Old Chance Turbo Ride

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 5:19 AM
Has anyone here ever ridden a Chance Turbo ride and if so could you share the experience?

I recall when I was a kid my local county had one for about two years from 1975-76. I was simply in awe of this beast especially at night when all the lights made it seem surreal and magical. At the fair, the ops wouldn't let less than three on if they were kids. Two was the general requirement for adults. Though some of my peers rode it, I was too chicken and not yet ready for a high intensity ride.

But a few years later, when I was a teen, our fair showcased another ride similar to the Turbo (with the same structure) called the Radar. It had skimpy ferris wheel seats where you were basically held in with a bar and seatbelt and your legs hung over. Even with my severe acrophobia, I managed to ride this version and actually like it. It was neat to see the entire ride rotate while the wheels turned at the same time. As I rode it, I wondered what it was like to ride with the colorful circular enclosed seats that had operated on the Turbo.

I read that the Turbo only had 30 rides manufactured and quickly went out of business due to safety issues. There were about 60+ Radar rides manufactured which at some shows sometimes ran with Turbo seats intermingled with the Radar ones.

Now there are only graveyards of pieces of these rides. I believe there only a handful of shows that still have the Turbo ride in operation.

Man what a giant awesome vision it was hovering over the smaller rides at our county fair. I recall the sights and sounds but have always wondered what the experience was truly like. I've read it was an intense and violent ride. But, from watching my peers on it as a kid, it also looked fun too.

For a picture see link below:



Roller Coasters of The Pacific Northwest


Wednesday, November 2, 2005 12:15 PM
Wel, i had the opportunity to do a little more than ride it. How about operate and help to maintain. I worked at Maple Leaf Village in Niagara Falls, Ont. and we had one (i believe it went to Coneaute (sp) Lake Park but is now just in storage. The ride experience was very strange, and every ride would be different. The cages didn't really go upside down all the time, and many times you'd head back towards the ground face down. That was part of the freaky part. At the top of the wheel, you were on your back looking up.

Turbo controls were pretty simple. The control box had a few toggle switches, one for power, one for lights, one for the turret rotation, and one for the rotation of the wheels. Each wheel also had it's on remote control for loading and unloading. A few of the operators had what we called super turbo. Instead of using the control panel toggle for wheel rotation, you would use the remote, and spin them in the opposite direction. That was a completely different ride experience. Turbo was a popular ride, and i remember talking with people from all over the world who came to ride it. (a lot of coaster enthusiasts).However, as popular as it was, it was also very old, and prone to breakdowns. Many times we had to move the wheel by hand because something failed (luckily they turned fairly freely). Anywho, just my thoughts and experiences on a ride i took my screen name for this site from.


Wednesday, November 2, 2005 12:51 PM
we had one of these at a fair here a few years ago the theme was midays of the past 100 years our fair turned 100 that year

all i can say is it was err intresting?

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 2:16 PM
Is the one at the fair in Washington that I can't spell still operating? (Pollyup?)
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 2:34 PM
I did not see a turbo at the Puyallup Fair last year when I was there. I don't believe there are any operating in North America. The last I heard there was only one operating in the world and that was in Australia.

I rode the one at Old Indiana, which I'm pretty sure came from Maple Leaf Village. I think it operated at Old Indiana before going to Conneaut.

I didn't really care for the ride, it made me nauseous.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 3:58 PM
There was not one at the Puyallup Fair in 1991 the first year I attended. I grew up in Walla Walla, WA, and they had one there and there was also one that had operated in the Tri Cities with Meeker Shows during the early 80's. In Wyatt's book, White Knuckle Ride, I believe there is a photo of one that had operated at Puyallup in the late 80's with Funtastic Amusements. And like Jeffrey said, I too heard (read) that there are no longer any operating in North America but on is still operating in Australia. There are also a number of people who have collected Turbo parts and placed them in their backyards as momentos.

Thanks for sharing.


Roller Coasters of The Pacific Northwest


Wednesday, November 2, 2005 4:01 PM
The only reason I even knew there was a Turbo at Puyallup was that book. It didn't say when it stopped operating so I figured it might still be there.

That's sad. They look like crazy little rides.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 5:15 PM
There was one at the old Belmont Park, and The Gooding Amusement Co. (Columbus Ohio) had a couple of them that traveled with their units in OH,PA,and WV. I remember one with the unit at the Preston County (WV) Buckwheat Festival, and one with the unit that played the Star City (WV) Fireman's Carnival back in the mid 1970's before the company was liquidated.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 6:15 PM
David Burton has done a wonderful job displaying rare rides on his Austrailian based web site. This link will give you many photos and diagrams of the TURBO:


There is also a video clip of the TURBO at the bottom of the page but the link does not work. Poo!

I've got a short video clip of the TURBO that was in operation at Edgewater Park (Detroit) I will try to upload if anyone is interested.

I was never fortunate enough to ride one. I visited Old Indiana Fun Park back in 1995 but their TURBO was not operating at the time.

I'd love to see Knoebel's put one of these bad boys together again. They're our only hope for classic rides it seems. *** Edited 11/2/2005 11:17:32 PM UTC by swampfoxer*** *** Edited 11/2/2005 11:18:48 PM UTC by swampfoxer***

Wednesday, November 2, 2005 7:51 PM
Maybe thats what Adverntureland (IA) is getting? hum.
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 8:03 PM
I rode one, just once, at my hometown's local annual carnival back in the late 70s. Great ride, quite disorienting. Wish some company would reinvent it ;)
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 9:56 PM
Lisa.... You talk of turbo collectables in peoples yard, well, it's not in my yard, but i have the cover from the control box, which happens to have the Ontario operating license for the ride before it left. I also have one of the knobs off the back of one of the cages, that attached to the locking pin to keep it from moving while being loaded. And yes, there were a few times that operators forgot to unlock the cage and started the wheel turning. I, was not one of them, but when it was busy, some of the guys just kinda forgot. And to Jeffrey, i had heard that it was possibly sold to Old Indiana before conneaut. You dont happen to have any pics of it at either park do you?? I have a only 2 or 3 pics from when it was at Maple Leaf Village, and one of them is taken from the Giant Wheel. The other one or 2 are of the ride on it's trailers. Ahh, the good old days.

On a different note, buildings on Clifton Hill have started to be removed to make way for the new amusement park that will be going on some of the property on the south side of "The Hill"


Thursday, November 3, 2005 3:24 AM
For years, my small local fair had a Radar, (Cole Shows) which is a version of the Turbo with ferris wheel-style seats. It was very fun, and a nice change from the typical ferris wheel.

The seats leaned back quite a bit, and when the ride would reach its full speed you felt like you where going to flip over backwards.

Unfortunately, the Radar hasn't been back with the fair in several years, so I fear it was either sold or scrapped.

*** Edited 11/4/2005 11:18:02 PM UTC by Dukeis#1***

Thursday, November 3, 2005 1:27 PM
There is a Chance Turbo running in China. Chance still supplies parts for the ride.

Cole Shows still has theirs although they do not use it. They have many requests for the ride. According to a representative from Cole Shows, the ride is operational and is for sale.

Thursday, November 3, 2005 2:12 PM
I actually got to ride one of these at the Oregon State Fair some 20+ years ago. All I remember is it felt waaaay out of control. My older brother liked it, while I was scared s***less the entire ride. We both agreed that it felt like our car (bubble?) was about to come flying off at any moment.

I only recall seeing this ride for maybe 3 years in a row, before it left and never returned.

Must say, it did have some good air, in part because the restraints (on this one, anyway) were loose-fitting, allowing for an ample amount of being tossed around on some of the rotations.

Oh, and the ride was very swift-moving!

Thursday, November 3, 2005 7:43 PM
It's like a lot of early Chance rides, relatively low RPH, and it's a lot of pig iron.
Friday, November 4, 2005 2:07 PM
You can own your own Turbo--Cole Shows has theirs for sale for $30,000. Can you imagine your backyard with one of these?
Friday, November 4, 2005 4:06 PM
Willow Mill park had a Radar. Probably scrapped when the park closed.

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