Margaret Thatcher's armoured bus sells for £17k

It's not every day that a vehicle used by a former prime minister pops up on eBay, but it seems that fact alone wasn't enough to propel an armoured bus, supposedly used by Margaret Thatcher, to anywhere near its estimate.

We featured the Iron Lady's Iron Coach back in October, where it was listed on eBay for a staggering (and a little ridiculous) £10 million.

Perhaps unsurprisingly it failed to sell – with the largest offer on the 28-tonne bus reaching just £4,000. Now though, put up for sale at a Northamptonshire auction house, it's managed a slightly more impressive goal: £16,940.

"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," said auctioneer Jonathan Humbert, speaking to the BBC. "He believes it to be a sound investment of recent social history.

"It's not an attractive vehicle by any stretch of the imagination, but it's something that has a tale to tell so he's the proud owner of a 28-tonne Margaret Thatcher battle bus."

The bus, which has its own air supply, was designed for a trip to Northern Ireland, and thought to offer protection from outside attacks of both a chemical and physical nature – with armoured windows and body panels that said "no, no, no" in the face of bricks and petrol bombs.

Impressively, it's even said to be quite maneuverable, even if the lady inside wasn't "for turning".

"It turns on a sixpence even though though it's got three axles and run-flat tyres," said Humbert, "so if they got shot at they'd continue to roll on."