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That’s right!

 

From the builder of my current project, “The Rye Airplane – the Model – the Diary” my next project will be of another Fred Church signature classic.

 

The Cyclone Racer once sat on an amusement pier known as The Pike in Long Beach. The twin racer was built in 1930 and operated for 38 years before being unnecessarily removed for a causeway in preparation for the arrival of the Queen Mary.

 

Having it rebuilt in full operating scale is the passion for Downey resident and friend Larry Osterhoudt . He is actively pursuing his goal and has engineered drawings currently being reviewed by some government agency. Afterwards, an Environmental Impact Report will be created, that alone would take a year.

 

This is a real life project that is a lot closer to fruition than any other coaster resurrection project. There is a lot of time to build up a huge force of support.

 

As my contribution towards this cause, I am recreating the famous classic ride to use as a visual aid to drum up excitement amongst the general public.

 

The project, preliminary research underway, is not expected to interfere with the progress of my current model of the Airplane, expected to be completed by this summer. I'm starting to think my Airplane model is just a warm up...can you imagine?

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Edited by hillflyer
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I wish you great luck with this model! Have you recreated the Giant Dipper at Belmont? That's one of my favorite Church designs.

 

I have built SEVERAL models of the Giant Dipper in some way shape or form. They led to my becoming one of the first to begin the effort to save the real thing!

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This is in the summer of 1981 during the time when I was still illegally trespassing on the property to get dimensions. This was a highly photographed drop on the real ride, so I built this first. I started to build the station the way it was in 1976, before I found out that it was not the original design (redesigned in 1956). Scale: 1/4" = 1'-0"

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Right after we began the Save the Coaster Committee, I immediately had this built to show what the center part of the coaster would look restored and pretty. I recreated the 1925 station house. The red color was inspired by the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper. We used this one to show City Hall January 20th, 1982. When I made a short musical documentary film on the roller coaster, I tried to recreate the fire by having the coaster in the foreground and the fire about three feet away in the background...not far enough. I was SICK the next morning. But at least I have that moment on film!

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I built this 1/8" = 1'-0" this one in only 6 weeks summer of 1982. We used this one to display on site when we had our public work days. I don't know what ever happened to this one.

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Summer of 1987, I built ANOTHER whole new 1/4" = 1'-0" midsection. I upped the detail and even used candy off a candy necklace to use as footings! They worked perfect. This model was destroyed in a break in of our construction office (it was behind the door when in broke open). The remainder was buried under the real station house.

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Edited by hillflyer
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Those models look really good! Thanks for finding the pictures, the Giant Dipper has such a great layout and location.

Edited by Paradox
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Ok, this is awesome!I am excited about 3 things with this post. First, I have heard so many stories from my family about the Pike and the Cyclone Racer, so I am beyond thrilled to hear that someone is possibly going to try and rebuild the ride. Is there any idea of location? Hopefully still in Long Beach. Second, I love the Big Dipper in Belmont. Its such an amazing wooden coaster, so I am very grateful to you for taking the time and energy to save the ride. I only wish it had better trains, lol. Third, another model! Models get EVERYONE excited about upcoming projects, and your attention to detail is second only to the actual ride your recreating. But, you have been working on the Airplane for quite some time (granted, some person issues). So, do you plan on going faster on this one? Cause you'd need it done for public viewing and such to get support.

 

And keep up the great work!!

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Ok, this is awesome!I am excited about 3 things with this post. First, I have heard so many stories from my family about the Pike and the Cyclone Racer, so I am beyond thrilled to hear that someone is possibly going to try and rebuild the ride. Is there any idea of location? Hopefully still in Long Beach. Second, I love the Big Dipper in Belmont. Its such an amazing wooden coaster, so I am very grateful to you for taking the time and energy to save the ride. I only wish it had better trains, lol. Third, another model! Models get EVERYONE excited about upcoming projects, and your attention to detail is second only to the actual ride your recreating. But, you have been working on the Airplane for quite some time (granted, some person issues). So, do you plan on going faster on this one? Cause you'd need it done for public viewing and such to get support.

 

And keep up the great work!!

 

Thanks! I've been excited about the Cyclone Racer project for quite a while. I'm just finding what stage its in. Larry tells me there are some studies, plans to have approved, and investors, then of course, permission to build it. He already has an enthused builder on the side lines. Larry has been working hard to keep it in Long Beach in the neighborhood of its old location. But he swears if it gets rejected, he's taking it across the country until someone builds it.

 

Larry is keeping guard over his plans so I'll have to do my own research, but he figured out the Cyclone Racer just by looking at photos, which is the same for what I did with the Airplane, so I'm sure they'll be a close match. The Airplane was difficult to build. I'd like to think this will be easier because there's fewer whirlpools and more straight-aways but...we'll see.

 

The Saving the GIANT Dipper was the greatest thing I've ever done. For your nice message, here is a spoiler of how I am gridding the ride so I can survey it.

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A really good profile shot. I determined the FULL length, tip to tip is 550 feet. That's 9'-4" long, two feet wide, and 18 inches tall (measured from the top of the top ledger down to the top of the bottom ribbon board) With the top "start gates" and the added foot at the bottom, it will be more like 20".

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Edited by hillflyer
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  • 4 weeks later...

Studying the structure is the most fun.

 

I was able to procure a copy of the original blueprint for the layout of the Cyclone Racer. Matching it up with an array of photographs can be tough on the brain but it keeps me sharp!

 

Bring back the Cyclone Racer

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Making the structure profile, NOT the track profile. Not yet. This part is different than the Airplane where I was trying to figure both out as I was going along in one sweep. Figuring out the grid of the structure first will be key to helping me figure out correct profile radii.

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One of my regrets about the Airplane will be that I didn't make my drawings look professional, they' were just lines with notes. I thought about going back and redoing the profile/elevations, but then Cyclone came up.

 

I didn't get too far along before I remembered about making really good plans I can be proud of, so I recreated my template. It will take 23 sheets like this to do....just one side.

1718412921_CRPlan.jpg.2a11d7c79c4040f7413a08ca4762d5cb.jpg

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One of my regrets about the Airplane will be that I didn't make my drawings look professional, they' were just lines with notes. I thought about going back and redoing the profile/elevations, but then Cyclone came up.

 

I didn't get too far along before I remembered about making really good plans I can be proud of, so I recreated my template. It will take 23 sheets like this to do....just one side.

 

Keep in mind this is just the elevation for the STRUCTURE and not the track.

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  • 1 month later...

Update. I've been working on my Airplane Coaster model (see thread: The Rye Airplane - The model, the diary...) about 15 hours a week. Soon I'll be coming up on the four year mark since I made the first posting. The structure, and the track, are weeks away from being completed! Then I have to do the landscaping and other detailing.

 

When it is impossible for me to work on that, I've been studying, no, make that scrutinizing the profile of the legendary Cyclone Racer coaster that was once in Long Beach. I want this one to be grand as I'm planning on building the pier as well. So far, I'd say I'm averaging 15 hours a week on the Racer.

 

The project is in no way affiliated with the current and active effort to have the ride rebuilt in Long Beach.

 

If anyone has any pointers as to where I can find some really good and clear Cyclone Racer photos, please contact me.

 

I've discovered some very nice photos online but the resolution is poor. Here are some of them...you can see some reference notes on some of them.

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One of my favorites. Back in the day when the coaster sat on a pier out over the water.

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A sample of my note sheets from which I will make final drawings.

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I made the first bent for the Cyclone Racer model...sort of. This is a reference and test bent to use while I'm designing on paper.

 

I am considering increasing the scale just a teeny weenie bit over the Airplane model which is 1" = 5'-O".

The reason is because of actual cut lumber sizes back in the day. The Cyclone Racer used 6x6 upright posts of Douglas Fir as did the Mission Beach Giant Dipper. The nominal size would be 6 X 6 but the actual measurement is 5-1/2" x 5-1/2". Same with a 2 x 4, the actual size of a 2 x 4 is 1-1/2" x 3-3/4". I ran in to a few problems with making the Airplane sticking with the nominal sizes. For example, the first layer of track bed is made up of 2x2's - eight of them in a row side by side. On the model, that would scale at 16" but the actual measurement on the real coaster would be only 12".

 

When in came to trying to fit the track and the catwalks within the space allowed across the bent was sometimes challenging because of that variance.

 

Just for a test, I created a custom scale ruler for the increased size. Not THAT big of a difference. What would measure old scale at 32' now scales at 30.5.

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Trying to figure out how this connection would work...seems a bit awkward.

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  • 3 months later...

I just couldn't wait to continue this project.

 

Many lessons were learned in the building of the Airplane Model. I want to experiment with some construction methods I thought of later that are more efficient and on point so that not so much time is spent going back and correcting or fine tuning.

 

With some of the money that I raised on Go Fund Me, I bought a drawing board and some architectural supplies to help in the design process for Cyclone.

 

Today I worked on designing a template to recreate Fred Church’s sub-track patent. This template will enable me to make long stretches of straight sub track and tie assembly in a short amount of time.

 

The other layers of track will be added once the hills are formed.

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Really cool how you're labeling every support and angle of the track. Look luck with the project man, the airplane came out great.

 

Thanks! transferring information back and forth between blueprint and photographs is my favorite part

 

If anyone hasn't seen my last project...

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How I'm improving moving forward on to my next project. The Cyclone Racer scale will be custom.

 

The Airplane was 1 inch equals 5 feet; The Cyclone Racer will be 10% larger so that the plastic strips will scale more accurately to actual lumber sizes. I can avoid issues with pieces not fitting and proportions not looking right and the track won't appear so thick. If you compare the areas within the two red circles, the preferred outcome is on the right.

 

Who believes the best grade I ever got in math was a D in pre-algebra?

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Dig those crazy pants tho.

Please check out and like the new Model Cyclone Racer page on facebook!

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C'MON Peggy Sue let's go LIKE the Model Cyclone Racer Page on Facebook! Too many wonderful RCT artists on here, we don't have a chance!

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LATEST NEWS: The model Cyclone Racer has just been bumped to quarter inch scale.

 

The Airplane was 5' =1 inch, the model Cyclone Racer will be 4' = 1 inch. This after careful consideration of the many pro's and cons, (cost was the only con).

 

The length of the model from tip to tip, not including the base, will increase to 11.45 feet.

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