Vintage Thunderhawk Photos - Dorney Park

Monday, December 19, 2005 8:59 AM
Does anyone know of any vintage photos of Thunderhawk at Dorney Park from the early 1920's, before it was converted to the current layout? It was an out-and-back design until it was modified in 1930.
Monday, December 19, 2005 9:54 AM
I think there are one or two in the Dorney Park book that's part of the Images of America series.
Monday, December 19, 2005 2:40 PM
I got 2 how do you post them
Monday, December 19, 2005 2:57 PM
I think this would work.

Click the contribute link then click coaster photos on that page.

Monday, December 19, 2005 4:40 PM
These I would love to see. Thunderhawk is my favorite woodie.

No, I am not on crack.

Monday, December 19, 2005 5:18 PM
I have an 8x10 aerial of the old Dorney coaster (pre-Thunderhawk). I cropped it to show just the coaster.

Monday, December 19, 2005 9:10 PM
Wow that's a great photo, thanks for sharing! I looked at the the Images of America book and nothing came even close to establishing the original layout as that picture. Would love to see the rest of the photo!


Jim 'jimvid' McDonnell

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 8:38 AM
Okay, so help me out here...

By the looks of that photo, the changes were that the coaster was "bent / turned" at the first "large" hill after the drop (beyond the smaller hills that are still there) with that last "Large" hill (just before the original turnaround) eliminated?

Now if someone would only have an arial shot like that of Hersheypark's original 1923 vintage WildCat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 11:17 AM
Maybe I was thinking the photo was in the Images of America book when it was actually in an issue of Roller Coaster magazine dating back to 1988 or 1989. Former ACE President Ray Ueberroth (sp?) wrote the article and it shed a lot of light on the history of the coaster, even though there were some errors. For example, the article lists the original Coaster's length as more than 4,000 feet, even though the picture linked to above clearly shows a coaster that is nowhere near 4,000 feet in length.

The first large hill on the outbound run became the sharp left turn that leads to the swooping curves through what was once the picnic grove. When the Coaster was modified for the 1930 season, the train had trouble completing the newly-twisted course so Schmeck was called back to add a few feet to the top of the lift hill. I suppose that is why the picture shows a first drop that looks shallow compared to what currently exists.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 2:05 PM
Vater, you must not have ridden in the "Rib-breaker" seat. I'm not sure which seat that was, probably because I was slightly concussed.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 3:34 PM
Looking at the pic again... personally, I think I might have liked the original layout better than the current version.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 3:41 PM
Looks like it may have been pretty good back then, even longer than the current layout? It kinda reminds me of Blue Streak at Cedar Point.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 3:43 PM
Olsor - I think the only seats I've had were front and back. Oddly, back was less than impressive. Great air in the front, though. This year I wasn't as enamored with T-Hawk, however, as I was when I first rode it (2004). The trims weren't on at all during my visit last year...
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 4:04 PM

Olsor said:
[T]he "Rib-breaker" seat. I'm not sure which seat that was, probably because I was slightly concussed.

Third seat?

During my last visit to Dorney (sometime around July 4, 2005), I rode Thunderhawk in the third seat. All was fine until the top of the hill just before the sharp turn. It threw me so hard against the bar that I actually gave a little yell (first time ever on a coaster). It was painful

Wait... that was more of a "disembowelment seat" than a "rib breaker" seat. What I do remember is that seat can also be murder on the ribs if you hit is just right (or should that be "hit it just wrong").

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 5:38 PM
I'm more bothered by the whack to the kneecap and shin you take if you're not ready for the sudden stop when you hit the brakes at the ride's end.

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