Friday, 23 January 2015

*Possible* restoration: Expressway

During developing my pinball project I've found it quite interesting just how many people I've spoken to who have had pinball in their lives in some way - mostly memories of playing when younger. So I'm kinda getting used to telling people what I'm up to.

I bumped into Steve Wilkinson from Blink Giant Media and after speaking for a bit we got onto pinball - turns out their family had a machine in their house when he was young, and better yet they still have it - been stored in his Dad's garage for a good few years (will find out how long). 

After finding out a bit more, it's possible I can take it on as a restoration project. This was (secretly) the ideal outcome for me - although I was in no way expecting it to actually happen. Steve's Dad kindly took some photos of it in the garage, these are below.

The machine is an Expressway and was built in 1971 by Bally. Check a video of another one in action. Gameplay looks decent and artwork is on a car theme by Christian Marche.

I am yet to go to see the machine in person to inspect it, especially the inside. This is planned to happen Saturday 31 January. 

As this is a 1970s machine, it runs on many, many relays and switches, and does not use a computer CPU. If there is too much damage, such as rust to the relays and motors then this would not be a good project for me. However if all looks ok, I am enthusiastic to give it a bit of work to get it to a place where it powers up and starts a game, from there I can start to plan to restore the machine. 

Whatever happens I am going to learn so much from this, so thankful the opportunity came up at this time. I may write another post with resources for restoration of these types of machines in preparation for going to visit.

Cabinet: looks OK - bit of wear around flipper buttons - the top right is from the legs. I can see some rust on the metal parts. Can you make out the backbox in the background? It looks worn a bit, and have no idea about the glass - I imagine the paint will be flaking quite bad (at least). Photo by Steve's Dad, Ray
Playfield: Looks in OK condition, all parts seem to be there from what I can tell. Few things I'm not sure about till I see it in person. Photo by Steve's Dad, Ray
Some playfield damage below a ball kickout - a few bits like this from what I can see from these pictures.
So stay tuned, more to come on this!

This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently working on a project based around games, specifically Pinball (see list of posts about Pinball).