I picked up this Gottlieb Flipper Parade for a very cheap price and decided it would be a good candidate for my first true restoration. Luckily I have one of the best EM restoration people living about 5 minutes from me and he has graciously taken me under his wing so I can learn the ropes of EM restoration. I know this machine is not going to be worth a ton when I am done with it and I probably will only break even or maybe (hopefully) make a little on it after it's done but this is more about learning the process and bringing a poor neglected machine back from the grave.
A little background on the machine, I bought it from a nice local woman who has owned it for over 40 years. Her children used to play it all the time when they were younger and her grandchildren played it some too. About 10 years ago or so it fell out of favor with the kids (damn video games lol) and sat unused for quite a while. When they cleaned out the house the poor machine was moved onto the back porch where it sat for about a year. Luckily the porch was covered but the glass had broken long ago so the playfield was exposed to some of the elements and was VERY dirty when I got it. Her daughter posted the machine on a local for sale forum to help her mom sell it and I made a quick offer and snagged it the next day. The family was very nice and excited to hear it would be brought back to its former glory. They even asked if I would send pictures when it was all done.
As far as my plan, I am hoping to take it to the Texas Pinball Festival in March so others can experience it and see what people think.. I am using this as a test case to see if pinball restoration is something I would enjoy and possibly make a little money at to fund other pinball ventures (of course, what else would you do with the money?). So, the front hardware will all be sent off for blasting and chroming. The cab and head will be completely stripped, repaired and repainted (including period correct speckle pattern thanks to my expert friend). All hardware will be tumbled and polished (replaced as needed). I am going to try and see if I can get a set of new plastics for it although they may be hard to find. The plastics are there but quite faded and flaking pretty badly. All major mechanisms will be rebuilt and refurbished as needed. I am currently considering whether to do a full play field paint restoration, I have the air brushes and some painting experience with models and figures so I am thinking why not? Gotta start somewhere! Assuming I do the paint restoration I will either clear the play field myself or more likely see if I can get an automotive body shop near me to do it for not too much money. The back glass will be either replaced with a reproduction glass or possibly touched up by a local airbrush artist that has done work for my friend before. Not sure yet.
In the end I hope it will be a beautiful piece of art and I hope to restore it back to as new or near new condition. Wish me luck!! Pics of the machine as it was when I bought it are below.