This was the machine that started it all for me. I was over at my Sister's house one day when I saw a very ugly old Asteroids machine in her basement. I felt like I had struck oil. My Brother-in-law plugged it in and we wiped off the dust. It lit right up. I immediately played a few games. I was so impressed that they actually had one of these. Then, my Brother-in-law asked me if I wanted it. I was shocked. Apparently my Sister had been putting the heat on him to get rid of it. I very happily agreed to take it. I returned the next day with a van and brought her home.
This machine was butt ugly! The side art was extremely damaged with kids names and curse words scratched into the sides. The control panel was painted blue and had a huge rust stain that turned your hands orange when you played it. The buttons were covered with years of yag and would stick from time to time. But the machine played really well. I put some duct tape over the rust stain and it remained in this condition for a couple years.
When Ebay came on the scene I started to collect replacement parts and the machine eventually underwent a very extensive restoration. Here is what she looks like today:
I started with the Control Panel. I stripped it down to bare meal, painted it with primer and painted it a beautiful satin black. I then put on the new CPO and new white buttons. The difference was amazing!
I was helping two friends of mine with a warehouse deal in New York state, when I found an Asteroids cabinet in beautiful condition. It had nothing in it except a wiring harness, perfect. They gave me the cabinet as a gift. Very cool! Soon I had switched all the guts and the new Control Panel to the nice cabinet and gave the old one away. I laid a protective coating on the cabinet and she looks practically brand new!
Later, I added a brand new NOS marquee Very, Very Nice!!!
I completed the restoration by removing all of the metal trim and the coin door, stripping it to bare metal and repainting it, I added all new T-moldings and I refinished the front panel under the Control Panel. I put on new leveling feet and a new monitor glass.
I must admit that I am not very good at playing Asteroids. I have been tempted a few times to sell this machine, to make room for more projects, but every time I go to post it on Ebay, I have a last minute change of heart. It looks like my first machine will be in my collection for some time to come.
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