It was early 2014 and for reasons I really cannot remember, I found myself searching online to try and understand if it really was possible to own an actual arcade cab or if this outlandish proposition was just a pipe dream.
My searching led me to find a fairly healthy online community of like-minded enthusiasts existing in forums such as UKVac and JammaPlus, who were (and remain) on hand to answer all my newbie questions – of which there were many.
Despite the cloudiness in my memories of back then, I do recall my intentions being to try and obtain two very specific cabs, a Sega Outrun and a Sega Outrun 2. My reasoning was simple, as a child, one of my most impacting memories was being at a fairground, stood in one of the arcade trailers and playing Outrun for the very first time and being completely blown away by the undulating hills, forcing me onto my tip-toes to try and see over the top of each encroaching summit. Plus it had a bright red Ferrari and a sexy girl in the passenger seat! And I think I had played a lot of Outrun 2 during a then recent trip to Blackpool and loved the drift mechanics – oh and the red Ferrari and sexy girl…
Now, to anyone wanting to get into this hobby, nothing is unobtainable, however as with most things, some items require a bit more time, effort and money to achieve, with a bit of good fortune and timing also helping. I quickly realised that these cabs were much sought after titles that, rightly, demanded more cash/attention/knowledge than I had back then. So after a fair bit of research, questions asked on the forums and lots of YouTube videos watched, I had re-adjusted my wish list to include potentially any other racer.
As a child, through teens and into adulthood, I had always been drawn to racers, from the early days of the likes of New Rally-X, to more arcade racers such as Sega Monaco GP and Namco’s Pole Position, I just loved them, so it made sense to try and own one. And then it happened, one evening, whilst at home, on the forums, an advert popped up with a number of cabs for sale. One of them a fully working sit down cabinet, dedicated to Sega’s Scud Race. It was a game I had completely missed, both back in the day and during my more recent online searching, although I had briefly watched a couple of videos of it’s Stateside incarnation Super GT. So without time to think, I sent the seller a message, exchanged a couple of phone calls and the cab was mine, all mine, it was done, I had only gone and bought myself an arcade cabinet…. Oh my… what had I done…
Well in less than a week, with a call from the courier to confirm it’s imminent arrival, I was soon to find out. The cab, as with all my cabs, was going to live in my integrated, insulated garage, so despite it size, it went in nice and easy, with no domestic doors to navigate through.
And here she is in all her ‘as received’ glory..
I learned at lot from this cab, not just getting to grips with the inside gubbins and learning how the cab works, but I had discovered an itch that until then I didn’t even know I had and that I had even less of an understanding as to how much scratching it was going to take to satisfy it.
As with everything that had preceded it, since I found out the joy that can be had from turning a screwdriver counter-clockwise, I took this cab to bits, carefully cleaning every mechanical and electrical component before putting it all back together, crossing my fingers and switching it back on. [Please note that some components, especially those in the monitor chassis and anode connection, can and do, carry lethal amounts of electricity – do not go prodding things you do not understand. Find someone who does, learn, or leave well alone.]
But let’s get back to that itch…. I loved this cab, it is an excellent, solid arcade racer from stalwart Sega’s production line. It has a decent drift mechanic, great tracks with awesome scenery and backgrounds and a rock hard expert level!! But with space at a premium and sit down cabs taking up the footprint of two uprights and the title, whilst good enough, not holding any nostalgia for me personally, it’s time was always going to be limited and a year of so later, I sold it on.
But not before I had already bought another and constructed my first scratch built cab, but those my friends are stories for another day…. I hope you can pop back with a cup of tea and hear about these too. Until then…