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Ron Toomer Dead at 81

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
9/26/11 at
8:27:54 PM

Ron Toomer went to the great lift hill in the sky today. For those of you who may not know the name, you know his work with Arrow Dynamics. He was the designer and guiding force behind many of our favorites, including (but not limited to:)

Magnum, Mine Ride, Gemini, Corkscrew, and Iron Dragon at CP

Desperado
Python (BGT)
Big Bad Wolf, Drachen Fire, and Loch Ness Monster at BGW.

The first I ever heard of Ron Toomer, I had just returned from my virgin visit to CP in the early 90's, when I first was beginning to realize there were other parks besides GAdv and Dorney and a handful of others. I was watching TV and stumbled across an episode of NOVA on PBS, which opened with a magnificent shot of Magnum ascending the lift hill. An interview with Toomer was included, and he demonstrated how he sometimes conceived of his designs...with a wire hanger bent into seemingly impossible shapes.

Godspeed, Ron Toomer, and thanks for your legacy.

http://amusementtoday.com/

Mike

*EDITED to include link to something other than Wikipedia*

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Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by drachen drachen Profile at 9/26/11 11:35:54 PM

One of those "sad but inevitable" pieces of news. You knew it was bound to happen at some point. Sad when it actually does.

As a an admitted Arrow fan, I can certainly appreciate all of Ron Toomer's contributions to this industry, including my all-time favorite ride, Magnum XL-200.

It's very easy to say that the industry probably wouldn't be where it is today without Toomer's contributions.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by alpengeistno3 at 9/27/11 12:26:58 AM

Mike, as a Great Adventure guy, I can't believe you left Scream Machine off your list. Surely an oversight?

I met Toomer at Coastermania back in 1999. Great, down-to-earth guy. As I had transferred from Drachen Fire to Alpengeist, we had a brief discussion about the changes to the ride over the years. I have a picture of me and him somewhere...I need to look for that to post.

Despite some's feelings regarding his later coasters, he is the father of the modern steel looping coaster here in America as well as the hyper coaster concept for the world. He will be missed.

Thank you, Mr. Toomer!!

Paul

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Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/27/11 2:06:36 AM

RIP Ron Toomer. And thank you especially for Nessie and Magnum. :~(

Jen

p.s. If you had anything to do with Lightnin' Loops, My very first looper, thank you for that too....

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by MommaBeast MommaBeast Profile at 9/27/11 5:54:01 AM

Saw this earlier...

R(ollercoaster)I.P.

~MommaBeast

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/27/11 6:19:36 AM

> Mike, as a Great Adventure guy, I can't believe you left
> Scream Machine off your list. Surely an oversight?

>It wasn't mentioned in the piece I read, so what is it they say? Out of sight, out of mind?

I'd like to find out if Toomer actually designed GAdv's Runaway Train. It's an Arrow. I may be sort of unexpectedly heading down Saturday, and if it was, I'd take a memorial ride.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 9/27/11 8:26:49 AM

Thank you Ron for all of your contributions to the amusement industry. RIP.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 9/27/11 10:57:04 AM

We'll be at CP this weekend for an ACE event, where there are "too many Arrows to count", as well as the last place I saw Mr Toomer speak.

Thank you, Sir for your labor of love.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by Shaft_STL Shaft_STL Profile at 9/28/11 6:05:45 PM

Ron Toomer was a legend in coaster design. I may not have enjoyed every creation of his, but when he got it right, he hit it out of the park. Here's to a man that wasn't afraid to think outside the box and push the envelope.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 9/28/11 7:06:37 PM

> Ron Toomer was a legend in coaster design. I may not have
> enjoyed every creation of his, but when he got it right, he
> hit it out of the park. Here's to a man that wasn't afraid
> to think outside the box and push the envelope.

Welcome back, Mike. Haven't seen you 'round these parts lately.

Mike

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 9/28/11 8:59:35 PM

Wow! a Shaft_STL sighting! Don't be a stranger Mike. :)

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Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by Shaft_STL Shaft_STL Profile at 9/28/11 9:30:58 PM

Haha...I'm still kicking fellas. I've been very busy the past few years but still check in every now and then.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 9/29/11 12:23:26 PM

Ron played an intriticate role in the evolution of the roller coaster. Yes, many of his designs are out-dated and have been surpassed by superior technology and expertise.

I first saw him on America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills - a VHS I got for Christmas in 1995.

We would not have the roller coasters today with him. Where would we be without his vision to produce:

corkscrews
200+ foot coasters
suspended coasters
mine trains
butterfly elements (or kamikaze curves)

While it may be necessary for the continued progress of our passion, I hate to see so many of his masterpieces leaving us forever:

BBW
Eagles Fortress
Hayabusa
Drachenfire
Orient Express
Shockwave
GASM
Phantom's Revenge
et. al.

Thanks Ron!

- Pat-O

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 9/30/11 8:34:26 AM

R.I.P

I didn't know him, but I know of what he has done for the industry and for people in general. Roller coasters make people happy, so it's awesome he got the privilege of designing machines that do that.

I envy people like him, and I hope he is in a better place.

- mugen

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/30/11 10:13:53 PM

Jodi (Coastermom) put this link up on FB so I thought I'd share. I suppose I'll have to forgive him for Adventure Express, LOL.

Jen

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Ron Toomer's coasters

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by alpengeistno3 at 10/1/11 3:40:41 AM

Beat me to it!! I just did Va's coasters, but this weekend I'll work on the other parks I have traveled to. I tried to use "classic" photos that showed how the area has changed.

Paul

Let's try that link here. Other one didn't work.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2265673154797.2124465.1037552606&type=1

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Ron Toomer tribute

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 10/1/11 10:12:42 AM

> Beat me to it!! I just did Va's coasters, but this weekend
> I'll work on the other parks I have traveled to. I tried to
> use "classic" photos that showed how the area has
> changed.

> Paul

> Let's try that link here. Other one didn't work.

You're link isn't working for me but mine works for me.I can see your pics but not one on the bottom of your post. Weird. Lets try this, try copy and pasting:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.295628510450704.90250.100000106738229&type=1

If not here's the guys photo page, just click on the 1st album:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/albums/?id=100000106738229

Let me know if either of these work. It's very nicely done. He may have it set for only friends and friends of friends if it still doesn't work.

Jen

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by alpengeistno3 at 10/1/11 6:28:32 PM

Oh, the one you posted worked fine, Jen. It's mine (Ron Toomer tribute) that didn't work. I added the url since the hot link didn't work. Don't know why, but it didn't matter if you were still able to see them.

Paul

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 10/1/11 9:02:06 PM

> I added the url since the
> hot link didn't work. Don't know why, but it didn't matter
>

The facebook links appear to end at the /#!/ and it just might be an intentional trap. I've found the best way to post troublesome links here on URC is in the CGI boxes beneath the text window.

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by alpengeistno3 at 10/2/11 1:22:15 AM

I did that Rob. The link I posted came up error. I found when I copy and paste the url, it works fine.

Wonky code?

Paul

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 10/2/11 7:42:06 AM

> Wonky code?

> Paul

Wonka Bar?

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 10/2/11 8:46:27 AM

> I did that Rob. The link I posted came up error. I found
> when I copy and paste the url, it works fine.

> Wonky code?

Wonky in that there is an extra leading "http":
http://http//www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2265673154797.2124465.1037552606&type=1

Might have worked otherwise, but your efforts are appreciated anyway :)

Re: Ron Toomer Dead at 81 by MarathonRunner MarathonRunner Profile at 10/19/11 4:01:42 PM

RIP Ron Toomer.

CP's Corkscrew was the first coaster to turn me upside down, and I believe that CP's Mine Ride was likely my first rollercoaster. I was super excited when I rode Gemini and it was the tallest coaster in the world. Then again in 1989, Magnum blew my mind as the tallest and fastest coaster. I also made it to Kennywood to ride the Steel Phantom.

With Arrow coasters dwindling, they were king in the 80s. I will always be an Arrow fan (even if most are a little rough by today's standards).

MarathonRunner