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Posts Tagged ‘Bumper Cars’

Eldorado Auto Skooters

Eldorado Auto Skooters sign by Steve Powers, Surf Avenue in Coney Island. September 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In lieu of one of the presidential debates, let the candidates come to Coney Island and ride the world-renowned Eldorado Bumper Cars! There’d be no equivocating, no need for fact-checking. The slogan here is “Bump Your Ass Off.” We have to thank conservative columnist Derek Hunter for inspiring this wacky idea with his snarky tweet:

Of course, Joe Biden did not come to Coney Island on Sunday. As everyone knows by now, he was photographed at Cruisers Diner in Ohio, winning the biker chick vote while two dudes looked on disapprovingly. The photo cracked us up. Perhaps Coney Island USA should invite Biden and the biker gang to the upcoming Tattoo and Motorcycle Festival? Obama also had an amazing photo op in a Florida pizza parlor on Sunday, where the owner lifted him off his feet in a bear hug. We prefer the pic of him riding the bumper cars with Sasha at the Iowa State Fair in 2007.

Coney Island could use this kind of publicity, especially after Labor Day. When we took these photos last Wednesday, Surf Avenue was a ghost town thanks to rain earlier in the day. Only the Eldorado, Game World and Nathan’s were open. (See comments below for clarification.) As far as we know, the last time a presidential candidate campaigned in Coney Island was on Labor Day 1960, when the GOP candidate for Vice President Henry Cabot Lodge was filmed chomping on hot dogs at Nathan’s. Fifty years is too long between campaign stops.

Eldorado Auto Skooters

Eldorado Auto Skooters Sign by Steve Powers, Surf Avenue in Coney Island. September 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Eldorado Bumper Cars

Eldorado Auto Skooter at Night. April 12, 2012. Photo © Eric Kowalsky. All Rights Reserved

Coney Island photographer Eric Kowalsky captured the dazzling theater-style “Eldorado Auto Skooter” marquee on the first night that it was illuminated this season. The beloved disco bumper car ride and sassy “BUMP YOUR ASS OFF!” signs are here for your enjoyment for one more year.

In March, the Buxbaum and Fitlin families, who have operated businesses in Coney Island for more than six decades, sold the building that houses the Eldorado to Thor Equities. Arcade operator Gordon Lee, a longtime provider of arcade machines to Coney Island, is operating the Surf Avenue ride and adjoining arcade for the 2012 season. Hours at the Eldorado are “12 noon till closing.”

Eldorado Bumper Cars and Arcade, 1216 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

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March 20, 2012: 60 Years of Family History in Coney Island End with Sale of Eldorado

October 17, 2010: Photo Album: Oct 15 Tribute in Sound & Light to Scott Fitlin

October 13, 2010: Rest in Peace: Scott Fitlin, Coney Island’s Eldorado Man

March 14, 2010: Eldorado Auto Skooter: Coney Island’s Disco Palace of Bumper Cars

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Bumper cars

Easter Bunny rides former Astroland Bumper Cars at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. April 8, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

On Coney Island’s Opening Day, while others were lining up for the first ride of 2012 on the landmark Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, we went for our first spin in a long time on Astroland’s Bumper Cars! Last time we drove one of these sparkly cars was on September 7, 2008 when Astroland closed forever. Astro fans will be happy to know that the ride, along with its psychedelic artwork and rainbow-trimmed pavilion, has come back to Coney Island. The refurbished Barbieri bumper cars have found a new home next to the Wonder Wheel in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park.

Coney Island

Bumper Car Pavilion and Wonder Wheel, Coney Island. April 1, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

We happened to be walking by the ride on Coney Island’s Opening Day as it was about to go for its inaugural spin in Wonder Wheel Park and jumped aboard. With 24 cars and a huge floor, it’s the largest bumper car ride in Coney. Totally appreciated how big it was when a bunch of kids who didn’t know how to steer immediately created a major traffic jam. Since there’s no central island, we were able to spin around and drive at full speed until the bumping and thumping resumed.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Astroland, Coney’s Space-Age theme park. The iconic Astrotower remains a part of Coney Island’s skyline, but is no longer operable. The Astroland Rocket, the very first ride to arrive at the park, was donated to the City of New York in 2009 and is in storage. The Bumper Cars at Wonder Wheel Park are the sole survivors of Astroland that you can ride today at Coney Island. Here’s a video from 2008…

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!

September 4, 2010: Go Up, It’s Great! Coney Island’s & Deno’s Wonder Wheel

May 29, 2009: Astroland Star from Coney Island’s Space-Age Theme Park Donated to the Smithsonian

May 21, 2009: Astroland Closed But Your Kid Can Still Ride the USS Astroland This Summer!

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