My Third go around

By Dave_rautio

April 16, 2019

40 days ago

It all started back in 2000, I purchased my first machine, A gilligans Island on ebay. It was a very poor example . Not knowing anything about pinball I thought it was great, and played the hell out of it. Soon after that my collection started to grow. Then I started having some issues where I needed a technition , somebody who could fix the problems I was having. Not sure how I found Terry, but he was the most knowlegable person to this day that I know. Over the next few years Terry, his son David, and myself were able to put together a complete Bally/ williams collection. Starting with 1991 Gilligans Island (which was the first dmd game) all the way to the pinball 2000. They were all collector quality , in total I think it was around 46 machines. I then moved in to Stern machines and was able to get every stern dmd that was currently out. From there we moved to sega and Data east. It got to the point where I had to get a building in down town Aurora. It was pretty cool I had the whole 3rd floor and It even had an elevator. I think the total count at that point was 146 machines. It was the coolest sight in the world when they were all turned on at the same time. Then things happen in life..........I sold them all , very quickly I might add. Within 2 months they were gone. 2008 I started collecting again. This time it was all Stern, every machine from the first striker extreme to the current title at the time Metalica. I customized every machine , all led, powder coated hardware, lighted speaker panels and back box amimation. Somehow Jody from stern heard about the collection,and made a visit to my home with a few stern guys. They said it was the only complete stern collection they had ever seen. We decided to do a stern day, Gary Stern and all the game designers and programers came to the house. Then Gary and the designer of the game signed ever one of the machines for me. It was a big deal, Art Norman from channel 5 was there, channel 7 and fox 32 all game and did a story that aired on the news that night. Im sure there is video out there on the web if you want to see it. Once again life changes, kid grow up move away, time to down size to smaller house. I sold them all again. With the help from Mike at GAP they went quick. Fast forward to June 2018....... Im back ! Iron Maiden was the machine that sparked the love again. I now have 13 machines, and thats about the limit I can fit. No more warehouses in the future. All my machines I purchased new in the box, except Gilligans Island , which is my pride and joy. This is the nicest Gilligan in existance. I found an NOS playfield that was clear coated, all new cabinet decals, new coin door , and all hardware, color dmd, custom topper, leds , custum shooter rod, custom targets, it looks like it just came out of the box. Ironic my very first machine , 19 years later, over 200 plus machines purchased is still my favorite !

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39 days ago
Great story, thanks for sharing.
39 days ago
Incredible story.
39 days ago
Pinball means different things to different people. In all honesty, I feel a lot of what you wrote from the heart. GI is just your game. It’s what makes you tic. Everyone has that game. For some, it’s not even pinball.
39 days ago
Wow insane cool story and collections
39 days ago
Amazing story!!! When you had the warehouse of 146 machines, did you ever have tours or parties??? Or did you keep them all for yourself to play in pinball ecstasy? I would have loved to see the electric glow of all those machines!
38 days ago
That's a really rollercoaster(ing) pinball addiction :-) Great story!
38 days ago
Good story Gilligan’s Island is a fun pin.
35 days ago
Wow thats a amazing and crazy story,thanks for sharing!
32 days ago
Thanks for sharing. Cool story!
30 days ago
26 days ago
awesomeness thanks for sharing
24 days ago
Enjoyed the read. Thanks!
24 days ago
No photos? Not one? :D Great story.
23 days ago
Wow - thanks for sharing that story is amazing!
15 days ago
Wow 140+ games WOW
11 days ago
I remember seeing this on the news at the time - before I ever owned a game. I am even more impressed now that I know the work that must have gone into this collection. Great Story - thanks!
4 days ago
You always remember your first - pin!

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