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According to wikipedia:

Telex may refer to:


Telex, a communications network

Teleprinter, the device used on the above network

Telex (band), a Belgian pop group

Telex (IME), a convention for writing Vietnamese using ASCII characters commonly found on computer keyboard layouts

Tele-X, a Nordic communications satellite

Telex Communications, an American manufacturer of hearing aids and audio equipment

Telex II, a later name for the TWX teletypewriter network

Planet Telex, a song by rock band Radiohead

Abbreviation Telephone exchange or telephone extension


My vote is for a Belgian pop group.

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Thanks for posting the IAD material (and all the rest, of course).


I agree with your comment about IAD not being the greatest coaster designers, but their predecessor - NAD (National Amusement Device) - did build a few memorable rides that I rode: Camden Big/Lil Dippers; Lincoln Park Comet; Cascade Comet; Rockaways Atom Smasher, etc.


Most famous is the Mexico City Racer. Before CCI castrated it, that was a mean machine. Designed with "circles & straight lines," as a good friend and current woodie designer describes the ride's engineering, the Racer had THE most intense and violent airtime of any coaster I had EVER ridden. IAD obviously used the Racer as inspiration for Colossus.


Though I was just a wee lad at the time, I enjoyed a nice dialogue (through letters) with NAD's founder, Aurel Vaszin. This was just before his death. He was very proud of National's work and not so happy with the direction IAD was taking his company. If only he had lived a bit longer, he might've sent to me more information on another NAD classic eh was researching, Montana Rusa --- that massive ravine woodie NAD built in Guatemala.


Did you have anything on NAD? Perhaps I could scan some of my brochures and you might keep this wonderful thread going. Our collections seem to mirror each other. I have just about everything you've posted so far.


Keep up the good work!



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Yes Scott, I am sure our collections pretty much mirror each others. We seem to have started collecting about the same time (of course you are MUCH OLDER than me...lol) Where are collections probably differ is your collection being more "wood" heavy and mine more "steel" heavy.


I have nothing on NAD and was surprised I even had anything on IAD. My collection doesn't go back much further than 1978.


I did get a chance to Ride Montana Russa before CCI tamed it and have to admit it was a great ride!!!!

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Well I want to post one more update from a ride manufacturer, Chance Manufacturing (maker of some fun flat rides), before I do another in depth look at some parks.


This catalog comes from 1977 and lists a lot of their quirky rides that are no longer around; Radar, Turbo, Twister, Zumer, Toboggan and the Sky Wheel. Most of their product line was for carnivals and fairs but they did feature several of their rides in a park model. Some of these became quite popular in theme parks such as the Trabant (Casino) and Yo-Yo. Chance has always made beautiful Merry-Go-Rounds and their CP Huntington train was also very popular in amusement parks, city parks and zoos.


So for all of you that love flat rides, enjoy this look back at Chance, I have also included the price list from 1977 so you can see how much a Zipper cost back then.


Boy you gotta love the name "Pixie Plaza" those two words, "pixie" and "plaza", just scream 1970.



















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After seeing the Chance catalog here, I realized that I've been on more Chance rides than I previously thought. Some years back, Chance acquired Morgan's assets, including their coaster designs. Interesting how there've been few---or any---"Morgan" coasters built since.



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I'm really digging these updates. I had that same Chance catalog, I used to write the companies and tell them I was doing a report for school. Do you by any chance have anything on S.D.C. from Italy?

Keep it up, all this old stuff is good to help with the winter time blues.

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1979 Park Brochures


Now back to some retro park stuff. the year is 1979, the year that I started my collection of all this stuff. In 1978 I was quite young and I didn’t really know that there were any other parks outside of the state of California (well except for DisneyWorld). Since my Dad was in the amusement business and he saw my fascination with rides he thought it would be fun for me to attend the IAAPA convention with him.


While at the convention I got a hold of a membership directory and discovered a whole new world of parks. I sent away for brochures and information from all these parks around the country and almost everyday, for a couple of weeks, I would get something in the mail about each one of them.


So for the next couple of weeks I am going to post one brochure a day from each of these parks as they were in the year 1979. It is really interesting so see the new attractions that were introduced that year as well as to see how different the parks were back then. Click on the links below to see the brochures.



Busch Gardens The Dark Continent

Busch Gardens The Old Country


Cedar Point

Elitch Gardens

Geauga Lake



Kings Dominion

Kings Island


Magic Mountain

Marriott's Great America, Gurnee

Marriott's Great America, Santa Clara


Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags over Georgia

Six Flags over Mid-America

Six Flags over Texas


Worlds of Fun

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Most famous is the Mexico City Racer. Before CCI castrated it, that was a mean machine. Designed with "circles & straight lines," as a good friend and current woodie designer describes the ride's engineering, the Racer had THE most intense and violent airtime of any coaster I had EVER ridden. IAD obviously used the Racer as inspiration for Colossus.

The day that 'circles & straight lines' stopped being the coaster ethos, was the day that coasters began to get tame, and lame. Ofcourse, the mediocre coasters of today cater to society's cotton wool expectations, threatened by our compensation culture (it's bad now in the UK, and I blame the US, you lot started it!:p).


I haven't ridden a single GCI coaster that excited me for instance. Smooth, over engineered and dull. Turns, turns and more turns - John Allen was right in reckoning turns don't do much for people - they really don't overall, they're a cop-out - as are parabolic hills that on a bad, slow day give no discernable negative force. A circle always gives you air, fast or slow. You shoot up in the front car hitting the arc, and shoot up in the back car leaving it - and on a good day you can actually float right over, as well as getting the strong pops entering and exiting.


A parabolic hill tends to need lots of speed to produce a good float, and thus needs to be set lower than a circle - a great ride could be built by the likes of John Miller topping at 60', with a long track full of circular hills that all gave great, strong but safe force. The designers back then used every inch of height that they could, and made a long worthwhile track out of it. Coasters today start tall, and quickly get low. Their ebb is too steep; turns are used more to eat up the energy, and a 100'+ 'traditional' coaster can have less linear trackage than a 60' vintage coaster and be much less fun!


Parabolic hills and a mess of high banked turns - total cop out. It's a shame that the man who claimed turns don't do much, was the man who started the process that made hills do little, too. Somewhat humorous though is the fact that John Allen claimed his newer, bigger hills to be parabolic "because that's the way objects naturally fall" - yet they WERE circular, they were just made up of more than one circle - they were compound curves. KI's Racer's big third hill, from which the tracks split, is clearly a two-radii compound curve, as are the arcs up into the turns - the latter very evident in a roughly side on photo of Rebel Yell, there's a few kicking around the net taken from atop Anaconda's first drop. The positive centripetal, single circular curve curls up and reverses directly into a large radius that at around 20-25 degrees switches to a smaller radius.


John claimed hi tech parabolic geometry but couldn't get away from circles. Arrow never could until close to their eventual demise, and their coasters are among my favourites - give me one of their classic loopers or hypers over a B&M or Intamin any day, B&M especially - how can you make a huge, fast coaster so forceless and boring? - well I suppose you do what your customer wants, and if parks today want pseudo thrills i.e huge, seemingly terrifying structures carrying a track which in reality feels to give you not much more force than sitting motionless in an armchair, then that's what you design for them. To me it's such a waste - you're going to spend all that money, use all that material and do all that work, and you end up with a ride marketed as thrilling and white knuckle, which isn't as fun as riding a bicycle. All you have is height and speed - too much of both, with no force in the mix. Doh!


People rave about Magnum having great airtime, and its hills are perfect circles. The first drop is even a tri-radial compound curve, you feel the radius step up from small to medium, then from medium to large as you inch over. That admittedly works well for a first drop where you start from a low speed, and drop to a steep declivity - it's not too comfortable to curl a circle right down to 60 degrees in a coaster hill, so this is a case where a compound or or parabolic 'style' curve is useful - but after that, you get the best thrills from circles & straight lines, and today's designers just seem too scared to do what worked so well for their predecessors. Perhaps it's a case of dumbing down to appease insurers; a case of being big headed with the computer technology at your fingertips, or both - but the coaster geometry of today, if it does anything for me, it annoys me more than anything else. But then I really do need to get a life. I have this wild idea that I'll one day be selling brand new, traditional circle & straight line, out & back woodies. Perhaps if our cotton wool society were to ease and I were to get some engineering qualifications I'd have a chance - a traditional wood coaster built with traditional geometry and traditional structure gives a true shake, rattle & roll ride that nothing else can offer, afterall.


Coasters have lost their way - I wish someone would build a new out & back woodie, with three row PTC cars, unarticulated, hell even four row if PTC were still brave enough. I used to think that stress fatigue must be an issue in the longitudinal chassis members of these cars but there's many three row examples still in operation (Grand National's new cars are unarticulated too - they simply couldn't have a heavy chassis as the structure can't take it, so PTC were forced into territory that PBB said they weren't fond of - making a light, twisty chassis - which had been their norm essentially upto the 1990s). PB also have Big Dipper's four row 'flexicars' (as I once read someone call the type) in operation, infact three of them are now adopted by Roller Coaster and will make their debut next month. There's a lot of aluminium in those chassis, and those cars run fine over some nice circular hills (well, they're badly warped but look the type to have been drawn circular on plan, they were just built very roughly!). I'm living in the wrong time for coasters, I'd have been great in the 1930s or the 70s revival.. though the former would be easier as I'd need no qualifications to call myself an engineer. LOL


New coasters are all fun, some more than others.. but sadly only a small few are as fun as the oldies. They just don't build them like they used to - too dull, and with too much structure. You don't NEED that number of ledgers holding the track - the track NEEDS to flex more than you now allow it to. You also build the laminate too deep and too chunky (to take the cars that are built far too heavily) and you make a coaster that quickly becomes unmaintainable by the customer and rides like a jackhammer until your company comes in to fix it, then go away for the problem to come back. Wood track needs to flex, wood coaster cars need to be lighter, and the hills need to be circular. Where did it all go wrong?... probably largely to do with corporate operations...



This thread is great, I'm loving the scans. People often use the phrase "they don't make them like they used to" far too much in life - in many cases progression and technological evolution is the right thing, healthcare for instance. A roller coaster though just doesn't feel like a roller coaster if built new today, there's no shake and rattle, there's just roll. If they were built right, they'd feel right, but everybody's lost the plot with advancing technology at their greedy fingertips...


Long live John Miller's and Ron Toomer's uncalculated circles... lol. I'm just a looney. Ignore me. I'll never get anywhere...

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Musical Pete, if you enjoy rides that are designed with circles and straight lines, there are plenty of Meishos in Japan that seem designed that way. Take Camel Coaster http://www.rcdb.com/id1264.htm at Nasu Highland. Personally, I enjoy the flowing curves of newer rides.


Yet, there are plenty of new coasters with straight line design, but in other countries (for instance, the Sameco company in China seems to use that style). I find it interesting that nowadays, the woodies seem to use parabolic hills only.

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