Nick Mead, a collector of armoured vehicles in Helmdon, Northamptonshire, is selling former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s own armoured bus and has put it on the market for £25,000.
Mead runs Tanks-A-Lot, a company specialised in rent and sales of dismissed armoured vehicles from the British Army, and he is finding it difficult to sell Maggie’s machine.
Meads told Business Insider that he had managed to sell it at an auction last year, but then the customer, who wanted to bring it to Iran, had problems at taking it out of the country, and the sale fell apart.
Meads had to put the bus back on sale, this time using the specialised website Milweb, and is yet to find a buyer.
Meads, who normally buys older tanks from the Ministry of Defence and owns about 130 vehicles, said that he bought the bus from a research group within the department. He expects that other historical conservative institutions or foundations would be interested in the purchase.
So far, thought, it had attracted quite the opposite reaction: “I got an email from an anarchist group yesterday, who wanted to buy it for spit on it and let it rot. I thought it was a bit harsh.”
Meads told Business Insider that is now planning to check what potential buyers want to do with the bus before proceeding with the sale, to make sure it doesn’t end up in a conflict situation.
The bus is still perfectly functioning and according to Meads it comes at a bargain price for an armoured vehicle: “A 12 feet armoured coach normally costs £150,000, so I thought this one with 36 feet and only 21,000 km on it would have done great,” he said.
The bus was commissioned in 1984, after a terrorist attack targeted Thatcher in Brighton.
The bus runs on special tyres, meaning that they cannot been blown over by bullets or nails.
It is fully armoured. The cover is built to withstand bullets of up to 7.62mm calibre, the type used by many automatic rifles.
The bus has 36 seats in total. It was commissioned to move the whole of Thatcher’s cabinet, with ministers, secretaries and other personnel.
The engine is a modified 12 litre diesel from Rolls Royce, enough to push this 17-ton beast at a speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).
After the end of Thatcher’s government, the bus was used to carry troops in Northern Ireland, before being decommissioned by the Ministry of Defence.
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