Lake Compounce Wildcat reprofile for 2004?

Thursday, December 18, 2003 9:45 AM
For some strange reason (don't ask why), I decided to check out the webpage for Martin & Vleminckx (the coaster construction firm), and I noticed that a reprofile and retrack of the Lake Compounce Wildcat is currently underway. See here for yourself.

Has anyone heard what this is going to entail? Is this a true reprofiling (reshaping the hills and turns), or is it more like an extensive rehab, like what Visionland's Rampage received for 2003? I agree that the Wildcat is in need of a little work and would be a better ride if some of the painfully rough spots were removed, but I'm not one to see a classic design changed just to make it more "friendly". Then again, Summers and Dinn supposedly did that back in '86/'87.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 11:31 AM
Didn't they do a retrack and reprofile to Shivering Timbers too? But then again where was the reprofile if they did?
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 11:36 AM
How different is today's Wildcat from the Wildcat before the Summers / Dinn work in 86/87?

Of all of the surviving Schmeck "non junior" coasters that I have ridden (all of them except Joyland's), I place Wildcat on the weak end of the scale. How much of the current coaster Schmeck's work, and how much of its "tameness" can be attributed to the Summers / Dinn 86/87 work? *** Edited 12/18/2003 4:37:24 PM UTC by SLFAKE***

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 11:46 AM
I'm not sure of the precise extent of the changes that were made to the Wildcat (I found myself asking the same thing myself a few years back). Looking at pictures, it seems to me that the first two turns are pretty much the same in terms of banking and angles of ascent and descent. Those turns are rather dull, but I can imagine that they always were.

I think that the majority of the changes were made to the speed hills because they just don't feel like Schmeck speed hills. They have very little airtime and just seem to lack the punch of ones on Phoenix, Thunderhawk and the Great Escape Comet. Summers was always about the elimation of negative g-forces so I can imagine that those speed hills were looked upon as being areas in need of "improvement."

I remember reading that there was a tunnel from the station to the base of the lift. Makes sense, because due to the right turn/left jog that takes the train to the lift, it would probably be pretty dark in there. The ride could probably benefit from a new tunnel. Also, new trains were purchased to replace the original open-front PTC trains.

Of all the full-size Schmecks I have been on (the Hershey and GE Comets, Thunderhawk and Phoenix), I too find the Wildcat to be the "weakest" Schmeck design. Odd, considering that Schmeck's Wildcat coasters are regarded as being his most exciting designs... at least the non-out-and-back ones. Still, I appreciate a ride or 2 or 3 in between Boulder Dash rides.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:02 PM
I might get a chance to give it a second chance this summer. Might make a trip up to Rye Playland to try their replacement for Hurricane and with Lake Compounce being just up the road a ways...

Last year my one (and only) ride on Wildcat was a bit "rushed". It was during that hideous heat wave in August... miserably hot... and my wife was on the verge of heat exhaustion. Needless to say, my mind was not entirely on the coater when I rode it... more on "Okay... after I get off of here, get to the car and crank up the AC as soon as possible." (For the record... my ride on Wildcat was done with her blessing while she waited in the shade, and once she got into the AC and cooled off, she was okay and we stopped at Rye Playland later that evening for a quick visit before driving back to PA).

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:07 PM
It is my understanding that the Wildcat was in really bad shape when it was rebuilt. According Harry Deitz's Knoebels book - Knoebels considered buying the Wildcat before they looked at the Rocket (now Pheonix) and passed on it because of it's condition.

I've always felt that Summer must have somehow nuetered the air hills - so if any reprofiling is done, let's hope it is to make them right. The only major change I know of for sure is that he raised the last turn-around before the 2 bunnies into the station about 5-7 feet.

Not that I am a big fan on fin brakes, but I can also see them installing them as well as airgates in the station so they can speed up the loading process.

But alas, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Jim 'jimvid' McDonnell

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:28 PM
That loading process was a bit slow. Now only that, I was not fond of the fact that they only let the number of people that the train can hold into the station, so it's "first come first served" as far as seats go. I got stuck in the middle of the train because of this. With Air gates, you could queue up for certain seats (which is not against any Lake Compounce policy, considering you can do this on the air gate equipped Boulderdash).
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 1:42 PM
I agree that the loading area needs a lot of work, including any modifications necessary to allow people to choose their seats instead of being required to take whatever is left over.
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 2:19 PM
I think I'm one of the few in the world, but:

I really, really, honest to God like Wildcat a lot. Its certainly not one of my all time fav rides or anything, but its just so weird and funky, I can't help but like it. That being said, from what I've heard its been hacked up so much from the original design, I really would not mind at all some retracking done. I can't imagine them doing really really significant reprofiling of the thing, but if it does happen, hey, what the hell, worth a try, right?

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 2:27 PM
I don't think(I hope) that A&L are doing anything but some minor tweeking of ledger angles and retracking of the second half of Wildcat. I agree with you Rob that this design is the weakest of the four Schmeck rides you listed. I don't think you could castrate that ride anyworse than it was 16 years ago. I hope that if anything, A&L are reprofiling the ride to increase the dynamics a little and give us back some of what was taken away in the eighties. This is Kennywood were talking about here after all!!

Gee...I hope I'm right about this one:)

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Wood - anything else is an imitation

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Thursday, December 18, 2003 5:45 PM
I like Wildcat as well. This June, during a rainstorm, I had some really wild rides with lots of airtime. Same at Preservation Con back in 2001.

mOOSH

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Friday, December 19, 2003 9:18 AM
I'm not saying the Wildcat is a bad coaster- not by a long shot. I would rather ride the Wildcat than a bunch of other wooden coasters! Perhaps if I got some rides in the rain, I would have a higher opinion of the ride. I'll have to try and plan a trip to LC on a drizzly day ;)
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