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Posts Tagged ‘Chance Manufacturing’

Chance Turbo

November 2014 Ad for a Chance Turbo ride in Zhejiang, China, which sold to Playland in Vancover, Canada via usedrides.com

This week, ATZ learned that Playland Vancouver will re-sell the rare 1970’s Turbo ride purchased last year from China via usedrides.com instead of having it refurbished as planned. Last November ATZ had the scoop on the acquisition of the legendary and surreal-looking amusement ride by Canada’s oldest park, which hosts the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). The news galvanized the 700-plus members of the Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club, who are ready to plan their vacations and travel to distant places for the ride’s comeback. Why did the PNE change their plans?

“Chance has given us an extensive report on the machine’s condition that has shocked us,” PNE Maintenance Supervisor Peter Tremblay told ATZ, referring to the Turbo’s manufacturer, Chance Rides. “With this report our board has voted to sell this ride, rather then repair to add to our park due to high costs and risks. On a more positive note, we have had very high interest in the machine, and now it will be sold to a U.S. buyer.”

The Turbo, which was brought to China from Australia a decade ago, was shipped to Chance’s factory in Wichita, Kansas. A spokesman for the manufacturer said Chance will not go ahead with any work on the ride until the PNE has sold it to a new owner. As ATZ reported previously, this Turbo is expected to get a re-do rather than a restoration. Chance and the PNE had agreed to “a full make over in line with today’s strict safety standards” and “new open style tubs limiting 2 passengers per arm to make this ride more modern,” much to the dismay of Turbo aficionados, many of whom were born too late to have experienced the unique thrill of the ride.

A total of 23 Turbos were manufactured by Chance Rides from 1970 through 1976, and none are currently in operation. The Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club’s hopes are now pinned on the two Turbos being restored as labors of love by independent ride operators Jerry Baque of Classic Rides Amusements in California and Elwin Bell of Bell’s Amusements in Australia.

Turbo Maple Leaf Village

Mark Hackett, co-founder of the Turbo Amusement Ride Fan Club, after riding the Turbo for the first time – 12 times in a row!- at Maple Leaf Village in Niagara Falls, 1991. Photo © Mark Hackett

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Chance Skydiver Car

Chance Skydiver Car. Neven + Neven Moderne, Hudson, NY

It’s sad when retired carnival rides go unsold or are broken up for parts. We can only hope the old cars find an appreciative new home. For $3,500, you can spin yourself silly in this restored Skydiver ride car being offered by Neven + Neven Moderne, an art dealer in Hudson, New York. “Has wheels (not attached), for moving. Can be mounted to spin, or can sit on wheels,” according to the item’s description.

Produced from 1965 to 1979 by Chance Manufacturing, the Skydiver was a Ferris wheel-like ride whose cars were equipped with a steering wheel that let riders do barrel rolls. It’s considered a classic by ride aficionados but very few parks and carnivals have Skydivers nowadays.

During its heyday, state fair midways featured as many as three Skydivers in a row for the flash. Coney Island had a Skydiver as well as Chance’s one and only double Skydiver, called the Tumbler. Both rides were owned and operated by the McCullough family, who had rides in Coney Island for more than 50 years.

If you want to ride, you can still find a Skydiver at Lakemont Park in Pennsylvania, Silverwood in Idaho, and at fairs played by the traveling carnivals Christiansen Amusements, Campy’s Amusements and Powers Great American Midway.

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