Margaret Thatcher's CBRN-proof touring bus sells at auction
The 28-ton behemoth is believed to have been built for the Iron Lady to safely tour Northern Ireland and is also thought to be protected from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks. It once contained its own air supply and an auxiliary generator, according to BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.
Jonathan Humbert of the Northamptonshire-based JP Humbert Auctioneers said that the vehicle was sold to a vehicle collector for far more than it was originally estimated.
"There was immense interest in the bus," Humbert said, BelfastTelegraph.co.uk reports. "It sold to a spontaneous round of applause in the sale room."
The bus has approximately 17,000 miles recorded on its odometer. It has a blast-proof floor, armor-plated glass throughout and an armor-plated chassis. Humbert said the vehicle has enough room to fit at least 35 passengers.
The "battle bus" originally came from a private vendor who bought it from a research and development firm, which in turn purchased it from U.K. government sources.
"This isn't a good-looking vehicle by any stretch of the imagination - but it is of social and historical interest," Humbert said, BelfastTelegraph.co.uk reports. "It is an irreplaceable one-off, an iron bus for the Iron Lady."