Euclid Beach Rocket Car

Description

The Euclid Beach rocket car is hard to miss. You might hear it coming first: the band organ music blaring from its speakers or the delighted shrieks coming from its passengers. Then you'll see it, the biggest thing on the road: a shining silver steel body shaped, improbably, like a rocket ship. The nose cone, the tail - it's all there, along with the waving hands and smiling faces of the 20 or so people seated inside its bright red interior. You might ask: What is it? Where did it come from? How is it allowed to be on the road? Inevitably, however, you'll want to know how you, too, can go for a ride in the rocket car.

The rocket car seen on the streets of Northeast Ohio (and, during the winter months, in Florida) has its origins at Euclid Beach amusement park. The rocket ships ride opened there in the 1930s. Its three rocket ships, suspended from cables, would be lifted off the ground and fly in a circle at high speeds. The ride remained popular until the park closed in 1969. After the park closed, the ride was taken apart and the three were ships sold. They languished in warehouses around the city for the next few decades. One even ended up in its owner's backyard Christmas display, while another was abandoned in an Eastlake warehouse. In the late 1990s, two different owners got a hold of the three ships and converted them into street legal automobiles. And 'rocket car' is not a misnomer: one was clocked at 136 MPH! All three can now be rented out for special occasions, and pop up at events all over the city.

Photos Show

A Ride on the Rocket Car

The rocket car on the streets of Cleveland Heights in July 2012.

Image courtesy of Michelle Simakis - Cleveland Heights Patch

Rocket Ships Ride

The Rocket Ships ride opened at Euclid Beach amusement park in the 1930s, offering patrons a thrilling ride on a futuristic spacecraft.

Image Courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections. Cleveland Press Collection.

A Ride to Lake Erie,

A legend existed that one of the cables attached to a rocket ship once snapped, sending riders flying into Lake Erie. This never actually occurred, however.

Image Courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections. Cleveland Press Collection

Kiddie Rocket Ships, 1964

The rocket ships were so popular at Euclid Beach that a kiddie version of the ride was built.

Image Courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections. Cleveland Press Collection.

A Ship Grounded

A former owner of a Euclid Beach rocket ship found a unique way to display his ship: as part of his backyard Christmas lights display.

Image courtesy of the Euclid Beach Boys

Before it Had Wheels

When the current owners of two Euclid Beach rocket ships acquired a ship that had been abandoned in a warehouse, it had to be delicately towed away. It is now much easier to get the ship from point A to point B.

Image courtesy of the Euclid Beach Boys

Subjects

Cite this Page

Michael Rotman, “Euclid Beach Rocket Car,” Cleveland Historical, accessed July 28, 2014, http:/​/​clevelandhistorical.​org/​items/​show/​561.​
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