A Phenomenal Ridge Racer Arcade Unit Brought Back To Life

A Phenomenal Ridge Racer Arcade Unit Brought Back To Life

Last Updated on December 2, 2022

The Ridge Racer series is near and dear to many, and it offers a unique type of arcade racing experience you can’t get anywhere else. Where other series have gone down the street racing or sim route, Ridge Racer has always offered a slick track racing experience featuring ridiculous drifting and stunning, original cars.

No matter your history with Ridge Racer, I bet you’ve never seen anything like this!

This is the Ridge Racer Full-Scale arcade unit. This incredible setup has three screens, a Mazda MX5 chassis to sit in, and even an ignition button to bring the car to life. These Full-Scale units are bespoke, with Namco engineers involved in the installation of every machine. They also cost $250,000!

Through the years, nearly all of these units have succumbed to time, with the last known one residing in Blackpool Pleasure Beach on the UK coastline, and that one disappeared a few years ago.

Details are a little fuzzy from here on out, but since leaving the arcade, this thing reportedly endured a stint in a garage and even outdoors. Water damage is a death sentence and allegedly played a part in the National Videogame Museum refusing to give the unit a home. Parts of the machine have since had multiple owners, and there’s a lot of ‘hearsay’ on how pieces have ended up where they are.

Miraculously, and with no shortage of effort from all parties involved, most surviving parts have been retrieved, including the MX5. A Restoration project is currently underway with the ultimate goal of having Ridge Racer Full-Scale operational once again.

Arcade Blogger’s Tony Temple has written a wonderfully in-depth account of events; honestly, it’s quite an adventure! And I highly recommend reading through it.

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