The Super Off Road Challenge

Hard to believe how fast this summer has flown.  I hope you were able to enjoy the outdoors while the weather was nice.  When I was a kid, one of my favorite summer vacations was when my best friend took me 3 wheelin’ in the desert.  There’s something about the thrill of each bump that made it a lot of fun.

In 1989, the Leland Corporation capitalized on the growing popularity of off road recreational driving by releasing Ivan Stewart’s Super Off Road.  The game features an overhead view of the track and allows 3 players to play at the same time.  It was a hit and ultimately spawned several sequels including an expansion pack.  It really is a fun game and because it allows 3 players at a time, it introduces a unique twist to your competitive decisions.  Unlike a 2 player game, you have a 3rd player that can beat you if you spend too much time trying to slow your competition down.  Its a game that rewards precision, timing and raw instinct over who can get the biggest weapon.

This game isn”t just a favorite of mine, it’s also a favorite  for one of our customers, so when they asked us if we could fix it up for them, we were happy to rescue this game from deep storage, so that we could add it to our library. To help give you a better idea of the condition that we buy our games in and what we need to do to them, in order to bring them back to their glorious 1980’s condition, we’re going to document our Super Off Road’s  journey, from the deserts of Nevada to All You Can Arcade’s Global HQ in Antioch, CA.

We picked up this game a little over a year ago, in a tiny little town called Fernley Nevada.  This is the first opportunity that we’ve gotten to look at it, so we’re not really sure what to expect.  First things first, we wanted to check out the basics.

Off Road Cabinet 5

 

Overall, the artwork is in pretty good condition, although it looks like we brought a big chunk of the Nevada desert with us when we took it home.  It’s going to need a good scrubbing before we can even work on it.  On one side of the cabinet someone put super glue over the sticker to give it a more authentic off road grungy look 🙁

Off Road Cabinet 2

We’re going to try and clean it up a bit and see if we can peel it off without harming the sticker.  We’ll also touch up the rips in the stickers, so that the wear and tear isn’t as noticeable.  On the electronics side of things, the power supply is giving us good voltages, but there’s no sound coming from the speakers which makes us think we may have some PCB repair work ahead of us, on the game board.

Off Road Cabinet 4

Obviously the game is missing it’s monitor, so we’ll need to track one down as well.  A closer look behind the scenes also reveals that we’re missing our marque light as well. This is one of the things that are easy to ignore, but the difference between how a game looks illuminated vs. dark is really quite amazing.

missing light

On the bonus side, hidden deep inside the cabinet there is a plexiglass for the screen, as well as a good looking (albeit dusty) plastic bezel.

Off Road Cabinet 3

The game also has a control panel and pedals,  so most of the game’s skeleton is here.  Overall, this will be one of the more challenging restorations jobs, but by breaking it up into pieces, it will be much more manageable.  If you’d like to see how it turns out, feel free to check back and we’ll update this post with new information as the restoration progresses.

light fixture

To make the game stand out, we added a 13 watt 22″ florescent light fixture inside of the cabinet.  You don’t want to use too much wattage on your bulb or else it ends up distracting you while you play.  I think it looks quite a bit better with the new light.  I especially like how they designed the artwork so that the car’s headlights are on when the game is turned on.

Marque Lit Up

Next up, we need to get the monitor installed.  Originally Super Off Road used a 25″ K7000 tube.  You can use any 25″ monitor if you have the right chassis, but since we had an extra K7000 laying around, we went with this one.  Whoever sold us the tube spliced off all of the wires, instead of unhooking them.  This doesn’t create too much of a problem except for the fact that the connectors for the yoke wires can be a bit hard to track down.  Luckily we have other tubes with broken necks that we can steal the part we need from.  Here’s a closer look at the monitor that we picked.  There’s a little bit of screen burn from another racing game, but it still looks pretty good.

monitor

We’ll still need a chassis to power the monitor, but with the tube now installed, it’s beginning to look like an actual arcade game.  After cleaning the bezel and the acrylic window, it’s starting to take shape.

monitor install

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