's also achieved the remarkable feat of having its "original tires," according to the auction listing.

"It's a really important piece of memorabilia," says Toy Specialist Lucy McCourt from East Bristol auctions, who believe the bike will fetch over £20,000 (about $28,000) by the time the hammer falls.

Princess Diana's childhood bike
Princess Diana's childhood bike
| Credit: East Bristol Auctions
Princess Diana's childhood bike
Princess Diana's childhood bike
| Credit: East Bristol Auctions

"This is a chance to own a personal piece of her history," she adds in a release. "This is far from just a run-of-the-mill child's bicycle.

"One can almost imagine the young Diana riding around her childhood country estate on this. And there is, naturally, a tinge of sadness to it also."

After Diana outgrew the bike, it was owned by her childhood housekeeper, Maudie Pendrey, who purchased the bicycle for £20 (around $28) when Earl John Spencer (Diana's Father) and Countess Raine Spencer (Diana's Stepmother) held a sale of their household items.

It was later sold by Maudie's son at an auction in 2007 and until very recently was displayed at the House On The Hill Toy Museum in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.

Princess Diana's childhood bike
Christmas card from Princess Diana
| Credit: East Bristol Auctions
Princess Diana's childhood bike
Letter from Princess Diana to her childhood housekeeper, Maudie Pendrey
| Credit: East Bristol Auctions

Along with the red bike, the sale lot is accompanied by original invoices for its sale and a hand-signed Christmas card from Diana addressed "To Mrs. Pendrey" which features an image of the Princess with sons, Prince William and Prince Harry — who were themselves pictured riding bikes with Diana and dad Prince Charles during a vacation to the Isles of Scilly in 1991.

In July 2020, William repeated this cycling holiday on the remote islands just off the southwest tip of England, with Kate Middleton and children Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3.

This is the second time in three months that one of Diana's bicycles has been listed for auction. In May a blue bike used by Diana while she lived in London sold for £44,000 (nearly $61,000).

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Princess Diana Ford Escort
Princess Diana driving her Ford Escort
| Credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

In June, a silver Ford car gifted by Prince Charles to Diana ahead of their iconic 1981 royal wedding also found a new owner.

The 1981 Ford Escort Ghia saloon given by Charles as an engagement gift to his future bride in May 1981 fetched £52,640 (nearly $73,000). The hammer price of £47,000 (about $65,000) surpassed pre-auction projections of £30,000 to £40,000.

A museum in South America bought the car, which the princess received just two months before she and Charles tied the knot at St. Paul's Cathedral in London and continued to use until August 1982 when it was sold to a private owner.

"Ending up in South America is testament to the level of interest globally that there's been in the car," said Reeman Dansie Auctions' Lewis Rabett. "It's also testament to Diana and her enduring legacy."