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International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Pole Position Pole Position - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Pole Position - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


Race your Indy car around the Fuji course before the timer runs out. The first run is the qualifying lap and your starting position is determined by your completion time. Avoid road hazards and other cars as you drive, earning extra time for each completed lap.

Pole Position was produced by Atari in 1982.

Atari released 137 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1972. Atari was based in United States.

Other machines made by Atari during the time period Pole Position was produced include: Neutron Star, Tempest Tubes, Tempest, Triangle, Maze Invaders, Akka Arrh, Atari Force Liberator, Fast Freddie, Black Widow, and Gravitar


Name Pole Position
Developer Atari (United States)
Year 1982
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 9063
Class Wide Release
Genre Racing
Conversion Class unique
Game Specific Pole Position Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

Pole Position Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 1
Game Play Single
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Steering: Special
  • Shifter: 2-position (low, high)
  • Pedals: 2
Sound Unamplified Mono (requires one-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Environmental/Cockpit
Bezel Pole Position Bezel Image
Control Panel Pole Position Control Panel Image
Side Art Pole Position Side Art Image
PCB Pole Position PCB Image

Game Introduction

Prepare to qualify! A sophisticated game for its day, with scaleable foreground objects and speech. Keep an eye out for the billboards! Also famous for burning the power input edge connectors and finger contacts on the PCB. Several custom integrated circuits.

Pole Position KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.70 (16 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.96

Overall Like 4.33
Fun (Social) 3.67
Fun (Solo) 4.07
Collector Desire 3.27

Technical Rating: 3.61

Gameplay 3.88
Graphics 3.73
Originality 3.67
Sound/Music 3.53

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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More pictures


This game was one of the choices presented to BallyMidway from Namco for sublicensing. BallyMidway chose IMappyI while Atari was left with IPole PositionI. IPole PositionI went on to become the biggest game of 1983 number four on httpwww.atarihistory.com30secrets.html .

Cabinet Information

The sitdown version of the game uses separate accelerator and brake pedals while the upright only uses a single pedal.


Pole Position was created by Namco Inc. who also manufactured the game for the entire world except for the United States. Aside from the words which are in Japanese found on and in the Namco version, the graphics on the side of the cabinet are basically the same as well as the billboards that are seen throughout the game. Compared to the Atari release, the only differences are the Atari Racing decal on the simulated dashboard and the little blimp that can be seen at the beginning of a race that is marked Atari with the message Prepare To Qualify. In the Namco version, the blimp has no markings on it.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Pole Position Census

There are 14,824 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,502 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,875 machines (6,918 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 659 known instances of this machine owned by Pole Position collectors who are active members. Of these, 613 of them are original dedicated machines. 2 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 41 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 24 active VAPS members with a Pole Position machines for sale. There are 9 active VAPS members with a Pole Position circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 31 active VAPS members currently looking for Pole Position. There are 3 active VAPS members looking for Pole Position boards sets.

This game ranks a 83 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 50 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



The game uses two Z8002 microprocessors, one Z80 microprocessor and a Namco 6channel stereo PSG for sounds.


  1. Pole Position
  2. Pole Position II
  3. TX-1
  4. TX-1 V8


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. Arcade Treasures Kurtz (ISBN 088740619X) Page: 111; Color photo
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 129; Color photo Price guide: No
  3. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 104; Color photo
  4. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 129; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): cockpit
  2. 3D Model (External): Upright (Irish Version)
  3. 3D Model (External): Upright

See the game at:

This game is available at the following public arcades, bars or museums:

Name Location State Country Details Check-ins
Bit Bar 278 Derby St, Salem Massachusetts United States 1
Level One Bar + Arcade 130 Hutchinson Ave, Columbus Ohio United States 0

eBay Listings

Click to search eBay for Pole Position Videogame machines and related items.

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Ebay Compatible Application

arcade machine full size Pole Position

Auction ends in: 3 days, 12 hours


Pole Position Arcade Cabinet Keychain

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 5 days



Auction ends in: 2 weeks, 3 days


Pole Position Atari Logo Arcade Shifter. Used. Untested.

Auction ends in: 1 week, 9 hours


Reproduction Atari Pole Position Metal Topper

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 6 days


Atari Pole Position Arcade Original Gear Shifter Bezel Ring

Auction ends in: 6 days, 22 hours


Pole Position Arcade Marquee For Reproduction Backlit Sign

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 6 days


Auction Results

Logged in members can see all related auctions.

Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2015 1 115.00 115.00
2016 2 661.25 661.25
2017 6 466.00 503.21
2018 3 826.00 1,062.00
All Years 12 531.00 636.90


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