Rally-Test steering wheel skillgame

Another skill game we recently added to our collection, it's a vintage mechanical skillgame made in Italy in the 1970ies.

retro Rally-test skillgame

I bought this when I visited an operator who still had a lot of vintage wallgames in his warehouse. Most were german Rotamint-style of games, but these red skill games intrigued me. I had seen a similar skillgame before, Leon of www.flipper-pinball-fan.be also has one but his is made in Spain. The one I have plays similar but was made in Italy.

Anyway the game needed a good repair, I even didn't know if it was complete when I bought it, although the mechanism is simple.. The steering wheel was missing, but the game looked to be complete.

retro Rally-test skillgame unrestored

This is how the game looked when I bought it. I cleaned the cabinet and replaced the broken glass.
The metal frame around the glass had a lot of corrosion, but as it was stainless steel I got it as good as new again using a lot of steelwool.. I put a new steering wheel on it, a plastic from an old arcade game. The original steering wheel on this game was metal.

The game is a skillgame that gives you the chance to win back your money.
You put in a coin at the top, it arrives on the playfield at the top. Using the steering wheel you can turn this playboard left and right.
The coin rolls down small metal frames, the goal is to get it through the whole path until the bottom. If you get it through until the bottom you get your money back, if it falls somewhere along the sides off the track you've lost it.

Rally-test skillgame internal parts

A look at the internals of the game. As you can see it's very simple. At the top left there's the coin mech. A coin rolls down the black metal chute and enters the round playfield at the top.
The steering wheel is connected through a thick rubber band with the playfield.
The operator can adjust how far the playfield can be turned, to make the game more easy or difficult.
Coins that are lost just fall out to the bottom of the game.
A coins that successfully completes the whole track, enters a kind of lock mechanism at the bottom (left in picture). The player can then turn a small knob at the bottom of the game. If a coin is present in this mechanism, the release mechanism at the other side of the bottom of the game will return a coin to the player. That coin was held in the black metal tube at the bottom (and the played coin is released onto the bottom of the game).
So the coin you play with is not the coin that's returned to the player ! Tricky, eh ?

Note this game had some electrical lights installed, but that was only for illumination: gameplay itself is completely mechanical.
I have removed these lights so it's again a fully mechanical game.

Rally-test cars

Closeup of the playfield. Using the steering wheel you rotate it, coins roll down the metal guides. When a coin gets close to the edge the player has to turn hard in the opposite to catch it and slow it down..

I contacted Frederico Croci (of Tilt.it) about the history of the game, but he didn't know a lot about it (and was amazed to hear these games had been found in Belgium). He could only tell me that they were made by a company near Roma and they were built by hand.

No company name or year can be found on the game itself. The cars drawn on the front do give some kind of indication about its age, most cars like the Alfa Romeo Spider, Ferrari Dino and Chevrolet Corvette C3 are from the sixties, but the Fiat 127 was made starting in 1971 and the Volkswagen Golf Mark 1 was put in production in 1974. So this game probably is produced around 1974..