Sunday, April 29, 2007 11:11 PM
I was messing around on RCDB and came across this coaster
that used to operate in Cuba. To me, it looks very much like the Rocky Glen Comet, right down to the first turnaround with the gentle swoop and the strange double-down parallel to the lift hill/first drop. For as long as I can remember, the Rocky Glen coaster was credited to John Allen, but since the Havana coaster was built in 1951, that makes it a Herb Schmeck ride. Not that this is all that strange- the new Herb Schmeck book by Torrence Jenkins shows a coaster in New Orleans that is almost identical to the Hunt's Pier Flyer/Angela Park Valley Volcano/Wyandot Sea Dragon- all coasters that were also credited to John Allen.
Not to take anything away from Allen, but is it possible that the man didn't design his own coasters until the early 60's (perhaps beginning with the Roseland Park Skyliner) and simply copied Schmeck designs when he took over as lead designer for PTC?
(Keep in mind that some of you may have rode a mirror image of the Rocky Glen Comet at Stricker's Grove- their Tornado was based on the design for that ride.)
Monday, April 30, 2007 8:11 PM
I thought it was pretty common knowledge that the first full-size coaster John Allen designed was Roseland's Skyliner. I'm not sure why RCDB credits Allen with the Rocky Glen Comet, which was built one year prior to Skyliner. It was most likely built from plans already in existence at PTC and those plans most likely originated from a Schmeck design.
It also doesn't surprise me that Allen's junior coaster designs look a lot like Schmeck's. He probably started with existing plans in the PTC catalog and just made slight modifications.
Monday, April 30, 2007 10:32 PM
Well, it does make sense that the Comet was credited to Allen. At the time it was built, Schmeck had retired and Allen was in charge of all PTC coaster designs. I'm sure they weren't going to give credit to the guy that retired, even if he did design the ride.
Not that I mind giving Alen credit- it's not like Schmeck or Allen need to boost their image among coaster enthusiasts- it's just that it feels a little wrong, not giving the right guy some credit he rightfully deserves. Or deserved.