My 20 years in Pinball ....

By rotordave

July 10, 2012

11 years ago

I grew up playing Arcade machines in the late 70s and 80s, as I guess most of the people on Pinside did. When I was about 17 I bought about 6 Arcade machines from a "gone bust" auction and much to my mothers horror put them in her lounge!! Ghosts n Goblins, Time Pilot, 4 player Gauntlet, couple of others.

I bought my first pinball when I was about 18-19 .. a Gottlieb Solar City. I got it from a pizza shop which was closing down for $100! I restored it but after a while it got a bit stale so I sold it on. I wish I'd kept it ...

Shortly after I landed a F14 Tomcat, which at the time was only about 5 years old. I had that for years. One of my friends still has it.

I usually had between 1 and 3 machines for a long time. But when I gave up doing motor racing, I needed something else to play with and the collection has got a little out of hand! Pinball machines are a lot cheaper than motor racing, I can tell you that for free! My nickname "RotorDave" or "RD" comes from the racing days, as I raced 3rd Gen RX7s... see the thumbnail of my R-Magic racecar which I bought in Japan in 2002. I also had a number of modified RX7s as road cars. Great cars, fast as heck and cheap for the performance they give!

I also used to play lead guitar in a few hard rock bands in Auckland, including the New Zealand KISS tribute band which was good fun.

I was lucky enough to start collecting most of my pinball machines years ago when the prices were still pretty cheap. I did turn down some nice machines in those years which was a bit of a bummer as they would now be worth double the dough, but thems the breaks.

I have pretty much all the machines I wanted now, including the complete Williams System 11 collection. Now my new thing is collecting all the Solid State Bally machines from the late 70s to early 80s.

Thanks for reading!


Story photos



11 years ago

Sweet RX-7!!!!

11 years ago

Nice collection of pinball machines. It's great that there are several pinball enthusiasts down in New Zealand.

11 years ago

Yes, plenty of Pin Guys here in NZ. I know 4 guys with 30 plus machines in their houses. Plus lots of guys with 1-5 machines. We can't get enough machines to go round :)

10 years ago

Awesome collection! I've always liked FDs too, just never owned one yet. My first build was 11 years ago, a 2580 lb '94 Impreza with a jdm EJ20G that I found a turbo for from Possum Bourne in NZ! Had a lot of fun with that car. Between your cars and your pins, I need to look you up if I ever come out your way! Your quest to own every Sys 11 is inspiring as well. :D

10 years ago

Outstanding collection. I'd like to have half of what you have one day!

9 years ago

I'm hoping you'll find a Grand Lizard one day...I'd like to play that again :-)

6 years ago

Love taking Porsche to the track . Could use a lesson from you. Your collection is great. I think you where in Denver Colorado a few years back . I should have drove up from Colorado Springs to watch you play . Glad life is good for you. Peace , Rob Knapp

3 years ago

Geezus, how do you have 125 machines! That’s nuts. Might have to visit you and see this for myself. I normally spend 1 week a month in NZ for work

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