Miami Beach 1955
For a long time the restoration of a Miami Beach was on my still to do list. However the Miami Beach in my collection is in a remarkable good condition and is playing for years without any problem, so a restoration of this obeject is not necessary. Everything changed when we were informed about two Miami Beaches in a chicken shed in Belgium. But the owner was convinced that a Miami Beach was made of pure gold in 1955 and did not want to sell it for a reasonable amount of money. Finally we offered him a restorated bingo from our collection with a reasonable amount of money for those Miami Beaches. In this way we were the owners of two special bingo's which you can't compare with any other bingo.
Bally introduced in the mid fifties very surprising features. Don Hooker, the fabulous designer of the Miami Beach introduced the magic Curtain in this bingo. The feature that made the Miami Beach unique, because this feature never was used in any other Bally bingo. That's why a Miami Beach have to be part of a serious bingo collection. In the picture, the curtain opens just one step, something that really can not happen, because in the first step the curtain will always open two positions and thus are shown seven columns
The card is large and has in addition to the five horizontal lines, nine vertical columns. But the four columns on the right side of the card are covered by metal plates, leaving only the standard card with 25 numbers visible. Depositing more money could mean that the metal curtain opens in three stages and finally the maximum map is visible. Because the are four Spotted Numbers could be bought and if the feature Green 3 in line scores as 5 in line is lit, it is possible to shoot only two bals to reigister a 5 in line score. Even if this feature has not been activatedit will be possible to score a 5 in line with only three well placed balls. But it can even crazier. It is possible to score a 8 in line without the use of extra balls. Unfortunately you don't receive extra points for this!
Was the design with the later bingo's often unimaginative, at the Miami Beach the artwork plays a prominent role. As usual Bally used only 4 colors, but the drawing (especially the one of the cabinet), was found when restoring a lot of work. When I visited my good friend Oldbinger a few years ago, he presented me a brand new door of a Miami Beach. So I was in the opportunity to have made the original colors now. The new door was a little bit damaged after more than fifty years, but all holes for mounting the components appear already drilled, only the holes for the nails of the button shells are still missing
From the stock of parts we selected new buttons and new chromium plated parts, the light fittings were replaced, so the lights would burn well again and the rest of the playfield was intensively maintained.
The restoration of the inside was less work. In the fifties Bally used significantly fewer parts than in the bingo's such as the OK or 20 holers. But work on the control unit (which was provided with new leather clutches) and the Mixer Unit is for all units identical. The backdoor was laid down horizontally, so that everything could be cleaned, here and there a new coil stops were fitted, and some burnt wires were replaced with new ones with the original color code. The register was replaced because the old register the numbers were not legible anymore and, of course, the fuseholder has to be replaced by a new one.
After spraying the cabinet all new parts were fitted on the front and playfield again.
To get an impression of the new made Miami Beach please click this