An arcade miracle…a Spy Hunter homecoming

Back in the early 90s, my cousin and I used to ride our bikes to this Fred Meyer department store in Bountiful, Utah each Saturday. We did so to check out the new comics and to play the 7-8 arcade games that they had in a small room up front. The games would rotate, but the regulars included TMNT, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, and Spy Hunter. Each Saturday for years I’d play that Spy Hunter at least once, until the store remodeled and the arcades were removed. As a kid, I was crushed.

Fast forward to 2008 and the wife and I decide to go camping down in Southern Utah to some sand dunes. Just before leaving I did my daily check on eBay, craigslist, and local ads for a Spy Hunter. BAM! There was one in Las Vegas and the auction was to end Saturday night. I contacted the seller and asked if I could pick it up if I won on Sunday, he said yes. I threw in a token bid, and we went camping.

Sunday morning we got up early, broke down camp, and made our way to St. George, Utah where we got some breakfast and I found a computer I could use in a hotel lobby. I checked eBay and…YES! I won! We started down for Vegas when the seller called and told me the directions to his house and that he’d be there all day.

We got there, crammed the machine in the back of my parent’s Yukon and rearranged all the camping supplies (and our dog) and made it all fit. Just wanting to get home, we drove the long drive back home, which is just north of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Last night as I was going over the machine, I found something really odd: a sticker from Classy Chassis Beauty Supply. This sticker came from a store that’s local to Bountiful, Utah (I googled it, it’s the only one)…and is only about 1/2 a mile away from Fred Meyer! I had somehow found my childhood Spy Hunter. I couldn’t believe it.

The machine needs some work to fix a broken trigger button, and it needs a good cleaning up, but knowing where it came from and where it’s been, I’m never letting this one go. Here’s a picture of the machine, before I get to restoring it, and before I get it down into the arcade room.



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