Monday, May 27, 2013

Autopia, May 1973

Like many other Tomorrowland attractions, I never seem to grow weary when it comes to looking at pictures of the Autopia. Maybe it is due, in part, to my love of cool cars! 

The "Mark VII" vehicles debuted in 1967, and they are the model that I remember from my childhood. In fact they continued to be used until 1999, when the ride closed temporarily for a complete redo and the addition of new cars. 32 years is a pretty good run! Here's a mom and daughter in a sporty red number. Presumably mom is driving because the kid is too small to reach the gas pedal (and pushing down on that gas pedal takes some real oomph)!

I can almost hear the familiar purr of dozens of cars putt-putting along the freeway of Tomorrow!


Nanook said...

I'm thinking the kid in the green car is related to the Mom & daughter. He appears to have that look of a little demon, and is about to do the unthinkable once they all escape the confines of the loading area: "Do not bump the car ahead of you!"

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I never tire of seeing old Autopia pictures either. The attraction has one of my favorite sounds of Disneyland.

Back then I always thought the Autopia, Skyway and PeopleMover shared similar color tones. They certainly gave Tomorrowland a lot of its color.

The Mark VII vehicles were obviously red, green, yellow and blue, but I wonder what the official paint colors were called that were used for the Mark VII vehicles. Maybe one of your readers knows.

TokyoMagic! said...

Another attraction that they have totally ruined! I know this is exactly what I said for Friday's post, but the comment still applies! To elaborate, I also think that the "new" queue building is unsightly and sticks out like a sore thumb. The "new" car bodies are ugly too. And I hate the way they combined the Tomorrowland Autopia with the Fantasyland Autopia.

Melissa, is that woman wearing a poncho or is it just an extra large babushka? ;-)

Chiana_Chat said...

Oo! I'm so remembering those cars. The look (I got red ones every time) the sounds, the hard seat, the "seat belt," the way it'd lurch when you stepped on or let off the pedal, the cozy yet free vibe of the landscaped mini-freeway - and the fun!

*sputters and bounces about like Mr. Toad

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ha ha! You're right, that kind looks evil! Somebody is about to have a case of whiplash.

K. Martinez, we need Mike Cozart's expertise for the Autopia car colors (though I think he is more of a Peoplemover guy)! I admit that I would love to know the true color names. I do miss the old color scheme for Tomorrowland….

TokyoMagic!, that queue building is SO huge. It's as if they were more concerned with building an impressive edifice rather than something appropriate for its use. I wouldn't miss it if it was torn down, but that will never happen. I don't mind the combining of the two Autopia tracks, but am not crazy about the "toy" car designs. They remind me of my plastic Tonka toys when I was a kid.

Chiana, I'm glad you like these cars, because you'll be seeing more of them. All of the things you listed are great, although I always wished that the cars could go a bit faster. That would make for a shorter attraction, so maybe it's just as well...

K. Martinez said...

Chiana - Your description captured the feel of the Autopia vehicles perfectly!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Supplemental drivers training for So Cal kids. These are the cars (body style) I first learned how to drive. That and the model T's out in the parking lot at Knotts.
(Throw in Pepe's go carts and Malibu Grand Prix). Cool shots, thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Alonzo, that's the kind I grew up with as well. I still love 'em. My little brother had a little electric car (worked on a car battery) that I played with too!


I don't have the actual colors used, but the Autopia colors for the MARK SEVENS used Ditzler Fleet Finishes (now owned by Pittsburgh Paint & Glass)

Anonymous said...

This was always so much fun. As a kid, I never minded the fumes. Now as an adult, I can barely stand to ride this. I do still carry my Autopia Drivers license in my wallet.

I don't mind the new queue structure too much. The design is not to my taste, but the idea of putting the queue OVER the ride is brilliant. Having shade is nice too, but the colors should have had more thought.

My biggest problem now is the speed governor which is so slow that the motors barely run at all. I guess the next step in weenification is to make them all into Priuses.