For the last few years I’ve been on the hunt for a Gottlieb Paradise from 1965. Played a buddy’s and loved it. As a surfer, I love the islands and the wife’s family is from Hawaii.
A few months ago I learned about the add-a-ball version of this game called Pleasure Isle. With only 235 made I figured the chance of finding one was slim. Nonetheless I added the machine to my want list. Whether replay or add a ball this title would be my first gottlieb em at some point.
A few weeks later I receive a message in my pinside inbox from Peggy claiming she has a pleasure isle in her barn basement that no longer works and is headed for the junk pile unless I would like to have it. Peggy is in Wisconsin and she had joined pinside the day before.
I reply to Peggy, thanking her for the generous offer and ask her to snap a pic or two so I can simply verify it exists. She obliged and sure enough, it’s the real deal. I ask and she tells me where the game is located. I had no idea Wisconsin was so big! She is located many many miles from Madison (Neo), Milwaukee or Land o Lakes... locations where I have pinball buddies who might be able to checkout the game and grab it for me. I quickly realize she is actually closer Minneapolis and it hits me...oh goody, I get to talk to Bryan “Effin” Kelly again!
If you’ve never met bryan_kelly you are missing out. Yes, he does great restoration work. Yes, he can spin wood circles like nobody else. The term is thrown around all the time but he is truly one of the good guys and is an absolute hoot to be around. Needless to say, he was gracious enough to join this little adventure. With a note from the department of corrections, his parole officer and a day pass out of the retirement home he headed across the state line.
Peggy was kind enough to have a crew ready to help Bryan load the machine into truck. The machine was in an unfinished basement and was home to a rodent nest. This wouldn’t deter me.
Bryan got it home, packed it up like the master packer he is and a couple weeks later Michelle Bianchi’s team had her in my garage.
First task was to get the white latex paint off the front of the cab and head. I’ll take scratched, missing original art over a repaint any day. Many hours of elbow grease and a few drums of 99% rubbing alcohol did the trick.
Next was getting the playfield clean. With all the parts tumbling in walnut, soaking in evaporust or in the ultrasonic, I started with rags and naptha soak but ultimately had to breakout the novus 2 and magic eraser. I was very careful and she cleaned up beautifully. The hardest part was the rodent blood/post birth gunk. Ick!
Once cleaned and assembled I started in on why she didn’t run. The start relay was disassembled but all the parts were there including a fresh coil. Granted the plate, spring and pin were scattered all over the bottom of the cab along with the old burnt coil, but the parts were there to fix the relay. Not sure why previous repair person gave up. Turned out the coin eject button that serves as the start button on these relays was dirty and oxidized causing it to stick when pushed in. Put it is the drill and cleaned it up wit some 800 grit and novus 2.
Next issue was the kickout holes weren’t kicking. I knew the coil was good since I could fire it from the relay. It took awhile staring at the schematic but I eventually found a 1/4” jumper wire in the switch stacks on the score motor that had a break. Kickout jokes now working.
Cleaned and tightened switch stacks, cleaned the hula girl which was filthy along with the Roto wheel, installed a power switch and new cord, unwound wire from top two pops to give more action, rebuilt flips, pops, slings, etc.
Took a few weeks but here you go.
A huge thank you to the following who made this happen.
- Obviously Peggy for offering me this beautiful machine and saving her from the junk pile. I hope to meet you someday, hopefully over a game of pinball.
- Bryan Kelly and his bride for taking a road trip to get the machine and for the incredible packing job. The straps will go out in the mail Monday back to you.
- The pinball resource, Steve/jimmy for the parts and guidance to get her going again. Never thought my biggest pbr invoice ever would be for an old EM. Love their business model. Great people.
- Clay Harrel for his This Old Pinball Dvd series. I’ve bought all of them a few times over as gifts and I watched TOP1 at least three times over the last month to get me through this. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.
- herb at fabulous fantasies who had a pleasure isle bg from shay on eBay. He knows how to pack a backglass.
- TimMe for the nudges I needed to get pointed in the right direction and for also sharing the knowledge.
- Pinside! Thanks for wishlists! They actually work. Donation sent.