Some Restoration Examples
A 1964 Williams ‘River Boat’ The image to the left is how we received it. Many hours of sanding, painting and new cabinet stencils gave the result on the right. The rest of the machine had some playfield restoration to the worst of the worn areas [to preserve some of its aged patina] plus a full overhaul, repaired and painted front door, new legs, etc.
A 1967 Gottlieb ‘Sing Along’ cabinet. Once again, it had been hand painted with gloss paint. Many hours of sanding, painting and new stencils to factory design saw the machine back in its former glory. The rest of the machine received an overhaul too, plus new chrome legs and re-polished brightwork throughout.
Some playfield restoration work examples
A 1967 Williams 'Apollo'
A 1964 Williams 'River Boat'
Playfield restoration techniques
As a guide to the prices to restore a cabinet, much depends on its condition. The average time spent, paint & materials and stencil production costs will often run to £1700 and more. The paints used are usually nitro-cellulose [as was used in the day] and sometimes a 2-pack material. It is a time consuming process and the typical turn-around is around 10 weeks. Please note: If buying a machine that has its original factory art-work on it and it is in a condition commensurate with its age, then we suggest that you consider this carefully because should you sell the machine at a later date, many collectors dislike restored cabinets because its history has been removed. Better, where possible, to have it carefully partially restored, i.e. the worst areas restored with air-brushing or localised spot-repairs instead of a complete re-paint. It’s only fair that we point this out in case you might run the risk of devaluing your machine!
As for playfield artwork restoration, again, this can be a time consuming task and typically, as in the case of the Apollo machine illustrated, that job took some 80 hours labour alone. Again, be aware that some collectors prefer a machine to ‘look its age’ and avoid a fully restored playfield ,etc. That said, as in the Apollo, it was just the proverbial ‘bridge too far’ type of condition and its owner just wanted it brought back to look ‘as new’ again.