Anyone who played pinball in the early 80's remembers Paragon. It's known for it's iconic artwork, for being Bally's first widebody, and for introducing in-line drop targets. Back in the day, I didn't like playing it as much as, say, Firepower. But that was only because I couldn't win free games as easily on Paragon. It's a tricky machine, especially with those two in-line flippers on the right side.

Paragon has always been on my short list of machines I'd like to own, so I jumped at the chance to get one when I saw it come up for sale on ebay. It was here in Houston, and bidding started at $500. Well, the reserve price was never hit - and the seller didn't seem that interested in letting it go. Long story short - a few weeks later it comes up on Craig's List, and the guy wants $1,000. It looked like it was in pretty good shape, but it wasn't booting up. I knew that I had everything I needed to fix it in the BlackJack I restored, so I tried to talk the guy down. Unfortunately, he wouldn't budge, and well - I really wanted it. Shelling out $1,000 for a non-working pinball machine was hard - but the hardest part was getting the thing down the stairs and into the Expedition.

One I got it home, I carefully removed the backglass and put it in my office. The rest of the machine was reassembled in the garage for the restoration. Funny thing - when I put it all back together and turned it on - it worked! OMG, I was STOKED! Unfortunately, I soon found out that it only worked sometimes. I rebuilt the connectors that supply power to the MPU, and that seemed to help - but it still wasn't booting up 100%. I wanted it to be reliable, so I broke down and bought a new MPU from Alltek.


The famous artwork of Paragon.



Notice the condition of the backglass - no peeling or cracking - a perfect 10.



The cabinet was in OK shape. There is some fading of the red, and notice the sagging floor towards the front.



The playfield was pretty clean - average wear around the bonus section...
...someone serviced the machine recently (new rubbers).



Original instruction cards....notice the tax stamps - machine must have been on-route through 1986.
I was sad to see the paint all scraped off around the yellow tax stamp. I guess they must scrape off the previous years stamp.


A couple other issues - missing wire gate at 'Escape Passage'...cracked mini flipper





Some wear at the kickout holes.




This is the worst wear...I'm still debating how to best repair it.




Finding a replacement flipper took some time.




The plastics were in great shape (pun intended).









VERY clean inside.



Here's the in-line drop target assembly.



Look at that mirror finish (you can see me holding the camera)



All the coils looked almost brand new.




OMG - it works!



Well look at that - all displays work perfectly!



It's time to clean the playfield.




I got crafty, and twisted some wire to make this gate.




The Beast's Lair will be the first section cleaned.






Ahhh, it shines up real nice.



Left is dirty, right is clean











I haven't done any restoration on the cabinet, but did clean up the coin door.







Playfield cleaned and waxed, new wire gate, new pop bumper caps and new mini flipper.














If I get some free time, I may go back and put some more work into a few areas - like the one above.






I worked hard to get the ball marks off the yellow.




















I've been playing Paragon a LOT's fun!


Send me email!