An armoured coach used by ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher as her campaign ‘battle bus’ has been put up for sale as campaigning for next month’s General Election kicks into gear.
The 18-tonne, bomb-proof vehicle was built in 1983 and is believed to have been used for the former Prime Minister’s Northern Ireland tour.
Current owner, military vehicle dealer Nick Mead, has created a bespoke video tour of the ‘battle bus’, using a brand new free app called CitNOW Trade In, which can be viewed here: https://tradein.citnow.com/vtbattlebus
Mr Mead is seeking £25,000 for the bus and plans to list it on the American Ebay site, but is ideally hoping to find a buyer in the uk.
“It’s a unique piece of social and political history,” said Mr Mead. “It’s still in working order and, although it’s not exactly looking its best these days, someone who wanted to would be able to restore it to a good standard pretty easily.
“I bought it in 2012 because it was a fascinating vehicle but it’s big, ugly and it’s in the way now so I’m keen to send it to a good home. Given the American fascination with Maggie Thatcher, it may sell well over there but I’d prefer for it to stay in the uk.
“The bus is just as it was in period; we even found a ladies’ umbrella on board – whether it’s Margaret Thatcher’s or not I don’t know but we like to think it might be.”
Designed to provide motorists with the chance to create a professional-looking video of the car they are selling, the intuitive app guides the user through the process of filming on a Smartphone and packages the video automatically, providing the user with a shareable Url link. Mr Mead is among the first of its customers.
The bus was built by military vehicle specialist Glover Webb and is based on Foden running gear. It is powered by a 12-litre, supercharged V12 Rolls Royce diesel engine that can propel the coach to a top speed of 80mph.
The windows are made of two-inch thick, bullet-proof glass, while the two-foot thick, honeycomb macrolite floor is capable of withstanding a landmine blast.
With seating for 36 people and space at the rear for an office desk, the coach even had its own auxiliary, roof-mounted motor that could pump clean, carbonised air to the sealed cabin in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon being deployed.
With just 22,000km on the clock, the bus was used to ferry passengers on the dangerous Derry Airport – Belfast route during the 1980s. It was also previously owned by the Met Police, used as transport for the Royal Marines band and as a viewing platform at an MoD research facility.
The CitNOW Trade In app is available on iTunes now and is free to download here:https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/citnow-trade-in/id959509061?mt=8