1949 Genco Camel Caravan
Santa came early this year and enclosing some pix and a video of a freshly restored 5 ball game. I’m partial to the late 40 and early ‘50s woodrails, especially the GENCO games.
As a GENCO fan, I have accumulated several of their titles over the years and hold a special fondness for them as they are a rare breed, typically have unique playing features and commonly have interesting 5 color paint on their cabinets. About a year and a half ago, Camel Caravan came to my attention by a restorer friend who shared pix of a nice original example he obtained with very good cabinet, legs and woodrails/frame. Playfield paint was 99% there, but needed some judicious touchups in the faded areas, particularly around the areas where the inserts had sank. Game had original operator tags still attached to the mechanisms in the head. The game appeared to be a low play example, but the art glass was severely broken, with pieces missing and needed reproduction. Additionally, the purple caps and bodies were badly warped and the ideal solution was to create new ones since repros are not available.
The restorer was up to the challenge and spent much time on the computer creating the backglass art so it can go to BG Resto for fabrication. Once created, BGR thought it would be “fun’ to produce a 2nd glass (as Steve sometimes does) with a topless version that would be used as a wall hanging. I chose to have both fabricated with the original design going directly to the restorer and the naughty version going directly to me.
Fabricating purple marbleized caps was the biggest challenge for the restorer and not exactly sure of how it was done and was told to simply enjoy the final product. The “CA,” “M,” and “EL” caps are originals, as are the purple triangular guides and white flipper bats.
Mechanically, all components and steppers were present, but decided to bypass the selenium rectifier with a solid state bridge. GENCO games have these neat looking, but potential fire hazard selenium rectifiers and it has become a simple, but essential step to safeguard these games. Additionally, the increased power does help with the kick outs and flipper bats. Tom Considine had published some helpful guidance, with pix a few years ago, as to how this is done.
Last part of the restoration was the gentle sanding and staining of the legs and wood and a fresh clear coat on the playfield to help protect the touchups and re-leveled inserts.
Game is lively and fun.backglass (resized).jpg1 (resized).jpg2 (resized).jpg3 (resized).jpg4 (resized).jpg6 (resized).jpg5 (resized).jpg7 (resized).jpeg9 (resized).jpg10 (resized).jpg11 (resized).jpg12 (resized).jpeg8 (resized).jpeg13 (resized).jpg14 (resized).jpeg