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Fun Story, Funfair Rides

Reverchon Industries, A Manufacturer Profile

16 April 2021

The star of our article today is a Gallic manufacturer. Gaston Reverchon, a young Parisian created a workshop in the suburbs of Paris to build coaches in 1929, having previously worked at Renault and also repairing luxury cars such as Rolls Royce and Bentley. At some point he ventured into the world of amusement ride manufacture by building dodgem cars. At that time a typical dodgem car was a wooden board on wheels, with a seat and a steering wheel. This led to the creation of Reverchon Industries.

An early dodgem car, not Reverchon but Lusse, another famous manufacturer.
An early dodgem car, not Reverchon but Lusse, another famous manufacturer.

Reverchon, inspired by the looks of American automobiles, designed a car with bright metallic colours on a metal frame, this was an instant success.

By the late 1930’s, Gaston realised that there was a developing market in not only building parts for rides, but in building the complete ride. 1937 saw the launch of the Telecombat, featuring small military airplanes similar to the Fabbri ride of the same name.

Gaston was joined by his sons after the war, and they diversified into producing a range of different rides. Continuing the development of their dodgem cars, pioneering the use of composites in the build of the cars to replace the heavy tin bodies that were prone to damage. They introduced the first token system for dodgems in the 1960’s, and were the first to install headrests in the early 70’s.

Early 60's Reverchon Bumper Car, With Fibreglass Body Work
Early 60’s Reverchon Bumper Car, With Fibreglass Body Work

The Golden Years Of Reverchon Industries

By the 70’s the company was at its zenith. They were building around 50 rides every year, and upwards of 2000 dodgem cars. They had built the company up to employ 270 staff.

The late 70’s saw some exciting new developments at the company. They created their first fold up dodgem ride. Instead of their existing 2 day set up for 6 people, the new type rides could be set up by an individual if necessary.

Log Flume

They also built their first log flume ride. A ride consisting of flumes, where the riders sit in hollowed out log shaped boats and travel through the ride with the flow of water. Usually there are a number of drops on the ride which create spectacular splashes, the riders at the front tending to get rather wet. This was installed at the Bagatelle Park in Berck France.

Log Flume Ride
Log Flume Ride

Roller Coasters

The company created its first roller coaster in 1990. Built at the French theme park of Le Pal. Named the Siberian Tiger, it was a steel roller coaster, with a tiger’s head on the front of the train.

Siberian Tiger Roller Coaster

Reverchon installed the first version of its Spinning Mouse coaster in 1997. This became one of the companies most popular designs, and was installed at Dinosaur Beach in Wildwood New Jersey. The vast majority of coasters built by the company after this were of the spinning type.

Spinning Coaster
Spinning Coaster

In 2003 the design was licensed to Zamperla, a major Italian ride manufacturer to build and market Reverchon designs worldwide. this agreement lasted a little over 2 years before being dissolved, with Zamperla retaining the rights to design and market it’s own spinning coaster.

Sadly the original company encountered difficulties in the early part of the 21st Century. They were declared insolvent in 2002, but managed to recover from this. Their second insolvency however in 2008 ended with Reverchon Industries closing down.

A subsidiary company SAMC-Avia still manufactures rides and markets them under the Reverchon name.

Reverchon Industries


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