I originally got this from Crazy Frazee, who assured me that it was in great condition. I arranged to have it shipped to me, and when it arrived, I was disappointed to find that the marquee was a color photocopy in two pieces, so there was a seam running right up the middle. The control panel overlay had a gold painted bezel on the curve to hide the cracking and the drink holders were sloppily spray-painted gold, with over spray ending up on the t-molding.
I complained, of course, but Crazy Paul explained that he had put a lot of work in to restoring this beauty and didn't understand why I was unhappy. (Years later, he lost everything and ripped off a bunch of people by selling stuff and never shipping it, me included ($30 for a Rescue Raiders PCB)).
I set about restoring the cabinet. I traded a Rolling Thunder PCB + cash for a nice, new marquee. I bought a NOS control panel overlay and installed it. I took the drink holders to a brass plating shop to have them plated, but that didn't turn out too well. I guess they didn't know until after they tried that plating aluminum doesn't work too well. The finish looks nice and shiny but has a bunch of dark bubbles in it where the aluminum had pores. Oh, well. It still looks a lot better than it did before. They did do a very nice job polishing up the foot rail. I also found someone selling a "NOS" monitor glass. Mine was flaking slightly in the black so I bought it. When it arrived, however, it was obviously not NOS. It was nicer than mine and I got it cheap so I didn't complain, but I should have.
A year or so later, I was browsing eBay and came across an auction for an empty Tapper cabinet. The picture link was broken, but I figured out why and downloaded the picture to look at in Photoshop. Holy smokes, it's got color side art! The current high bidder was a friend (David Birchell), so I emailed him asking if he'd seen the picture. He had not. I showed him and told him I'd do some kind of deal to make sure he could put together a working cabinet if he let me have the cabinet. He decided to get the cabinet first and talk about it later. I eventually ended up just buying the cabinet from him, sticking all my best parts into it and selling the left-overs. In a strange twist, he later decided he wanted a Tapper after all and bought my empty monochrome-side art cabinet. =) I couldn't make the 2000 CA Extreme show, but I decided to let the boys take a bunch of my cabinets anyway. Perhaps that was not such a good idea. When the cabinets were returned to me, the sides of the Tapper had come unglued and separated, allowing the marquee to drop out onto the floor of the moving truck and shatter into millions of tiny pieces. I wept.
They were very apologetic and bought me a new marquee (thanks to Bill Esquival for selling it). I used wood glue and new screws and put the cabinet back together and all is good once again.