IAAPA 2005: Franz Mack and Antonio Zamperla named to IAAPA Hall of Fame

Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:52 PM | Contributed by Jeff

ATLANTA , GA (USA) – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced today that Franz Mack and Antonio Zamperla are the 2005 IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees. The announcement was made during the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2005, the association’s 87th annual conference and trade show at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“Franz Mack is admired throughout the amusement industry for his extraordinary adaptability and his penchant to make the most of opportunities,” said J. Clark Robinson, IAAPA president and CEO. “Mack’s dedication and consistency lead him to become one of the premier leaders for development and construction internationally.”

“IAAPA acclaims the ingenuity and creativity which has hallmarked Antonio Zamperla’s career,” said Robinson. “He has been a true pioneer in the fostering of new ride development, and continues to be an inspiration to all of us in the amusement industry.”

Franz Mack
Born in 1921, Franz Mack was the fourth son of Heinrich and Theresia Mack.  After eight years of elementary school and three years of vocational school, Mr. Mack finished his apprenticeship as a carriage and bodymaker.  In August, 1947, after being a prisoner of war, he escaped from a prison camp in Alsace.  Together with his brother, he swam through the Rhine.  Later on, his father hid him for one year with a showman in the American zone in Frankfurt.  In 1958 Mr. Mack took over his father’s carriage and carousel factory with his brothers, Hermann and Willi.  Today, Mack Rides is one of the international market leaders in the development and construction of amusement park attractions.  In 1975, Franz Mack founded Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, a world-class leisure park visited by more than 3 million people annually.  Europa-Park has been recognized nationally and internationally for its excellence and received the prestigious Applause Award in 1990.   

Antonio Zamperla
Born into a family of traveling showmen, Antonio Zamperla sought to expand the family business by designing amusement rides.   In 1939, at age 16, Antonio and his father, Giuseppe, decided to build a new attraction to add to their show – an amusement ride with cars that ran over a hilly track.  This was just the beginning of what was to become a lifelong pursuit for Antonio Zamperla – designing and building amusement rides.  In the early 1960’s, he sold one of his first designs, a motorized go-kart.  Antonio continued developing new ideas, and by the late 1960’s Zamperla had built his own manufacturing facility to produce the classic “Mini Avio” (Mini Jet) and Mini Scooter, as well as the very popular strength machines “ El Toro” and “Punch Ball.”  Over the next 25 years Zamperla continued to foster new ride development and worked to introduce new rides year after year.  He was a pioneer in designing rides for children and families, including the award winning “Crazy Bus,” “Samba Balloon,” “Rio Grande Train,” and “Lolli Swing” rides.  Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. boasts over 60 rides in its active product line with offices and manufacturing facilities around the world.   Antonio Zamperla died in 1994 at the age of 71.

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