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Restoration of Crowland Buffalo could be finished in 2023, says Daniel Abbott

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The restoration of an amphibious vehicle has passed the halfway stage - with hopes it will be up and running by this time next year.

A Buffalo, which sank into the ground in Crowland during the 1947 floods, was recovered in April of last year, with the project being spearheaded by farmer Daniel Abbott.

It was recently the flagship attraction at a 1940s event in Thorney after twelve months worth of work to spruce it up.

Daniel Abbott with the Buffalo after it was recovered in April 2021
Daniel Abbott with the Buffalo after it was recovered in April 2021

So far, that work has included having the gear box sent away and fully reconditioned - as well as having tracks sourced in Holland last Christmas, paid for by Crowland Cranes.

An engine for the vehicle has been found in America, while volunteers have been cleaning the Buffalo and working on getting its handles and pedals up to scratch.

Mr Abbott said: “There’s been a fair bit of work involved. Our aim this year was to get it back to how it should look - like a Buffalo - for the seventh anniversary.

“We tried our best to get it running, but there’s a lot more to be done.”

That work will include sorting out the vehicle’s wiring and providing on-board fire extinguishers.

Mr Abbott is confident that, as long as donations continue to boost the project, it can be completed by this time next year.

He is ‘very impressed’ with the improvements made so far - and was particularly pleased with its starring role at the Thorney and Crowland 1940s Weekend on June 25-26.

“People were amazed that, in the condition it’s in, it actually came out the ground,” he said.

“People travel a long way just to see the Buffalo.”

There were visitors from as far as Australia who went to the event.

Mr Abbott hopes that when the Buffalo’s restoration is finished, it can be taken along to similar events for a fee that will help with transport costs.

He believes three-day events will be the most suitable due to the challenges in moving the vehicle.

Plans are also in place to open a museum in the area dedicated to the Buffalo’s history - and Mr Abbott has not ruled out searching for more lost vehicles after that.

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