Quoted from Dayhuff:
Pretty sure I can get my hands on a NOS Globetrotters but the problem with it is that even though it's NOS it's got issues with planking and dryness after 40 years. The guy wants quite a bit of money for it as well, like last I knew it was in the $700 range. Someone like Ron would have to repaint EVERYTHING on the playfield and I mean everything. Of course nobody will want to touch it and even if they did you'd have more into it then it's ever going to be worth......LOL.
Probably best to keep an eye out for another option.
This brings up a good point in the reproduction VS nos debate.
When it comes to the Bally pf's that were made before 1980-81, 70% of the nos pf supply has planking (the wood grain has expanded through time from moisture and temp, and contracted, causing the paint to crack along the wood grain).
Many times the planking is in one area, usually the top or bottom that was on the basement of cement floor. almost all of the time it can be painted, but here is where the cost issue comes in.
No matter if I were using a nos or reproduction pf, I would have it recleared. Not just for looks as much as for protection. Also a level pf. The mircos lately have been like rollercoasters. If I am going to do all of that work, and fix and polish everything, I want the game to out live me (I am 50). So I have to pay for a clear coat on both options, but the nos is going to require a restorer to use little itty bitty paint brushes, and reglue the inserts (If one insert is loose, they will all come loose soon), level out the inserts, ect. On a nos pf of any age before aprox 1995, you have to go thru, after sanding, and repaint the hairline cracks around the inserts. On the harlem globetrotters we are talking about, even the nicest nos pf would need all of the insert's key lines painted. On reproductions, its very rare not to have a couple inserts with the hairline cracks. They dont have to be glued, but just painted. In my shop the older bally pf's from the era we are considering, they average an extra $200 in paint work. That's an average. Included in the paint work is the insert glue and level.
One more thing to always forget about with nos pf's is, many are not dimpled.
I am only talking about the difference in cost. In most cases you get what you pay for. I have 2 kinds of customers, and I like both. I have customers who want to make a beautiful game that they can play, but still looks brand new. Many times this is a DMD game, and I supe-up a reproduction pf for them, that looks amazing, plays lightning fast, and is done in a way to help the softer wood (than nos) last longer than it would stock. what I am talking about here is mostly ball dimples, and surface integrity. I also have to do a small amount of touch up on the majority of reproduction pf's.
The other kind of customer I have remind me of the guys who restore old harleys (like 1936-48). These guys really want original nos parts, and they see a repro as a blemish. They understand the cost of fixing up a 40-60 year old pf, and they also know the benefits. Its a totally different feeling to the game when it is complete. Many people can remember what the game looked like when they played it years back when it was new. They want that feel and look. I fall in to this category, until it is out of my price range. Right now I am thinking of the bike steve mcqueen rides in the great escape, and how bad it would be to restore that bike with reproduction parts. My girlfriends dad has an old war-time harley that he restored to be his daily driver with all original parts (fixed up). He even left it rusty, and clearcoated the patina and rust. Whats funny, is at shows, he always gets all of the awards and gawkers. Its the only bike that looks different than the others. I am trying to talk him in to the obnoxious LED lights just so he will stay alive. Anyway, That model of restoration is always interesting. I am told that clay who has an amazing collection, often will clear a pf just for the protection, and not do paint work on it. Let the rider be the decider.
Of course there is a middle ground also, like my friend whitey. he does amazing pin restorations. It seems that he uses the materials available, and the key to his restor work that stands out is not just my pf work (ha), but the overall workmanship of the whole restored game. The cab is painted the way it was originally. He somehow blends nos or repro pf's with skilled labor to come up with amazing finished product. the games are all tuned out for play. You can gawk, or you can play. both are equally pleasing, but the game is restored for show and play.
So there is no way that is better than the other. Its taste and budget, and utility, and expectation. Hopefully the 5 min you just wasted reading this will help you decide which direction is for you. Now lets get you a pf and get it fixed up and get it installed.