Six Flags has reported a new, $7 million roller coaster called Evel Knievel will be opening at Six Flags, St. Louis in mid-summer 2008. The new roller coaster, named for the world-renowned dare-devil who jumped motorcycles over gaps, cars, and buses, is going to provide a thrill for riders and onlookers alike. Evel Knievel will become the park’s eighth roller coaster and third wooden coaster.
According to the park’s press statement, Evel Knievel will feature 2,700 feet of track which includes an 80-foot, 90-degree left-turn angled first drop and a 55-foot “double down” drop. Evel Knievel riders will also have to prepare themselves for sixteen camelback hills, a 40-foot “fan curve,” and a number of turns outfitted with embankments of up to 67 degrees. The 82-foot tall roller coaster’s track will cross over itself 14 times and take riders to speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The coaster’s “Millennial Flyer” cars, built by Great Coasters International, Inc. (which will also build the roller coaster), are designed to give passengers a smooth riding experience along the track’s many tight turns and steep hills. There will be two roller coaster trains, each able to accommodate 24 passengers.
“I’ve been thrilling people all my life with my death defying stunts,” remarked Evel Knievel in the press release. “And I’ve proven after a spectacular fall that you’re never a failure as long as you try to get up. What better way to create a new generation of Evel Knievel fans than by partnering with Six Flags for this exciting attraction. I’m thrilled to be part of it,” Knievel continued.
“The unpredictability and high energy of this coaster make it the perfect way to pay tribute to the king of adrenaline, Evel Knievel,” stated David Roemer, President of Six Flags St. Louis, in the press release.
The roller coaster’s famous and death-defying namesake, Evel Knievel, was born in 1938 in Butte, Montana. In 1965, Knievel began his illustrious, twelve-year-long career as a daredevil. Some of his famous stunts include a 1968 bound over the Caesar’s Palace water fountains; a 1971 leap over 19 cars in Ontario, California; using his “skycycle” to jump over Snake River Canyon in Idaho in 1974; and his monumental spring over 14 Greyhound buses in Ohio, also in 1974; in 1975 Knievel soared over 13 double-decker buses located at London’s famed Wembley Stadium. While Knievel cleared many of his jumps, he also suffered a number of serious crashes, resulting in his entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for person with the most broken bones. Knievel’s motorcycle is on display at the Smithsonian Institute.
Six Flags St. Louis. “New Wooden Roller Coaster, Evel Knievel, Rides into Six Flags St. Louis in 2008.” http://www.sixflags.com/stLouis/info/news_EvelKnievel.aspx