History of the West Park Neighborhood Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Believe it or not in Ohio between 1928 to 1956 you could drive your car on a roller coaster!
Article by Gary Swilik
Auto Roller Coaster
From the moment people discovered it was fun to ride down hills in anything on wheels the development of the roller coaster was probably inevitable. The first real roller coaster, with cars locked onto a track, was built in Paris in 1817. By the 1920s no amusement park was complete without an impressive roller coaster. Many remember that West Park had their own world-class coaster – The Cyclone – which ran at Puritas Springs Park from 1928 to 1956. Far fewer know there was once a roller coaster for automobiles near Cleveland Airport.
Auto Roller Coaster
Yes, a roller coaster for cars. People paid a fee to drive their automobile over a series of eleven hills on a U-shaped elevated roadway constructed of wood. The peak of each hill was nine feet high and the distance from crest to crest was 112 feet. For about a dime riders could experience the thrills and chills of a roller coaster without leaving their own car. Read the rest of Gary’s article here
Back in the 1950’s one if my favourite car designers Virgil Exner was experimenting with a whole new look for Chrysler. An important factor in these developments was a partnership with the Ghia design studio in Italy. One of the highlights of this collaboration was “The Norseman” concept car.
In the 1950′s Dodge was busy experimenting with engine and head designs. They produced a number of interesting new designs, but few went on to be used and even fewer lasted the test of time. One of the better designs they came out with was the Poly head V8, but it didn’t go on to see the success that the Hemi did. This 1956 Dodge Coronet Lancer is powered by one of these Poly V8s and is a solid driver. Take a look at it here on eBay, were bidding is still low.