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petestrash

Who built the Steel "Wild Cat" type coaster that operated in the 70's

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Does anyone know which manufacturer built the "wild cat" style coaster that was operating at LPS till the ghost train fire. Quite a few manufacturers made similar rides at the time. In guessing it was probably Anton Schwarzkopf or one of the Italian makers. Also does anyone know what happened to this ride after the fire. Peter.

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I believe it spent some time in an Adelaide park before being purchased by Adventure World. While it was in Adelaide it remained the same as when in Luna Park. Its lifthill was modified when Adventure World from the spiral system (where the cars had electric motors built into them) to a standard straight chain driven hill. I'd say the most logical reasons for these changes were availability of spare parts and reliability of the system.

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No the coaster I am asking about stopped operating after the ghost train fire. It was located about where the wild mouse is now, by the harbourside. between the rotor and coney island. I worked at lps in the eighties and geronimo was transfered direct to adventure world where the new lift hill was designed and installed. The coaster is currently plc controlled and operated by only 1 attendant. A far cry from the 6 needed at lps. Peter.

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I have an extract from my Luna Park history book (Just for Fun, Sam Marshall) about the installation of the Wild Cat. It then talks about it's removal and the addition of the Geronimo when the park re-opened under new owners in the early 80's - 'In 1970, under Ted Hopkins' supervision, the Wild Cat was built by Girvan Bros to replace the Wild Mouse because of its greater capacity. Plans and specifications for the Wild Cat were bought in Germany. Its construction was complex as the size of the ride had to be reduced to fit on the Wild Mouse slab and because of Australian steel, being in imperial dimensions, was used for a ride of German metric specifications. Extensive brakes had to be added to pull the cars up... On 3 June 1981 Col Goldstein entered the site and began deomolition. The Wild Cat and Carousel were dismantled and removed... Ten million dollars bought a second-hand roller coaster called the Geronimo (underneath which were dodgems, games and a shooting gallery)'

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Thanks GoBoi, Thats the coaster I'm talking about. I had assumed it was purchased 2nd hand in europe and sent across. I forgot we used to be the clever country. Now I just need track down which design it was based on. Does the book have any photo's of the wild cat? my memory for 30 years ago is not great. I think it looked a lot like all the Galaxi type coaster with italian styled cars. But if the book mentions germany as the source it may have been a werner stengel design, he did a lot of work with Schwarzkopf at that time. All I can remember about the layout was the track had a little dip imediately after the top of lift hill, before turning around for the first drop. Peter

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There are a couple of pictures but they are from a distance and not too clear. You are right about it looking similar to a Galaxi. The strange thing about it is that the upright supports look quite minimal and there don't seem to be many supports between the rails. It almost looks like it could fall down easily. I would highly recommend my Luna Park book to anyone who is interested as it contains the full history and tons of old photographs from the beginning right through to the 80's. I spoke to the Luna Park retail shop a little a while ago and apparantley an updated version is currently being worked on and should be available by the end of the year. You can phone them up to check up when it actually arrives. So tell us a little bit about what it was like working at Luna Park in the 80's. That is the park I vaguely remember from my childhood. I know that it wasn't a great attempt as I think they had other ideas in mind for redevlopment rather than a fun park. The one thing I remember liking is the cinema 360 thing. I also have a photo from when I was about 4 on a little boat flume ride for kids

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There are a couple of pictures but they are from a distance and not too clear. You are right about it looking similar to a Galaxi. The strange thing about it is that the upright supports look quite minimal and there don't seem to be many supports between the rails. It almost looks like it could fall down easily. I would highly recommend my Luna Park book to anyone who is interested as it contains the full history and tons of old photographs from the beginning right through to the 80's. I spoke to the Luna Park retail shop a little a while ago and apparantley an updated version is currently being worked on and should be available by the end of the year. You can phone them up to check up when it actually arrives. So tell us a little bit about what it was like working at Luna Park in the 80's. That is the park I vaguely remember from my childhood. I know that it wasn't a great attempt at a fun park as I think the owners had other ideas in mind for redevlopment into apartments etc (as usual). It was mostly a bunch of pretty standard carnival style rides and a pretty average layout. It was still kinda fun and scary though. The one thing I remember liking is the cinema 360 thing. I also have a photo from when I was about 4 on a little boat flume ride for kids

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It was a fun place to work pay was average though. At least Sundays were double time which was good. the highest paid ride operator was the projectionist in the cinema, about $20 an hour ordinary pay from memory. We had fun each morning before the park opened all the rides had to be tested and made ready for the day. Geronimo had emergency block brakes and they all had to be tested. No water bottles or sandbags then, once the cars had been tested empty we climbed in and tested each set fully loaded with the guys. We had to make sure each set was capable of stopping the fully loaded cars and that when released they would complete the circuit. Also the slides in coney island had to be waxed each morning, we put the wax on to the hessian matts and just used the slides repeatedly until they were extremely fast. We were getting massive airtime using these matts. Peter.

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Hello Peter I remember the stell roller coaster you refer to. A local family by the name of Haas bought both the big dipper and the steel coaster for an amusement park they 9really travelling carnival rides) called Dizzyland at the end of Hollywood Drive Lansvale. They successfully dismantled the steel coaster but the big dipper was demolished because they were unable to remove it in time. It is my understanding that they actually paid for both rides and they fell upon hard times due to the money paid for both rides. The wild cat was erected and sat derelict until the early nineties when I believe it was sold to someone in Tasmania. I think I have pictures somewhere that were published in my local paper. I will try and dig them out. Andrew

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ive got pics of the wildcat,i was 9 my brother took me to lunapark a week after the ghosttrain fire he took heaps of great shots. the water dodgems where under the wildcat in the 70s.on either side of them was the rotor & cha cha.

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the wildcat was removed from lunapark in 1981 when demolishing of park began. to make way for.harbourside amusement park...HAVE A FUN DAY. then in 1982 it went back to lunapark..just for fun.

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Goboi's information is absolutely 100% correct!!! The Wildcat was indeed made by Anton Schwarzkopf. A great pic of one can be found at RCDB under Cedar Point. Some good pics too!! Mercedes do you know what happened to it once it was relocated to Tasmania?? Lunaparkmad, do you think you could scan those pics you took with your brother all those years ago?? They coud be quite interesting!! Petestrash, since you worked at the park in the 80's, do you have any pics that you could share?? I went there in the early 80's but my memory is a little hazy. I also went in the late 70's where my memory is even hazier so any pics from these 2 era's would be much appreciated!!! Cheers Jobe

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I also have some pics of LPS in the 80's. some taken from up on the ferris wheel looking down midway and othrs of fav rides at the time ie pitate ship, supa loop. Unfortuately these are not scanned yet but I would really like to share them with you guys- so i will let you all know wen they are done. when are we all getting together for a chat about this great place? let arrange it sometime soon.

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Mercedes, I've heard the same information, re: the Haas family's ownership of it. And Goboi, you are right about it looking 'minimal' support-wise OK I'll set the ball rolling, here is a great pic of the face etc. taken during the 1980's, probably from the bridge. I notice Supaloops is not there, did this arrive at some point later? (I can see Pirate, Polyp, Waveswinger and Geronimo to name a few) (OK, I'm feeling generous and non-promoting, I'll keep it watermark free)

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LunaParkFanatic - you've got to remember that the new Luna Park is nothing compared to what it once was. Taking up all that extra space now is the massive car park/ticket booths, the yet-to-open brasserie and the large corporate function spaces including the Big Top. Luna Park in the 80's was not all that crash hot but it was still a fun park 100% and was not taken up by all these other uses. The new Luna Park is only half a fun park. By the way thanks for that pic Zamperla, you're a legend! Any others from the 80's?

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Excellent photo Zamperla thanks!! I have a couple of Luna related things that I will attempt to scan. I have a newsletter dated November 1999 that shows the then future plans for the current incarnation of the park, all the different carpark options and a very different layout to what is currently inplace now. However the scans exceed the allowable limit on the website?? Anyone know how I can get around this?? If anyone else has anything interesting to share about either Luna Park please scan as i love anything to do with these unique and historical sites. Its great to see people with the same obvious interest for a place that is very dear to my heart. Cheers Jobe

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Thanks Paul. I think I have managed to work it out. As you can see the newsletter is 4 pages long. The most interesting part is the outline of the different carpark options(both of which didnt eventuate in the final form.) Other interesting things to note *The Tumblebug in its original position *The very different Luna Circus and Luna theatre to the Big Top we have now *The use of the area behind Coney Island as to the current Maloney's Corner Anyway...enjoy,its an interesting little addendum to LPS history. Does anyone else have anything at all to add in the form of pics?? Lets attempt to build a good library of photos of the park from all eras throughout its history Cheers Jobe

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Madave,how are those photos coming along?? Anyone have anything else to contribute?? I think its a little amazing that there seems to be so little pics from this era in the parks history. As an aside Zamperla, do you have any pics of Luna park Melbourne from the 80's, specifically of the Big Dipper?? It would be great if you could post them in this forum!! Regards Jobe

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Yeah good point Jobe! I'd love to see more pics from LPM (and LPS) in the 80's, especially showing LPM's Big Dipper. I can't find anything

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Yeah good point Jobe! I'd love to see more pics from LPM (and LPS) in the 80's, especially showing LPM's Big Dipper. I can't find anything
Ethier... i cant find anything :mad: I've got the video on LPS's history, So i could maybe watch it and take some photo's then upload them? :confused:

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No, unfortunately I do not have any photo's of LPM's original Big Dipper. I do have a contact who has a huge archive of photo's, in time I intend to get hold of some. I'm very keen to see any photo's of Melbourne's Big Dipper - if anyone has any, please make contact with me, or post on this forum! Here is the only image I was able to find of it, I got this from the net some time ago.

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