Northamptonshire auctioneer to sell Margaret Thatcher’s ‘battle bus’

Bus believed to be used by "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher which is to go under the hammer this month
Bus believed to be used by "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher which is to go under the hammer this month
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An iron bus believed to be used by “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher is to go under the hammer this month, an county auctioneer said.

The 28-tonne armour-plated “battle bus” is thought to have been built in the 1980s for the former prime minister’s Northern Ireland tour then later used for troop transport.

It is now due to be sold at auction, expecting to attract bids of more than £10,000 when it goes under the hammer later this month, auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said today.

The bus, which has just 28,000km (17,398 miles) on the clock, has a blast-proof floor and armour-plated glass throughout, as well as a bomb-proof armour-plated body, he said.

It was thought to be chemical, biological and nuclear-proof – once having its own auxiliary generator and air supply.

It has a Foden chassis, body by Glover and Webb and is powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce engine, Mr Humbert said.

Mr Humbert, from Northamptonshire-based JP Humbert Auctioneers, said the bus, which has room for around 35 passengers, had come from a private vendor who bought it from a research and development company which in turn had bought it from the government.

“This isn’t a good-looking vehicle by any stretch of the imagination - but is of social and historical interest,” said Mr Humbert.

“It is an irreplaceable one-off, an iron bus for the ‘Iron Lady’.”

The bus will go under the hammer on February 21 at the JP Humbert’s saleroom in Towcester.