Three weeks ago my son went on a Cub Scout trip. They stopped at a pizza/arcade place one hour away from our house. He told me about a neglected TSPP in the corner of the arcade. DMD, sound and flipper where all broken. He played it anyway and gave me the 411 when he got home. Never tried to by a route machine but heard stories that ops want a fortune.
Two weeks go by and I was able to learn the restaurant owned the machine. I made the hour drive with my son to check it out. It was as described plus it was filthy and had odd damage on the speaker housing. It did play all three balls. I was able to get the owners info to make an inquiry but had to wait until Monday.
I made the call to him and asked some general questions. He understood the machine needed a lot of TLC and said it was only earning $10 a week. I did find out he bought it new. So I asked if he would like to sell it and gave him an $1800 offer figuring at worst I'll need to put $400-500 into it. I get a big pause and then a Hhhhmmmm. He said he would think about and get back to me. I figured he would check around and come up with some ridiculous price and I gave myself a 10% chance to get it but then again it is the south and pinball is not to prevalent around here
Waited a week and heard nothing. Made another call and asked where he stood on his decision. To my delight I heard "Why not .. just let me keep the locks and token collectors". I said sure and got it the next night. Painless!
Need more deals like this because this is a lot more sane than dealing with craigslist competition.
This is my first big name title and it is a Stern which is all new to me. Love the availability of mods/parts for improvements and the wealth of discussion about it.
Still working on it but so far all is fixed except the sound for only $4 in parts. Yeah!
Some pics follow. First three as found in the wild and then the last one after a couple of hours in the garage to get the major problems fixed. The dark arcade made the machine look a little better than it was but once clean I think this will present nice. Next is cleaning which my son is more than glad to do.