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Thatcher 'battle bus' up for sale

Published 08/04/2015

The bus is powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce diesel engine (JP Humbert Auctioneers/PA Wire)
The bus is powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce diesel engine (JP Humbert Auctioneers/PA Wire)

A general election "battle bus" used by Margaret Thatcher in her 1983 campaign is up for sale.

Going for £25,000, the 18-tonne, bomb-proof vehicle is being sold by current owner, military vehicle dealer Nick Mead.

Powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce diesel engine and with a top speed of 80mph, the bus has done fewer than 14,000 miles.

Built in 1983 and capable of seating 36 people, the bus's previous owners have included the Met Police, and it has also been used to transport the Royal Marines band.

Mr Mead, who bought the bus in 2012, said: "It's a unique piece of social and political history. 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 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."

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