Our first pinball machine: A Bally Alligator.



My brother Pieter called and said there's an auction, they're selling a bunch of junk, including a *pinball* *machine*. So off we go, eventually persuade the auctioneer to ignore the other shit and get to the machine in question, bidding starts at R100 (Note: this is/was about 2.5 cases of beer equivalent) and goes up to R500 (work it out for yourself :-) *sold!*.

Auctioneer sez "but remember, we have to confirm with the owner..." Now, nobody would sell a perfectly good pinball machine (some attention required) for R500 now would they? Wrong! Auctioneer calls, sez the machine is ours. Oh frabjous day, callooh, callay, Pieter wastes no time at all to go give the bloke a cheque. R500 + R50 commission + R7 VAT on the commission less 20c we later found inside the machine. R556.80.

Next day we go and pick up the machine. Get it home, plug it in, nothing. Fiddle with the fuses, ha! we have GI. Hit some buttons, ha! we have a ball. Allright! :-)


So, I'm the owner of half a 1968, German, Bally Alligator electro-mechanical pinball machine. That needs some serious cleaning. And new rubber. Not to mention a new ball.


We've obtained a circuit diagram, set of rubbers and a ball from Steve Young's Pinball Resource. But we've decided the machine is in too nice a condition (according to South African standards, anyway) for bumbling first-time pinball machine restorers to practice on. So, for now, the Alligator is a showpiece, and I'm slowly restoring the Top Score first.


Brian Saunders emailed me and asked that I take a few pictures so that Jay Stafford could put it on the IPD. The originals are here.

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Last updated 2002-12-23