‘Big, ugly’ bombproof bus used by Margaret Thatcher in 1980s put up for sale in Northamptonshire

Current owner Nick Mead pictured with the bombproof bus used by Margaret Thatcher during her 1983 election campaign which has been put up for sale for �25,000.
Current owner Nick Mead pictured with the bombproof bus used by Margaret Thatcher during her 1983 election campaign which has been put up for sale for �25,000.
  • A military vehicle specialist from Northamptonshire is hoping to sell a bus used by Margaret Thatcher for £25,000
  • The 18-tonne, armoured vehicle was used by the Iron Lady as she dodged potential attacks in Northern Ireland
  • Owner says he would like it to stay in UK but thinks it will probably be sold to an American

A bombproof bus used by Margaret Thatcher during her 1983 election campaign has been put up for sale by a Northamptonshire man for £25,000.

The 18-tonne, armoured vehicle was used by the Iron Lady as she dodged potential attacks in Northern Ireland.

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

Nick Mead

It has two-inch thick bulletproof glass, while the two-foot deep, honeycomb macrolite floor is capable of withstanding a landmine blast.

There is seating for 36 people and space at the rear for an office desk.

The coach also 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.

After Mrs Thatcher was successfully elected for a second term at Number 10, the bus was used to ferry passengers on the dangerous Derry Airport to Belfast route.

The 80mph bus, which is powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce engine, has now been put up for sale for £25,000 by its owner, Nick Mead, a military vehicle specialist from Helmdon.

He said: “It is a unique piece of military and social history.

“It is 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.”

The bus is being advertised using CitNOW Trade.