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Topic: [VIDEO] Bally's Corvette Pinball debuted at grand opening of the NCM

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[VIDEO] Bally's Corvette Pinball debuted at grand opening of the NCM (1/1)
 7/16/21 1:07pm
Adam Wartell
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Eagleville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Red T-Top


Joined: 3/18/2009
Posts: 4413

In 1994, the National Corvette Museum (NCM) opened its door to visitors. That same year, Bally, the pinball machine creator and manufacturer, released their Corvette Pinball machine.  Only 5,001 of the machines were ever made with the NCM getting a handful of the machines which were on display and ready to be played at the time of their grand opening. They accepted $1 per play to benefit charity, raising over $4,000 that weekend.  One of these machine were also purchased by Chip Miller, famous for being a co-founder of Corvettes at Carlisle, an annual event which still draws thousands of Corvettes and Corvette enthusiasts every year.  

Below is a promotional video released by Bally that shows off the Corvette Pinball machine, but also has now vintage footage of the NCM's grand opening event and Caravan. 

Bally's Corvette Pinball designer George Gomez provided this information:

Museum games were very early production games. They were not prototypes. The playfield [shown in the image below] is one of 17 prototype games, several of these playfields went to the museum for display purposes. However, museum games did have the special NCM welcome message in the code, this may have been the only difference in those games, other than that they were very early in the production run.

I personally sold Chip Miller his game. At the time he was one of the key guys in the ZR1 registry and many of those guys bought games from us at the museum. I don’t remember the exact number of games that we took to the museum. I believe it was either 6 or 9. One went into the gift shop where I believe it still resides. I set up displays on the design of the game including drawings, the prototype playfields, and many other development items such as models within the museum. One was in the display cases at the base of the Spire, the other was in a hallway display case near the Corvette toys exhibit in the museum.

During the grand opening weekend celebration the games were operated 24 hours a day at dollar play to benefit a charity. I worked the games with some of the other members of my team promoting and exposing people to the game. With me were Tom Kopera, mechanical engineer on the game; Bill Grupp, software engineer assisting Tom Uban; Roger Sharpe, director of licensing; and Barb Rosenthal, the Bally-Williams marketing director.

If memory serves, I took 3 prototype playfields with me to the museum for the grand opening. The playfields were left in the care of the museum's curators. I was disappointed to learn that somehow they were let go from the museum's collection. Someone in Bowling Green ended up with one of them, he tells me that he bought it from a museum employee.

 

 

NCM version of Corvette Pinball:




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