Margaret Thatcher's 'Battle Bus' up 41% at UK auction

A so-called "Battle Bus" produced especially for Margaret Thatcher on her visit to Northern Ireland has sold at a UK auction held on February 21.

Margaret Thatcher Battle Bus
Thatcher's bus can hold 35 passengers and is powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce engine

The armour-plated bus sold for £16,940 ($25,840), making a 41.1% increase on its £12,000 high estimate. It is believed to have carried the former prime minister as she visited the troubled country during the 1980s, and was later used to carry troops.

Described as an "iron bus for the Iron Lady", the 28-tonne behemoth is thought to be chemical, biological and reportedly, nuclear proof. It once housed its own auxiliary generator and air supply, reportedly commissioned by the government at "obscene expense".

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert told the BBC: "It's gone to a private individual, someone by all accounts who has a few weird and wonderful vehicles and a few acres in which to use them. He believes it to be a sound investment of recent social history."

Margaret Thatcher certainly shows the most potential for investment of any recent British politician, with one of her iconic power suits selling with a 1,233% increase on estimate in September 2012. In 2011, the style icon's handbag sold for £25,000 ($39,892) at Christie's.

In November 2012, Queen Elizabeth II's 1978 Land Rover beat its estimate by 57.6% to sell for £28,380 ($47,470). Similarly reinforced, it was also fitted with a traffic light command system in the rear, allowing the Queen to direct her driver.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has two great signed photographs of Margaret Thatcher, as well as superb examples of her autograph on card. We also have a fine selection of Winston Churchill and royal memorabilia.

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