Friday, November 09, 2007

Another Mystery Slide! September 1966

Here's another slide from an amusement park that I can't identify. There's not a lot to go on, just an "Autopia"-type ride with old-timey Fords (and two steering wheels so there's no bickering over who gets to drive).

I have pictures of this red-headed kid at Disneyland, Knott's, and the South Shore Center in Alameda (thanks to "Progressland" for that i.d.). I think I used to have pictures of his family at a place called "Big Trees and Roaring Camp" in Felton CA, as well. So they got around, and loved their California amusement parks!

Somebody told me that Knott's used to have a car ride of some sort, but I have only seen pictures of stationary vehicles that I assume rocked back and forth like the ones you see in front of K-Mart. So I am ruling out the Berry Farm! Any help in identifying this park would be appreciated.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

its knotts. I used to love that ride it went under the steeple chase which also was a great ride

Anonymous said...

It is at Knott's Berry Farm in 1966 the ride became the tijauna taxs.The ride was created by Bud Hurlbut.

Anonymous said...

I have pictures of Enchanted Villiage and movieworld cars of stars if anybody wants to trade for japannese villiage pictures let me know.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, this is the first photo I've ever seen of this attraction at Knott's, which is surprising. Anyway, that's very cool, thanks for the i.d!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Gotta be Knotts. I have an old map that reads: "Model T Rides" Children ride in replicas of Henry Fords "car that put America on Wheels"

Great picture, I've never seen one either. I do remember the ride however, cool as it looked, it always seemed like an "old" version of Autopia, with a much shorter and slower track, I think they were electric. But I would ride it over and over anyway!

Hey, if you look close, these "replicas" are pretty detailed, right down to the solid fron axel! I wonder were they all ended up?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Major are the J.Villiage pics yours?

Anonymous said...

You can still ride the cars in Riverside at Castle Park.

Tom

Yendorb said...

Your fellow blogger matterhorn1959 has this post about the ride

http://matterhorn1959.blogspot.com/2006/02/henrys-livery-ride-knotts-berry-farm.html

There actually were 2 car rides. I used to ride a different one than this that was located outside of the current park on the south east corner of the parking lot. That one was a lot more like the autopia, one wheel, only an outside guide track, and you could bump. It disappeared in the early 80's I think.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there were two different antique auto rides at Knott's during the 60s. This one was on tracks and later became the 'Tijuana Taxis'. The other, larger Model T's were gas powered and were located on the corner of Beach Blvd and Crescent. They had no tracks - just short outer rails that kept you 'in bounds'. The rails didn't always work however, I can clearly remember times when stray vehicles ended up over the sidewalk and in the street! Talk about scary!

Dr. Syn said...

Greetings...If the "family" went to Roaring Camp, then the may have gone to Frontier Village in San Jose. FV had an Antique Autos ride. Try www.frontiervillage.net . The site is kept up by ex-park employees, photos, video, etc.. It where I thought of , when I saw the photo.....actually the background, not the car. Cheers!

Chris Merritt said...

Yes - two different litle auto rides (three if you count the stationary coin operated ones that were described as Model "T"'s in front of building flats right next to Bud's carousel).

Henry's Livery (the trackless one) opened in June of 1957 & was located in the parking lot, just off Grand Avenue.

Bud Hurlbut's "Merry-Go-Round Little Car Ride" (which your photo is of) opened adjacent to the carousel in June of 1958. Sometime in the 1960s it is renamed the Antique Auto Ride, and sometime in the early 70s it is again renamed the Tijuana Taxi.

I don't have a date on the stationary coin-operated ones yet!

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, you readers are full of great info! Anonymous #3, no the J. Village photos aren't mine, though I'd love to see them (or have them!).

It's cool to know that these cars still operate in Riverside....there were similar cars that were at the Avis pavilion at the 64 World's Fair.

Dr. Syn, I am aware of Frontier Village...have some postcards and a single, slightly blurry slide from there. Wish I could have seen it in person!

Dr. Syn said...

Greetings, again!.....I have some photos & postcards. If I could find them, would you like duplicates? As far as the park went, it was very small. A great place for a family to go on an afternoon, or even to take a date when you had run out of ideas on where to go! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

these cars that operate in Riverside were built for Riverside and not Knott's Berry Farm.The ones that operated at Knott's Berry Farm are in storage at Buds shop in Buena Park.Who owns the JVilliage pics i would like to trade.

Chris Jepsen said...

A great photo of a seldom-photographed attraction! Thanks!

FYI: The stationary Model T ride (coin-op) opened at KBF in 1957.

Stub Winged Bilge Rat said...

All of this conversation really peaked my curiosity, so I dug out 2 slides that I have of this ride and noticed a small irregularity. The 2 pictures I have show the same style of car which is almost exactly the same but the hood and grill are more rounded on top and do not have the "Ford" script logo on them. They do say something but I cant quite make it out. With a little imagination, it might say "Henrys". I compared all of the different sources mentioned in these comments and found that the pic that Matterhorn posted last year shows both types of cars in it. Rounded style in the foreground and squared style in the background. I guess if there is a question in this ramble, it is, "why 2 diff cars?" and "what does it say on the front of the rounded style car?"

Chris Merritt said...

To Yendorb:

"Yendorb said...
Your fellow blogger matterhorn1959 has this post about the ride

http://matterhorn1959.blogspot.com/2006/02/henrys-livery-ride-knotts-berry-farm.html"


Just to be clear - PJ's page that you linked to is actually the Tijuana Taxi, not Henry's Auto Livery...!

Wow - who knew Bud's ride would generate such a response!

dc said...

There is a picture of this car in the book 'Roller Coasters, Flumes, and Flying Saucers' on page 79. The caption reads 'The Arrow-designed antique automobiles at Knott's Berry Farm'

outsidetheberm said...

Chris - Bud's rides are timeless, that's why we see the response! And the more people realize this - and what we've all lost at Knott's - the greater the interest will become. Your book is going to be incredible! Looking forward to it, and glad to help!
Ken

Major Pepperidge said...

Chris, I am as amazed as you that this photo inspired this many comments! It's a new record for this blog, even if you subtract my three responses. Wish I had more slides that caught that much interest!

Anonymous said...

More Knott's, Major! More Knott's!

Dr. Syn said...

Greetings.......The definitive is, Frontier Village, San Jose, Ca. I found photos online (I saved a copy). The photo was taken very close to where the posted image was taken. The giveaway is the "garage & wagon wheel" in the background. I'll try to upload the image to my blog by this evening. Cheers

dreemfinder said...

I believe the round-hooded cars were the 'racers' that replaced the 'tough-on-the-family-jewels' steeplechase horse/coaster (or was it the other way 'round?) in the Roaring Twenties section...

Anonymous said...

dreemfinder -
You are thinking of the Motorcycle Chase which was then replaced by the Soapbox Racers on the same circuit. Two great rides!
There was, however a newer model T ride in that area at the same time.

Chris Merritt said...

OK - upon further consdideration, Dr. Syn is correct! The confusion here stems from the TJ Taxi having very similar vehicles to the Frontier Village one, and the Blacksmith Shop (Knott's) being in a similar location to the "garage and wagon wheel" (Frontier Village) building. But if you compare the two buildings closely, the doors don't match and the Knott's building is wider - at least to my eye it is.

http://christophermerritt.com/TJTaxi01c.1980.jpg

http://christophermerritt.com/TJTaxi01Oct1987.jpg

Lastly, for those of you mentioning the Motorcycle Chase/Wacky Soap Box Racers area - you are describing yet a fourth (!) little car attraction - the 'Gasoline Alley Auto Race' little car ride, which would be..."Intertwined with the Motorcycle Chase … Gasoline Alley Auto Race featuring antique gasoline-powered cars popularized in the 20s era. The cars are the first of their kind to be powered by Honda engines.
Cyclists and rivers will sometimes race side by side over the course which resemble a 1920s countryside with berry fields, fishing ponds, hobo camps, and wind their way through the three-level roadway interchange – making it one of the most exciting race layouts in the country…" These little cars were meant to be Stutz Bearcats, not Model T's.

Just to make the whole dissussion more confusing...

http://christophermerritt.com/GasolineAlley.jpg

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Frontier Village or Knott's... still not sure. The flower designs on the side of the vehicles seem to indicate Knott's. Did Frontier Village paint their cars similarly? Maybe so.
Best bet might be for Major to check the photo sequence number on this slide with the others in the batch. Was it taken in order with other Knott's or FV shots? Are you up for the challenge, Major? This thread could go on a while!

Chris Merritt said...

No - I believe Dr. Syn is correct - take a close look at those "blacksmith" building shots I put on my website & compare with the Frontier Village one - they don't match up! I would imagine that of Arrow did the conveyance, they could have easily reproduced them for Frontier Village.

Dr. Syn said...

Greetings, again......After enlarging the photo that I posted, I could read "Auto Repairs" above the doors. Definitely not a Blacksmith's shop. Just more trivia.....Cheers!

pixiegirltink said...

Forget the ride. Is that Ronnie Howard??!!

Cute little Opie Taylor. Did Andy drop him off over at Knotts while he went up to Universal to shoot the pilot for the TV show? (That was a bum trip - they cancelled it before it even aired!)

FastRide said...

Gosh, I almost hate to step into this debate... but noticed a couple things. You guys seem to really know what you're talking about, and I hate to doubt you, but did you notice that on the Frontier Village website they show TWO different kinds of cars? Most of the antique autos in the photos at that park seem to have a curved front grill and only ONE steering wheel, not two. Check out the 'scrapbook' pages on the FV site especially page 5 of the 'scrapbook'. The icing on the cake is that the site shows an Indian Village dance circle that very clearly MUST be Disneyland with Tom Sawyer Island across the water! He says it's at Frontier Village. Big question here, sorry. Is it possible that the guy putting the FV website together is a little sloppy with his photo locations? I just can't accept the site as a very authoritive one.

Chris Merritt said...

AAAARRRGGHHHH!!!

OK - I'm out.

FastRide said...

Also, on the Frontier Village website , on the bottom of 'scrapbook' page number 5 is a postcard view of the Frontier Village auto ride. It shows a rounded front grill and one steering wheel only. I'm going back to thinking that the two steering wheel photos show Knott's. Now, I need a drink!

Dr. Syn said...

Back again.........I'll send an e-mail to the FV webmaster, & ask for clarification. Until then, I'll have a double Scotch....Cheers!!

Major Pepperidge said...

HA, this is hilarious! I wonder if we'll ever get to the bottom of it...

Thanks to everyone for posting your comments!

Dr. Syn said...

Hopefully, we will. I finally sent off an e-mail to the FV website.....cheers!

Stub Winged Bilge Rat said...

These 2 picture were taken in the summer of '66 by my parents at Knotts. And while the photos are lacking in the quality department they may help with the debate. Sorry the second one is also suffering from a double exposure problem.

http://homepage.mac.com/carlmouse/.Public/B113s.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/carlmouse/.Public/B121a.jpg

Chris Merritt said...

OK - I will now muddy the waters further by flip flopping back. I guess they must have rebuilt the doors on that Blacksmith shop at some point. Anyway - I think Bilge Rats 2nd photo and Majors match up.

Looks like Knott's to me.

Matterhorn1959 said...

I think maybe one of the clues is the amount of Ivy. Frontier Village had lots of Ivy and Knotts did not. Plus Arrow was a major manufacturer of rides and their car rides are at various other parks throughout the United States. If I remember correct, the Model T ride wasbuilt for Six Flags Over Texas.

Dr. Syn said...

Greetings......More trivia. Arrow was only a 30 minutes drive from Frontier Village. Cheers

Major Pepperidge said...

Just when I was convinced that it was Frontier Village, Bilge Rat's amazingly helpful photos now make me think that it really is Knott's. There were no other photos of FV, which I was a little bit familiar with. And this family definitely went to Knott's.

Wow...I'm just waiting for another bit of info to change my mind yet again.

Dr. Syn, I wish I could confirm whether Arrow built the Avis "Antique Car Ride"...1964, so roughly the same era.

outsidetheberm said...

Just in case any of you missed our comment on your '500 Post' thread...
Here at the studio, we have located some family photos of Knott's Little Antique Auto Ride taken in 1977, and have posted one that should help you decide. This photo was followed sequentially by shots of Knott's Parachute Jump - so you know it's Knott's.
What a fun discussion! Always follow your first instinct, Chris!
Thanks, gang!
Ken

Major Pepperidge said...

I meant to say the Avis Antique Car ride at the World's Fair. I have a photo or two of that, I should dig them up and scan 'em.

Chris Jepsen said...

More grist for the mill...

The Orange County Archives has some color 1960s photos of Knott's Merry-Go-Round Auto Ride cars with paint jobs IDENTICAL to these. Also, the railing on either side of the tracks matches PERFECTLY.

Anonymous said...

This photo is of the Tijuana Taxis in Fiesta Village at Knott's. They were removed in the late eighties as part of an overhaul of the Fiesta Village area. They also had another ride simialr to this outside tha park. Gasoline Alley was inside the park in the Roaring Twenties area and was removed along with the Soapbox Racers to accomadate to late Windjammer Rollercoaster.