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Back before the Web was commonplace, roller coaster/park research meant going to libraries and historical societies and digging through tons of meaninglessness to find little hidden treasures. In the early '80s, I discovered this article on the infamous Riverview Bobs in a university microfiche collection.

 

Sorry for quality of the images but that was the best their printer could produce. I don't even know what magazine it came from now, but I would love to see these photos in the original. There's mention of Chicago (mag?) on the bottom of page 6, but I don't think every page came from the same mag. If anyone can ID this publication, please let me know.

 

Enjoy!

-Scott

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So many great quotes in this article...

 

-Lagoon's Fire Dragon compared to a sassy Joan Rivers.

-Magic Mountain's Colossus as massive as Arnold Schwarzenegger

-Texas Cyclone as rough as Tom Selleck's stubble or like riding a bucking bull on crack.

 

 

But the one I don't get is the comparison of the Riverside Cyclone to the New York Cyclone... They always say that the Riverside Cyclone was patterned after the famous New York Cyclone. The only similarity I see between the two is the name.

 

PS- any of you out there remember who Mr. Magoo is? If so don't forget to take your Geratol with a nice glass of warm milk.

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Yeah, I noticed the Coney/Riverside Cyclone comparison as well. That didn't make any sense to me either. It was nice to see the Texas Cyclone with its three-bench PTCs still intact. That was the first year I rode TC. What a ride ...

 

-S

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^ Scott, the Texas Cyclone originally run with the PTC 4 bench trains, I didn't know that it went to a 3 bench... It was a great ride back then.

 

Then the horrid Coffin-Morgans made their debut and that was the end of the Top Ten reign for the Texas Cyclone, it dropped faster than Lindsey Lohan on New Years Eve!

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Oh, yeah, TClone ran PTC four-benchers at first, then went to three-benchers to negotiate the turns better. Then, after a ludicrous lawsuit they put on regular headrests, followed by the foam phone booth things ... and THEN the Morgans.

 

That poor ride had more surgeries and alterations than Michael Jackson's nose. It really was a great ride ... until Six Flags tried to tame it .. and then destroyed it. Sad, sad, sad.

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The Comet at Cascade Park, New Castle, PA, was built in 1954 on the site of another woodie, the Gorge/Gorge Dipper. Using some of the structure from the first ride, park manager Paul Vesco reportedly built the ride with equipment obtained from National Amusement Device, including two 4-car Century Flyer trains.

 

I actually got to know Vesco rather well because of my interest in coasters. I recall how my friends and I walked into Cascade on a late summer afternoon in 1981 and found the park completely devoid of patrons. It was sad to see so many classic rides silent.

 

Upon entering the Comet's station, we saw Paul sitting alone on a bench beside the Comet's manual brake handles. He appeared grateful for the company and seemed to take pleasure in giving us our own private ERT.

 

The Comet was buried in the woods to such a degree that photos were difficult unless you walked the track or visited in winter. With the station perched on the edge of a ravine, the trains turned left out of the loading platform and plunged through the tree canopy into the valley. A couple of decent hills were followed by a tour of the rugged, densely forested ravine on the banks of a creek. There were very few other drops to speak of during this section. It was more of a turbulent scenic railway that had no pacing or flow. Riders were required to dodge low-hanging trees, limbs and vines. The highlight was the ride's finale: After the chain lift, the train made a 180-degree right turn and then dove down a VERY steep drop toward the creek. After a shallow, high-G pull-out, the train screamed out of the ravine, into a sharp left turn and finally back the brake run/station.

 

My last ride on the Comet ended prematurely. I remember the train speed seeming slower than normal as we left the lift, made the turn and plunged. At that point, I knew something was not right. Those heavy Century Flyers made it as far as the anti-rollbacks at the top of the last hill ... and stopped. A friend and I were riding in the last seat, which was now hanging over the abyss.

 

Shaking his head with dismay, Paul walked around the brake run, down to where we were stranded and manually released the lap bars so we could climb out. (See the following photos of that empty train hanging over the ravine.) I don't know if the Comet ever ran again, and I feel quite fortunate to have experienced this quirky, one-of-a-kind thriller.

 

-SR

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Going back to the Killer Coaster article, here is a little more that I found on the Lightnin Loops accident.

 

Wow, Shane, that's such a grizzly description. It still puzzles me how the operator would push DISPATCH and not see this girl struggling with her restraint. Sad.

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From the day I rode my first Wildcat, I've been a major fan of coasters from Germans Anton Schwarzkopf/Werner Stengel. So, I thought I would share one of my all-time favorite manufacturer brochures, which I picked up at an IAAPA show. While not sure of the exact date of this one, I'm guessing it had to be the mid-to-late 80s since Thriller and Olympia are mentioned.

 

Enjoy

 

-S

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Why did Schwarzkopf only include loops on their coasters any other elements?

 

Though most of his rides utilized the standard clothoid loop, Anton (via Werner) did offer several variations. Check out the inversions on Thriller (especially the 4th), as well as Olympia Looping's first HUGE loop.

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Why did Schwarzkopf only include loops on their coasters any other elements?

 

Though most of his rides utilized the standard clothoid loop, Anton (via Werner) did offer several variations. Check out the inversions on Thriller (especially the 4th), as well as Olympia Looping's first HUGE loop.

 

Besides loops, I mean like Corkscrews, etc. Elements other than a loop form.

 

-Tatum

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Besides loops, I mean like Corkscrews, etc. Elements other than a loop form.

 

-Tatum

 

There are MANY explanations as to why he stuck with 99% loops. (Thriller technically has a corkscrew in it in my opinion.) Some say it was just his design style, but I think it had lots to do with ease of portability with his designs. Ever seen a portable corkscrew from ANY company? I'm sure one exsists somewhere, but I've never seen any.

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Schwarzkopf made some really good flats. The Enterprise from Magic Mountain, Knott's, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, SFGAd, SFoG, SFoT, SFStL and both Great Americas are Schwarzkopfs as are all the Bayern Curves. So is the Bay City Crawler (Lobster) at Six Flags Great America and the Ferris Wheel at Cedar Point.

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There are MANY explanations as to why he stuck with 99% loops. (Thriller technically has a corkscrew in it in my opinion.) Some say it was just his design style, but I think it had lots to do with ease of portability with his designs. Ever seen a portable corkscrew from ANY company? I'm sure one exsists somewhere, but I've never seen any.

 

Vekoma makes several versions of portable corkscrews

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While I love the look of Anton's box beam loop, nothing compares to the beauty of the open lattice loop structure. It was much more sleek than Arrow's design.

 

I agree about the beauty of the lattice structure. It was quite expensive to build compared to the box beam. I guess that's why we only saw it used on Revolution, Hershey's SDL, Carowinds' White Lightnin', Kings Dominion's King Kobra and ... are there any others? Can't think of any at the moment.

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