Giant Rocket Car: Man Rebuilds Favourite Fairground Ride As 100mph Vehicle

Giant Rocket Car: Man Rebuilds Favourite Fairground Ride As 100mph Vehicle

JOE: We do call these cars the happiest rides on Earth because they just make people smile. 00:11
COMM: In Cleveland, Ohio, Joe Tomaro has turned the fairground ride he loved as a child into
a stunning vehicle. 00:19
JOE: Well the rocket ship was actually built, there were three of them built at the Euclid
Beach Park in 1935 when the Buck Rodger Flash Gordon era came in. They were on a ride that
was called the Circle Swing. 00:33
JOE: These big brackets that you see here on the front and on the back had cables that
hung down and were affixed to these brackets. And as the ride went faster the rocket ships
would float further out from the ride. And as it slowed down the rocket ships would come
back into the ride. 00:50
COMM: Joe managed to buy the rocket ship ion 2005. And set about converting it, so he could
drive it on the road. 00:58
JOE: Everything on the car that you see, the stainless steel, the wood floors, those are
all original. It’s mounted on a one ton Chevy truck chassis. It’s got Air Ride suspension
on it, which gives it a nice even ride if you’re going down the highway. It’s got a
little bit longer wheelbase which also gives you a nice, which give you a sensation that
you’re kind of floating along just like the ride did when you used to ride it at Euclid
Beach Park. 01:20
JOE: Y’know whatever the speed limit is, that’s how fast the car will go, it does have a 502
inch big block Chevy in it, so it has plenty of power to go much faster than that. When
we build our cars, we take them out to a track and in a controlled environment we actually
weigh them down and we run them up to 100mph. Just because we’re gonna be carrying passengers
in these vehicles. After that, they really never see that speed again. 01:50
JOE: I like to say it’ll pass anything but a gas station. 01:53
COMM: Running on normal petrol the rocket ship car averages just eight miles per gallon
in the city, and between thirteen and fifteen miles a gallon on the highway. 02:05
COMM: The incredible vehicle forms part of Joe’s collection of items from the amusement
park that so captivated him as a child. 02:12
JOE: Everything that you see here is original memorabilia from Euclid Beach Park. That’s
a fully restored turnpike car, we actually have thirteen of those. The signs that you
see. those were all signs that were attached to the ride. The dodgem cars that you see
here, these were original from the park. 02:32
JOE: To give you an idea we picked up a folk art piece that showed what the rocket ship
ride looked like. 02:42
COMM: Although no longer part of a fairground, the rocket ship is still giving rides to the
public. 02:47
WOMAN: We ride it every year actually when we come up to Legacy so we’ve probably ridden
it, what do you think guys, five, seven times? A lot, yeah. 02:56
WOMAN: Like it’s just so much fun, would love to own a car like that. Yes. 03:00
WOMAN: I think this is my third year here doing it, I mean I was all excited because
I rode it as a little girl at the beach. So yeah. High up. 03:10
JOE: I used to ride this thing when I was real young and never thought that that amusement
park would ever close. And to be able to collect what we’ve collected and then still be able
to ride in some of the rides that we collected. It’s like reliving your childhood again, on
a daily basis. Y’know it’s a trip down memory lane for me.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. With the "Duck Boat" incident…I think some of these non-traditional vehicles are going to be an insurance problem for commercial users in the future…hope they DO stay in private hands though.

  2. I've ridden this thig, and it is really fun. The looks you get from people while riding in it are priceless. It is road legal too, it has two license plates, headlights, taillights, and seatbelts.

  3. it would be so cool to ride in this one day! looks fun 😀 Also I wonder you never see Circle Swings at modern parks for…looks like it would of been a neat ride.

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