“Ford” Amusement Park Cars Up For Auction

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Dan B
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“Ford” Amusement Park Cars Up For Auction

Post by Dan B » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:13 am

Hersheypark is auctioning off some of their old Turnpike Cars. These were put into service in 1975 and despite the apparent condition of some of them, it is amazing that they have held up as well as they have considering the popularity of that ride. Growing up close to the park, I “drove” these cars countless times in my childhood. I am amazed that the Ford logo was actually incorporated into the radiator despite the obvious design influences.

With a little work, one of these sure would be fun to drive in parades or just to put-put around the house.

http://www.jenningsauction.com/auction/ ... ne-auction
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Re: “Ford” Amusement Park Cars Up For Auction

Post by Jugster » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:17 pm

When I was a kid, amusement park kiddie-cars were usually a very generic compilation of recognizable features from the Brass-Era, so they had spoked wheels, gas-headlamps, cowl-lamps, flat radiators and, for easy ingress and egress, doorless tourabout bodies. And that was good enough.

But over the years, consumers have become maybe a bit more sophisticated and the "antique car" rides have now come a long way. In these photos, you can see that the cars are actually recognizable as to brand and the Cadillacs even have semi-elliptical springs and a dropped, I-beam front axle! Pretty darned good, huh?

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From what I've seen, they all operate on the same principle. The cars run on little gasoline engines that make a surprising volume of noise. Step on the single pedal and it acts like a throttle. Take your foot off the single pedal and the engine idles as the brakes apply and bring the car to a gentle stop. The cars have some serious bumpers because they rear-end each other often. Top speed is governed at something like 3 mph. The steering wheel does control the car, but the center rail embedded in the pavement will engage a hanging "finger" on each end of the steering mechanism such that the cars can neither pass each other, nor be steered off the road (They'd steer normally if not for the center rail). These cars are made to be driven by kids of just about any age, though the smallest shavers do need to be accompanied by an adult. The first one I drove was at "Freedomland," in the Bronx, New York, when I was about eight years old.

Here's a nice video of some little kids driving the amusement park antique cars.


Today, the Gould Manufacturing company of Canada makes a version of the antique car ride (Arrow Dynamics used to make a much nice looking version, but they went out of business). See link:


Gould Manufacturing also makes a "Parade Car" version with separate accelerator and brake pedals and reverse. It's also available in a silent, electric version. _The cars cost as much as $14,500 each, so they're not exactly cheap.


Retired ride cars, if you can find 'em, might be a heck of a lot of fun to restore and drive on private roads and in gated communities (with a proper muffler installed); it'd sure beat the living daylights out of driving a golf kart!

See the videos here:



The first motor vehicle I ever drove was at the long-defunct "Freedomland" amusement park in the Bronx, NY, when I was a little shaver, back in 1962 or so.

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Charlie B in N.J.
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Re: “Ford” Amusement Park Cars Up For Auction

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:32 pm

Good Lord....Freedomland. That brought back a shock of memories.
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Re: “Ford” Amusement Park Cars Up For Auction

Post by Ruxstel24 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:43 pm

It was Idora park, near Youngstown for me.
The Akron T club had a deal where we brought cars for a show, and they gave us perks/discounts. One being a book of tickets for rides. Us kids were off !! Next to the roller coasters, the antique putt putt cars were the best.
Long gone now, the old wooden coasters...one went all the way around the park. :D

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Re: “Ford” Amusement Park Cars Up For Auction

Post by Doug Keppler » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:54 pm

Knoebels in PA still has them I was just on them last year
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