In partnership with a local businessman named John Skale, the company announced it would build a full scale park on 23 acres surrounding the track; plans called for the erection of practically every kind of device... the kind found in old school amusement parks and traveling carnivals.
It seemed a good idea at first. Car ownership had boomed throughout the Twenties. Yet, after a couple weeks operation, the novelty of the Whoopie Coaster wore off; then, it was necessary to stimulate patronage by giving two or more rides around the track for a single admission. And after the stock market crash that October, drivers would become much more cautious about wear and tear on their cars. It was soon evident that the Whoopie track was a one-season wonder. By 1930, the Lyons track had closed, its proposed full-scale park never built."
At River Road and Irving Park Boulevard in Schiller Park, Illinois, the Suburban Amusement Company used 200,000 feet of number one pine lumber to construct what it called an "auto coaster." For just ten cents you could enjoy the thrills of "mountain driving" in your own vehicle. The Whoopee Auto Coaster at Waukegan Road near Willow Road in Northfield delivered the same excitement over a "mile-long plank road."
By Neil Gale, Ph.D.