Old Beat Continental Cafe Woodrail Restoration??

(Topic ID: 130055)

Old Beat Continental Cafe Woodrail Restoration??


By tengle93

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 64 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 hours ago by ZNET
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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There are 64 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 1 year ago

BTW, how is it as a player? I've never played one. Many of those "belly bar" woodrails aren't terribly good players, but there are some exceptions. "Race Time" and "Gondolier" come to mind as a couple of good ones.

#52 1 year ago

They just used the game because that's what they had laying around and it was a fairly simple design. They designed it around what that machine had component wise from what I read and understood.

#53 1 year ago

Didn't play it yet since I'm still having ball count stepper issues. Hopefully this weekend. I'll check back with you later.

#54 1 year ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Often wondered about that. What game specific components are needed to convert to a WNBJM? Seems to me you could use any game or at least any game of that particular vintage, no?

It turns out that only Continental Café will serve as the donor game.

Before I embarked on my Nellie conversion, I learned that a fellow enthusiast planned to utilize a 1956 Gottlieb Toreador as a donor game. Indeed, that pinsider purchased a second old Gottlieb, in addition to Toreador, when he was unable to find a Continental Café. Long story short, when he discovered that only Continental Café would serve as the donor game, he sold his Nellie conversion items (playfield, backglass, plastics, decals) in recognition that no other game was a reasonable donor candidate.

As I recall, a couple of pinsiders paid well over $1K for marginal condition Continental Café games in 2013 precisely because no other donor game was feasible and Continental Café was scarce. Even with a CC, the project is daunting, because it's not a mere playfield swap. Rather, it's an electromechanical modification undertaking, requiring a scoop alteration, gobble hole ball trough extension, arch reconstruction, a re-routing of wiring sans any schematic, manual or example and a host of other challenging and uncharted tasks.

While I enjoyed the cosmetic conversion aspect of the venture, I had to enlist substantial technical help to complete the project (and it consumed countless hours to complete. . .and it still requires the score reel conversion). Despite the monumental effort to perform the conversion, I am delighted with the result. The game is tremendous fun. At post #8 of this thread, NextoPin posted an article I wrote in 2015, describing the conversion project:

https://pinside.com/pinball/archive/whoa-nellie-big-juicy-melons/stories/home-grown-big-juicy-melons-in-the-garden-state-letting-the-reins-go-free-on-nellie

#55 1 year ago

For those interested in viewing the "before" and "after" photos of my Nellie labor of love conversion, they are posted in the article (link below):

https://www.thedeadlyspawn.com/pinball411/pinball-article/

Here's a link to a video demonstration of my game (although the pitch is off and my teenager's videography is somewhat deficient):

My favorite addition to the Nellie game is an interactive topper I constructed in 2015, as shown in the below video:

Now, back to Todd's impressive CC restoration (didn't mean to hijack the thread).

#56 1 year ago

Well, it was I who asked the question. Thanks for the explanation and the links. I'll check them out.

#57 1 year ago

Bruce you can hijack my thread all you want, lol. Machine would still be a POS if you didn't have that beautiful playfield.

For anyone else reading this I played the Whoa Nellie, very awesome job and you should be showing people the crazy amount of work you did to get it looking that great.

#58 1 year ago

Amazed at how gorgeous this machine looks now! Thank you for sharing the before and after!

Congrats on the wonderful restore

#59 1 year ago

Wow! Great work on this Continental Cafe, and kudos to ZNET for parting with the playfield.

#60 1 year ago

Thanks to everyone and their kind words. Been playing it a bit working out the little gremlins that were hiding in there for the past 20+ years. It was set on high tap so I left it and I like the game play, not as terrible as I was told. Just try to avoid the gobble holes and nudge it like crazy, pretty fun for what it is. So Joe jrpinball to answer your question, I really like it!

11 months later
#61 2 days ago

Have a good continental Cafe that I really know nothing about. Fairly confident it works, or needs minimal effort to get it working. Any thoughts on value? Have spoken to a few people and have had a couple offers I've turned down as its pretty cool in my man cave and don't need to sell

#62 1 day ago
Quoted from hellraiser03:

Have a good continental Cafe that I really know nothing about. Fairly confident it works, or needs minimal effort to get it working. Any thoughts on value? Have spoken to a few people and have had a couple offers I've turned down as its pretty cool in my man cave and don't need to sell

Fully working pristine example of this game is probably not going to sell at or above $1000. There is little demand for these early two player games as there is limited ways to win with no carry over features. I believe this game has a match feature which may help value but I'm not certain. If you like the way it looks my suggestion would be to get it playing and keep it.

#63 1 day ago
Quoted from jsf24:

Fully working pristine example of this game is probably not going to sell at or above $1000. There is little demand for these early two player games as there is limited ways to win with no carry over features. I believe this game has a match feature which may help value but I'm not certain. If you like the way it looks my suggestion would be to get it playing and keep it.

If someone is buying it to convert it I would have no idea to it's value and above reply would not be relevant.

#64 8 hours ago
Quoted from jsf24:

If someone is buying it to convert it I would have no idea to it's value and above reply would not be relevant.

Because Continental Cafe is the only donor game to create an EM Whoa Nellie, the donor game fetched $1,500++ for a beater, during the brief period that a few of us took the conversion plunge. CC was (and arguably still is for a conversion buyer) catapulted into the $1K to $2K range for this unique reason.
However, only a few WhizBang conversion "kits" (i.e. playfield, plastics and decals) were purchased. Also, it soon became apparent that even with a CC donor game, the conversion rabbit hole was immeasurably deep, absent any parts list, schematic or meaningful guidance.

Apart from my EM Continental Cafe conversion Whoa Nellie, and Brad Grant's in California, plus the 2 originals built by Whizbang, I don't know of any other completed EM versions. I know of 1 or 2 other collectors who acquired a CC to embark on the conversion. . .never heard whether either or both completed or abandoned their projects.

Because the Whizbang games each sold for about $15K, collectors were willing to spend a couple grand for the playfield, plastics and decals, plus another couple grand for the donor game (in just about any condition). The problem was figuring out what mechanical and cosmetic parts had to be modified, which parts had to be added and how to rewire the new layout. After all of these years, I still haven't modified the multiplayer dual reels on mine to a single-player configuration.

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