Being relatively new to collecting machines we never had any experience with EM's until a few months ago when we fixed up an old River Boat. It was quite a challenge, and was incredibly rewarding bring this back to life. You can read about it here:
One machine we lusted after was a Grand Prix. Feeling confident that I could actually make my way through fixing an EM I was ready for one.... if we could only find one.
About a month ago I got home after a long day of work when Chrissi (my wife) shouted out from the other room that someone was selling a Grand Prix for a hundred bucks, and he was only 80 miles away. She found an ad on facebook marketplace that simply said "Coin operated racing game $100", and included a picture of a Grand Prix.
I immediately thought it was a scam, and suggested she message the seller that we'll be there in an hour with cash (not expecting a reply). Sure enough the seller said it was his Dad's machine, just wanted it out of his barn/shed, and gave us an address to come and get it.
She continued pressing for details as I was getting our pin-hauler, hand truck and tools ready for what might be the deal of the century. Within minutes we were gassed up, and headed to pick it up now convinced that it was not a scam at all.
When we got there an older gentleman opened up the door to his shed, and right there in the middle of the room was a filthy, but mostly complete Grand Prix! We got to talking about why he was selling it, and he simply said that he's had it for 30 years, and it was just too expensive to have someone come out to fix it. He just couldn't justify keeping it anymore especially with his kids all grown up and out of the house. He powered it up, but could not get it to reset as the score reels were all gummed up, and I just shut it off. I simply gave it a quick look over, mostly to see if there were any rodents of termites we'd be loading into our car, and to see what parts were missing. While there was some animal that spent some time in the cabinet none of the wiring was chewed up, and there really wasn't any damage inside. the only indication that something was inside it at one point was a chewed up instruction placard, and a few acorns by the coin door.
I gave him the cash, and said I'd handle everything from here on out. I took the head and legs off while talking to him about his time with the machine, and I could tell that he was really sad to see it go. When I told him that I'd clean it all up, get it working again, and send him pictures of it all done he smiled and said that he'd love to see it returned to it's former glory.
So anyway on the ride home Chrissi and I just sat there saying that this was just stupid. Stupid in that deals like this don't really happen to us, and we just giggled all the way home. Grand prix was a game we really like, and were looking for for quite some time.
We got home around 10pm and reassembled the machine in the garage so the next day I could spend some time with it forming a plan for what it needs.
Here are a few pics from that night.
As you can see it's mostly all there, but filthy.
More to come...