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Fantastic old coaster footage/pics

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
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I don't know if this had been posted before, found it on accident. I had known Arrow had envisioned an inversion element for the suspended coaster, but I hadn't thought they built a full-scale prototype?
bat1400x560_3.png
 

vaugc002

Member
Yeah I remember this documentary:


But it only shows a model with an inversion, and then a prototype without one
Seeing a full-size prototype with one really makes it seem a dangerous element. It's a very tight corkscrew isn't it
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
A little bit of research I have been working on recently.
I recently purchased a booked called Scream Machine - A History Of The Roller Coaster which was released back in the late 1980s. Thought it might have some interesting tidbits to add to the RCDB. And in that respect its a bit of a gold mine

However one sectioned jumped out at me. Mention of a National Amusement Devices (NAD) terrain coaster built in the 1950s in Guatemala City. The written section reads like this.

La Montana Rusa(?), Guatemala City, Guatemala. Over a mile long at 5800ft it has reached mythical - Olympian - status. The coasters only known photograph is figure XI:11, found in the trash at National Amusement Device's old factory. It lasted only four years, 1953-57, before the Guatemalan government actually used it for firewood. Those that have ridden it say it was the finest ravine ride ever built, Puritas Springs and Rocky Springs not excluded
The image from the book looks like this (Moderators - Not sure I can post a picture from a book like this? Whats the rule here on copywrite)
NAD1.jpg


With a glowing review like that and such a rare picture how could I not be intrigued. And with almost 30 years having passed since publication of the book, The internet must have something to say on this mythical ravine coaster right?

Well as it turns out not so much.

Starting looking for Guatemalan wooden coasters unexpectedly bought up another large wooden coaster that was built in Guatemala City some 30 years earlier. (I say unexpectedly, This ride was on the RCDB unlike the ravine coaster but i thought pictures of a ride built 30 years earlier would be harder to find. I was wrong)

A little history on this earlier wooden coaster. It was built at the Guatemala National Fair/November Fair which seems to have run every year from 1936 at least until 1943 and featured a large wooden Out And Back coaster that interestingly also build by NAD.

Perhaps the best thing about this fair and the wooden coaster is it was built to celebrate the then presidents birthday every year.

"The then president of Guatemala, Jorge Ubico, was known for holding big parties for his birthday - November 10 - which is why he decided to create the November Fair in the city. La Aurora National Park was the chosen place to create the event."


Guat2.jpg Guat1.jpg Guat3.jpg Guat4.jpg
Picture Source

The ride seems to have eventually closed in the 1940s but an exact date seems to be lost in the mists of time. And while its certainly a really cool and impressive ride. It doesnt drop into a ravine :p

It took some time but I eventually found a news article about a death on a coaster in Guatemala city in 1953 which matched up with the timing of the Terrain coaster. - Article here - Most importantly this suggested the rides name was in fact "Barranco Chapín" (Barranco seems to translate roughly as Ravine or Canyon)

This led me to facebook post on a page called Fotos Antiguas De Guatemala where someone describes their memories of Barranco Chapín being built. - Post here - The post suggests that Barranco Chapín was set up by a later goverment to celebrate the November Fair as was done in the 30s with the Out and Back coaster seen above.

""I worked at the offices of the Route to the Atlantic, in the Department of Machinery, located in the General Directorate of Roads, when in the month of November 1953, during the government of Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, came the idea and the project to celebrate the November fair as usual in the time of General Jorge Ubico ...
The project involved the construction of new facilities, such as the Plaza de Toros La Aurora and the Chapín Ravine (roller coaster), as well as the remodeling and restoration of old facilities that existed since the time of Ubico,"

And it turned out that Facebook page contained the jackpot. A post containing an aerial image of the Ravine coaster and its location in relation to modern day structures. - Post here

Large.jpg

The comments also included a better close up of the coaster.
Closeup.jpg
Now the ride perhaps doesn't look over 5000ft long and maybe as often happens things have got clouded durng the passage of time.
But its certainly an intriguing very little known ride that I'd love to find more on. Currently it seems the internet may be exhausted but I'm sure there is more out there somewhere. I shall keep an eye out :)

As another note of interest the 2 NAD coasters were on almost identical plots of land.
This old map showing the Out and Back coaster shows the race course right at the bottom of the image. There are 3 distinctive buildings there. in a kind of Dash Dot Dash configuration. The same buildings are visible on the larger 1950's aerial image above at the south west of the race track. Putting the older Out and Back coaster roughly where the Velodrome is now.
Small.jpg

And as for where that is in the modern world
https://www.google.no/maps/@14.5959486,-90.5328645,421m/data=!3m1!1e3
The Velodrome in the old aerial image is still extant today.
 

Hixee

Flojector
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Quality, quality stuff as always. I wonder if there are any remnants of the coaster still visible? I took a quick look at Google Maps today, and nothing much is visible from the satellite, but the ravine looks to be still mostly untouched, so I wonder if there are still some footers down there?

The image from the book looks like this (Moderators - Not sure I can post a picture from a book like this? Whats the rule here on copywrite)
As for this - I wouldn't worry about it. The odd image here or there is fine, it's only if you started uploaded scans of the whole book that we'd be a bit more concerned.
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Great find @roomraider! I just just had a quick look through the Billboard articles that rcdb is refering to on the site of the other Guatemalan coaster and it seems that the upper bit of info listed on rcdb is actually refering to the coaster you've found. Odd that Duane never bothered about the bits that clearly mentioned the coaster featured in the articles was built in the 50s and not in the 30s. Do you have any other source that claims the earlier coaster was built by NAD?
The roller coaster was built from pine and cypress obtained from the local jungle which was cut by hand.
An article in a 1953 issue of Billboard Magazine reports the length of this roller coaster as 2400 feet while a 1960 article reported it at 4000 feet.

The June 27th, 1942 issue of Billboard has Frank L. Uzzell's obituary written by bother R. S. Uzzell: "He traveled extensively in America, Canada, Europe and Mexico. In 1936 he, together with William C. Uzzell, super- intended the construction of an amusement park for the government of Guatemala, consisting of 12 rides, one of which was a giant coaster almost a mile long (in an earthquake zone). He remained there to train local operators and took them thru a national fair without a mishap. "
Billboard articles;
https://www.google.si/search?hl=sl&tbs=bkt:m,bkms:1168684103302644149&tbm=bks&ei=LzboW-6EE4mcsAe8uLDoBA&q=roller+coaster+guatemala+&oq=roller+coaster+guatemala+&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..41.3141.4568.0.4969.9.7.0.0.0.0.189.420.0j3.3.0....0...1c.1j4.64.mobile-gws-serp..6.3.418....0.at9hjYmKqN0

As for why the newer coaster didn't last, it just seems that the new governement wasn't interested in running it anymore. A big shame, but not the first time this happened...
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
Great find @roomraider! I just just had a quick look through the Billboard articles that rcdb is refering to on the site of the other Guatemalan coaster and it seems that the upper bit of info listed on rcdb is actually refering to the coaster you've found. Odd that Duane never bothered about the bits that clearly mentioned the coaster featured in the articles was built in the 50s and not in the 30s. Do you have any other source that claims the earlier coaster was built by NAD?
Cheers. I think the RCDB errors are just left over from yesterday when there was only one coaster listed and it was assumed both the 30s and 50s coasters were the same thing. Duanes off at IAAPA this week so I doubt things will get updated until his return :)

And currently I don't have a reliable source. There seems to be a fair amount of confusion between the 2 rides all over the place.

Its interesting to read that in 1960 a Hershell wild mouse was sent to the National Fair in Guatamala City. I wonder if it ever got set up or if the civil war that started in the same year scuppered thosep lans.
 

kenny cook

Member
This is weird and wacky why?
While the ride in itself isn't wacky, the story of what happened with it afterwards is. Post it's Dorney Park life, it was supposedly sold to a park in Jamaica, however, no record of the park (photos, videos, articles) and it appeared that the coaster has disappeared off the map, sold to a park that didn't exist. However, during some research, I found that there was a park many years back in Jamaica called "Coconut Park" that was left abandoned soon after the coaster would have been purchased. Turns out that this park has since reopened as Funland Jamaica, and through some further investigation, although unproven, I believe that a mix up in a translation caused Coconut Park (Funland's pre-abandonment name) to turn into the reported Coney Park, hence causing the mysterious disappearance of the coaster for several years as this "Coney Park" never existed. This would not only explain the fact of why nobody could ever find the park, as it was mislabeled, as well as why there's no record of the ride running in Jamaica, because the park would have gone out of business shortly thereafter. This is all unproven, however, through some research, I believe that that's what happened to the coaster, it may truly never been known though
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
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Many years ago (in relative CF terms), there was a user came on here looking for evidence of a coaster on the pier at Weston Super Mare. He was convinced that it existed, but nobody knew anything about it at the time.

Nobody could find any evidence at all and it looked like maybe there never would be...

However, now something like 14 years later, he's found a YouTube video. I got a fantastic email of him yesterday with a link to the video. It's actually really great that there's some closure to this thing :)

Here's the video, with the coaster near the end:

I'll be honest, I'd forgotten about this completely and RCDB does have an entry for the coaster now with a bit more detail. The video is superb quality for the time.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
Not "That" old but this is the only good picture of Boomerang at Tokyo Dome City I have ever seen. This Arrow Shuttle Loop ran from 1980 to 1984 and was replaced by an Ultra Twister, Which itself was replaced by Linear Gale the worlds first Intamin Impulse.

Its not that Unique of a ride but its a unique picture.
img064.jpg
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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Not "That" old but this is the only good picture of Boomerang at Tokyo Dome City I have ever seen. This Arrow Shuttle Loop ran from 1980 to 1984 and was replaced by an Ultra Twister, Which itself was replaced by Linear Gale the worlds first Intamin Impulse.
In other words, they've built virtually every two-dimensional coaster offered on the market in that spot? I guess we'll see a clone of Pulsar at Walibi Belgium replacing it next.
 
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