from my combined berzerk & breakout roadtrip
there was still a breakout (which i couldn't take with me the last time) waiting for me at andre's place in holland, because unfortunately he had to cancel his visit to my place due to horrible weather conditions earlier this month. when erik told me he had set a date with the warehouse owner to pick up a bunch of cabs, i quickly jumped on board, because there was more
than just the breakout to finally take back home - well, at least back home to germany!
here's what coming up
once again, the journey starts very early. as you can see, it's still dark
andré and erik have kindly agreed to bring along my breakout and the night driver to be saved
from another warehouse, which means 3 cabs in total. unfortunately, my car is not big enough for that "kind of volume", that's why i asked sascha (laschek) to join me on this roadtrip. he had shown interest in the rare avalanche cabinet which was also at the warehouse, so we decided to team up and head to the belgium warehouse together, where we were supposed to meet erik and andré at 1 pm. have you realized my use of the word "supposed"? more on that later ...
first stop for me: sascha's place. not too far a distance, but damn cold outside!
oh - and i almost forgot this, the most important picture of them all
luckily, winter is coming to a close, so it doesn't take long for the sun to rise
after a little more than 2 hours, i arrive at sascha's place, who's already waiting for me in his all original american army van
let's set the target
did you know that atari not only produced video games, but also army trucks?
sascha's van might be old and a little bit rusty (and quite loud inside
... but it still does its job and offers a lot of space for cabs - you can even put them in in an upright position (well, at least most of them)!
after a mere 5 kilometers, we hit the first obstacle - a traffic jam
. look at those gigantonormous control panels on the truck to the right. i wonder what game those are made for?
fortunately, it doesn't take long for us to continue onwards, but have a look at what caused the accident
after about two hours on the road, we leave sascha's federal home state behind and head into belgium
another three hours later, the gps displays the following data: 10 kilometers and 10 minutes to go, we're almost there!
the exit to the warehouse is coming up on the right side, when disaster strikes!
suddenly the car is starting to shake and vibrate, first slowly, than it's getting worse by the second. a strange sound from the right, the van is getting extremely difficult to control, but sascha manages to pull over safely (well done!). we get out and here's what we see
damn, a blown tire - still on the highway so close to our target! let's first secure the scene of the accident ...
... then get the tools out of the van
where to put the car-jack
removing the lug nuts with a lug wrench
but then we realize that the car-jack is NOT WORKING. all the attempts to make it work fail, so we call erik and andré for help, who are already busy loading up the cabs. more than 1 1/2 hours later, the two guys show up and we have the right tools to change the tire!
job done! with just 10 kilometers to go, we finally head over to the warehouse. erik and andré are already on their way back home to return the rental car, but they have left both the night driver and the breakout inside the warehouse for us to pick up! here's sascha and his army truck in front of the rolling shutter gate.
inside, the atari basketball is still at the same position where we left it the last time we were here - puh! i've fallen in love with the cabinet because of the fantastic 3-dimensional bezel setup around the monitor area which makes it look like you are watching a basketball game from one of the upper rows in the arena.
let's get this baby out!
navigating the narrow corridors of the warehouse isn't that easy
only straight on from here
since atari basketball is the bulkiest of all the cabs we've decided to bring home, it is going in first
can we fit in another cab next to that giant?
sascha measuring out the two smaller cabs: breakout in the back and avalanche in the front. the latter is missing the coin door and the player one start button, but otherwise is in nice cosmetic condition
and in they go (bezel and marquee removed from the avalanche)
just a reminder: three months ago we were at the same warehouse where i handpicked the same breakout that is sitting inside sascha's van. in the meantime it has been in my car, inside andre's gameroom, inside andre's car on the cancelled roadtrip to my place, inside andre's kitchen for a test run, inside erik's storage unit and inside erik's rental van to get it back here! imagine this: the cab has been travelling around belgium and the netherlands for THREE MONTHS and now it's back at the exact same spot where i picked it up! what a journey - and how stupid
now on to the last: atari's night driver. this is also a biggy and because sascha's car is just a little more than 180 cms inside, we can't stand the cabinet up anymore! will it fit?
after a lot of budging and eventually having to unscrew the leg levelers, we somehow manage to squeeze the night driver in
check this out - not even a paper would fit in between the door and the cab! this was precision work
i thought about taking the nicely-looking vanguard along for the ride as well, but i guess three games on one roadtrip isn't too bad either
because of our flat tire and the time it took to change it, we're already pretty late, so the journey home is being done in night driver-style - how fitting!
at around 9 o'clock we arrive at sascha's place, where we unload both the night driver and the breakout into his garage, from where i will pick them up one by one over the course of the next few weeks. i wonder if the breakout will ever find its way to my place ...
i didn't take any pics of the unloading / storage process anymore, because we both were exhausted and the only thing we wanted to do was FINISHING!
of course FINISHING means another good two hours on the road for me, but eventually i DID FINISH!
let's combine our kilometers on the road: + one continent, two countries, 6 cans of pure sugar, 1325 kilometers, 18 hours 21 minutes on the road - this roadtrip is OFFICIALLY OVER!
the next day, i'm unloading the cab at the patrik's (well-known) storage for a first inspection. condition seems to be ok at first glance!
control panel only showing minor signs of rust, but when you touch the paint, parts of it crumble off with a lot of rust appearing underneath - this is going to be difficult to restore. the trackballs are completely worn and almost impossible to move. i wonder what's blocking them inside. dead mice? let's hope not
also a lot of rust on other metal parts
left side is alright all in all, but two areas look worrying!
right side is a little bit better
and finally, a look inside! i'm extremely happy to find the original atari basketball manual
this is going to be one hell of a restoration - but it has to wait a little (or quite a) while longer. too many other projects to finish first!