The aim is to sympathetically restore the Buffalo and keep as many of the original markings and paintwork as possible, but also have a vehicle that can run and one that is safe to operate.
While buried the Buffalo was partially protected from rust by the low oxygen content of the surrounding ground, now it is out in the open the race is on to stop it from deteriorating any further.
The restoration will involve a number of steps:
- Dismantle the buffalo down to the frame, so work can be taken to protect the vehicle from rust and the environment. This includes:
- Removal of the gearbox so it can be disassembled and restored to working condition.
- Removal of the engine and soucing a new one as the existing engine isn’t repairable.
- Removal of the tracks which have deteriorated beyond use so will need to be replaced.
- Paint the cockpit and protect the frame. Volunteers will also help on the restoration of individual pieces.
- Reassemble the vehicle including the gearbox, engine and electrics, controls and all the additional parts that have been restored by volunteers.
- Install new tracks if completed.
- Make any final adjustments or cosmetic changes needed.
This list does simplify somewhat what is a huge amount of work. The final challenge will be finding somewhere local to protect Buffalo 47 from the elements and one that the public will have access to.
See our Facebook and Twitter page for daily updates on the restoration. The news page on this website also features some of the progress in slightly more detail. You can also see some of the work of our volunteers on the support page.