Chaparral Antique Cars

Six Flags PostcardAs a kid my favorite part of a day at Six Flags Over Texas were the cars, both the sporty models at the Happy Motoring Freeway (sponsored by Humble Oil) and these, the Chaparral Antique Cars. Both rides figured strongly in the history of the park, the Happy Motoring Freeway being one of the original rides that dated back to the parks 1961 opening. (it was removed in 1986 to make room for the Splash Down Falls water ride) The Chaparral Antique Cars debuted in ’62 and have survived to the present day, making them the second oldest ride in the park. (the Six Flags Railroad is the oldest) The steerable gasoline-engined cars were kept on the road via a guide rail, with braking that was actuated, sort of, by letting off the accelerator. When in close proximity to other cars, bumping, and getting bumped, was the order of the day. On the back:

THE CHAPARRAL ANTIQUE CARS –
Texas Section
One of the most popular and colorful of the new rides brings back the spirit of the Roaring 20’s to SIX FLAGS OVER TEXAS. The famous Mirabeau B. Lamar engine can be seen in the background.

Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags PostcardSix Flags PostcardTwo views of the flags at the Arlington, Texas amusement park, Six Flags Over Texas. The top-most of these two cards, both published by All-Tom Corp. of Arlington and produced by Colourpicture, includes this description:

STAR MALL AND DANCING WATERS
Smartly dressed Six Flags marching band begins morning parade around the star mall past the beautiful 75′ display of Dancing Waters. Waving proudly in the breeze are the flags of the six nations that have flown over Texas during its colorful history.

Right to Left: Spain (1519-1821), France (1685-1690), Mexico (1821-1836), Republic of Texas (1836-1845), Confederacy (1861-1865), U.S.A. (1865 to the present).

The Spee-Lunker Cave

Six Flags PostcardSix Flags PostcardThe popular Spee-Lunker Cave at Six Flags Over Texas was a leisurely water ride through the fanciful domicile of the Spee-Lunkers, cave-dwellers that were presented in a variety of animatronic scenes. The top-most card includes this description of the scene:

Guests who ride through the Spee-Lunker Cave at Six Flags Over Texas, witness the gaily colored, cleverly animated spee-lunkers as they cavort and entertain in their elfish way. Here, spee-lunker musicians serenade visitors as they float by in one of the “Bull Boats” that wind their way through the mystic, water propelled ride.

The Spee-Lunker Cave first opened in 1964 and lasted all the way through the 1991 season. For the following year it was converted to its current form, a commercially-themed ride called Yosemite Sam and The Gold River Adventure.

Skull Island

Six Flags PostcardSix Flags PostcardI’ve got quite a collection of postcards from Six Flags over Texas, an amusement park in Arlington, Texas, and will post some, or maybe all, of them today. Here’s a couple that show an iconic symbol of the parks earlier days, Skull Island. From inside the large skull one could exit via a slide. Whoopee! Unfortunately Skull Island was removed in 1983 to make room for a water ride, The Roaring Rapids. The top-most card includes this description:

SKULL ISLAND – Confederate Section
Now here’s a fast exit that the pirates who once lived on Skull Island never thought of. There’s a king’s ransom buried beneath this huge skull, or at least so the legend goes. Plenty of other adventures await you here at Six Flags Over Texas.

On the same postcard is this message dated August 1, 1968: “Dear Ruth, We will have been here 12 hrs. today – (at 6 Flags) – so much to see. Johnny loves it. My feet have about given out. We’re en-route to San Antonio tomorrow, & then up thru Colo. & Minn. to see Art. We have a new Pontiac Catalina, air cond. – it’s wonderful! Love, Sally.”