Extreme Makeover: The Roller Coaster Edition

A Little Steel Goes a Long Way in Bringing Back the Thrill of Aging Wooden Classics

Baldwin twisted colossus

Colossus once was the “King of Coasters.” Introduced at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 1978, the classic wooden behemoth—which reached reported speeds of 62 miles per hour and was the first roller coaster to feature more than one 100-foot drop—was the fastest and tallest on the planet. It appeared in television shows and movies, including National Lampoon’s Vacation, and became an icon of amusement park thrills.

Its time on the throne didn’t last long. Within a couple decades, taller, faster, and flashier coasters made of steel surpassed Colossus. Visitors to …

More In: Nexus