Toy Specialist Lucy McCourt from East Bristol Auctions describes the Tracker as more than just a toy and definitely more than a kid’s bike. This is a piece of Diana’s personal history, recalling to the time when she was still safe at the family’s Althorp House, unaware of the great and tragic things the future had in store for her. It’s a romaticized take alright, but it is not wrong.
“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,” McCourt says.
The listing notes that the bike, No. 153079 in “Chopper” style, made throughout the 1970s by Trusty Manufacturing Co., is all-original, down to the tires. It features sprung seat suspension, chrome mug guard front and rear, a vinyl chopper-style saddle, central gear level and Y-frame handlebars with cable brakes.
When the future Princess of Wales outgrew the bike, the family sold it to the housekeeper, Maudie Pendrey, for £20 (approximately $28 at the current exchange rate). Pendrey’s son kept it until 2007, when he sold it at auction, and then it went on display at the House on the Hill Toy Museum.
Accompanied by a handwritten card from Diana to Mrs. Pendrey, original documentation and certification, and even newspaper clippings, the Tracker bike is expected to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000 ($27,700 and $41,550) on July 24. That’s a lot of money for just a bike, but not if you think that the aforementioned Raleigh fetched £44,000 ($61,000) earlier this year.