I have been looking for two years for the final pin I want in my collection. I realize two years is nothing compared to how long some of you have been looking for that one pin.
I sort of stumbled onto this grail opportunity 4 months ago. The price was in a ballpark but it was not a smoking deal. I had to think on this one for awhile. I asked around, made some calls, and did a lot of thinking on it.
About 3 weeks ago a pinsider friend said I should go for it. So, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted the seller and asked if the play field (notice: play field, not pinball machine) was still for sale. It was and I made an offer; The seller countered and we made a deal.
As the seller and I were working out arrangements for shipping a play field another opportunity raised its hand and said, " Here I am. Look at me". And another pinsider enters the story.
I just bought a play field. Now I need a cabinet with all the trimmings. Enter Pinsider TractorDoc who has been entertaining us with his project Stern Nine Ball and his restoration on this Nine Ball. TractorDoc had come home with two Nine Balls and restored one out of two. I asked TractorDoc what his plans were for the extra cabinet and if he would be interested in selling the cab, back box, lockdown bar, etc.
TractorDoc helped me out big time and agreed to sell his spare Nine Ball cabinet assembly.
The play field was located way up north in Ohio. Just so happens that TractorDoc lives way up north in Ohio but not as far north as where the play field lives. And it just so happens TractorDoc's house is located about 10 miles off of my main route on up to the play field.
I work out arrangements with both sellers and hit the road. I leave Friday morning. The first stop at 800 miles out is a motel in Dayton Ohio. The next morning with a good nights sleep I am heading to Ashland Ohio to pick up the Nine Ball cabinet.
TractorDoc is a real nice guy. We talk pinballs and stuff. And I get to see two of the nicest restored classic John Deere tractors that I have ever had the privilege to see. TractorDoc does some very nice work. These two J. Deere tractors look like they were brand new and still sitting on the dealer show room floor. I have seen a few restored tractors over the last few years but nothing to compare to what I just saw last Saturday.
After about an our of shooting the breeze I need to head on up to Cleveland to pick up the play field.
The seller of the play field is out in his garage working on his pinball machines when I drive up. THe seller is a real nice guy and has some REAL nice pinball machines. Some nicely restored pinball machines. I get to see some real beauties. We talk shop and I learn a few restoration tricks.
We unload the empty cabinet I bought from TractorDoc and load the play field into the cabinet and load it back into my wagon. I would have liked to stayed longer at both places and talked pinball but I have a long drive and need to get back on the road. After a night in a motel in Terre Haute, Indiana I come on in and get home early Sunday afternoon.
I pulled into my driveway and the odometer read the total roundtrip miles of 2012.7. This is my last long trip. Two years ago I decided I wanted to build a small collection of classic Sterns. This one completes my goal. My plans do not call for me to be chasing any more pins. Now I can stay home and concentrate on restoring the ones I have.
Here are some pics. I hope you enjoy the show.
It is a Stern Quicksilver; Coming in the hard way.
If it was any other play field I would not mess with it. But this is a Quicksilver and it can be restored. Yeah. I wish it was in nicer condition. But it is what it is. Hard to find. Beggars cannot be choosers.