A CAR bodywork repair business owner says he was honoured after being trusted with the repair of a car which once belonged to Princess Diana.

Liam Rayner, who owns Storm Dents Limited, was given the task of repairing the princess’s 1981 Ford Escort Ghia before it went up for auction.

The 33-year-old was approached by Colchester-based auctioneers Reeman Dansie Ltd, which is selling the car which was an engagement present from the Prince of Wales.

The piece of royal history is going under the auctioneer’s hammer after its owner, who kept the car secret for 20 years, felt it was time to part with it.

Bidding for the car is due to start on June 29 and is due to reach a price of between £30,000 and £40,000.

The value of the vehicle has been boosted by Liam and his team who carried out repairs.

He has more than 15 years experience and opened his business in 2014, a mobile service but based on Spring Gardens Road, Chappel.

Liam said he only found out the significance of the vintage motor when he was doing the repairs.

He said: “I was asked by Reeman Dansie to take a look at a classic Ford Escort and see whether I could repair it using paintless dent removal.

“The car was coming into their possession to be sold at auction which had accumulated some minor dents.

“The car overall was in pretty good condition for its age and what did stand out was the unique frog ornament on the hood of the car, which at this point I knew nothing about.

“The repair itself took me a couple of hours to get it back to its original state.

“These types of cars are always harder due to the strength of the metal being stronger than modern day cars, and I had the pressure of getting a classic car back to its former glory.

“I was then told to my surprise that it once belonged to the late Princess Diana.

“Then, like most people, I had a quick internet search and found the photos which show the same registration and frog ornament on the bonnet.

“This added a little more pressure to the work, but everything was successful and the car was back to its original state.

“I was honoured to be trusted to repair the car and we will keep an eye out to see how well it does in the sale.”