When you see something like this on the side of a building, you can’t resist going inside to investigate …

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In fact, they want you to step inside …

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Mean Machines is an eatery/antique emporium …

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… where a colourful selection of restored vintage cars and motorcycles are on display …

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Also pinball machines, furniture, bric-a-brac and other sundry collectibles …

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There were plenty of vintage radios …

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… and two or three typewriters, which were not on display, but hidden away in a storage area that was closed to the public.

I knew this because of a Gumtree listing I’d seen a few days before …

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As it turned out, it wasn’t a 1950s Marilyn that awaited me inside, it was a 1970s Monica – covered in dust and positioned sideways in its upside-down case – which I decided to rescue …

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$75. Not cheap, but cheaper than the vintage radios. monica-sm9-r0

This typewriter is not quite as snappy as my 1964 SM9, but comes a close second to it.

Basically, after some typewriter horse-trading, I’m back where I started, with two similar yet contrasting Olympia semi-portable typewriters, having replaced the 1968 and 1970 Color-tip S machines I blogged about in September 2015.

The old-shape versus new-shape differences I described then, apply equally here …

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For example, in the following image you can clearly see how different the return levers are, and see how much narrower the neck of the ribbon cover is on the Monica …

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Of course, in this case I’m not exactly comparing like-for-like, given that the stripped-down Monica lacks the touch control and the tabulation of the SM9. No great loss.

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Something in favour of these later Olympia typewriters, I think, are the black “snug-fit” compact cases, which are lighter that the bulky wooden ones that came before …

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Another convenience is the Monica’s birth certificate, which will serve very nicely as a type sample on the TWDB …

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It’s incredible what the naked eye misses: I haven’t quite finished polishing the ribbon cover … judging by the smear of car polish I left …

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All things considered though, Monica’s a mean machine. If you see one, take it for a spin!

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