Thursday, October 01, 2020

Richfield: Years Ahead


With the recent announcement by Governor Newsom that all California vehicles must be zero emissions by 2035, will the Autopia adapt or be removed? This 1956 image yields a few nice detailed views, including the Richfield sponsor sign. Years ahead? In 1966, Richfield merged with the Atlantic Refining Company to form ARCO; apparently the deal was sealed over a fishing trip!


This portion of the photo shows a “backstage” repair area. I am sure these vehicles were a pain in the patootie to keep running, as they took a lot of abuse from the guests.


Anyone know what kind of car(s) Governor Newsom drives and what his carbon footprint is? Asking for a friend…

See more Disneyland Autopia photos at my main website.

3 comments:

DBenson said...

I can easily envision the Autopia cars switching to electric power while retaining their current look. Think of the old mine trains, powered by batteries but equipped with mock steam engines. Bob Gurr has written about the birthing pains of the ride, centering on developing a chassis that would take the abuse.

The question is, what will real-world driving look like? When Disneyland first opened, driving on a cloverleaf was new and exciting even for adults. Now freeways are a pain, so the Autopia has become a country drive through lush foliage -- and on one brief stretch, a simulated off-road experience. If car designs change drastically, the Autopia cars might change to match (especially if the sponsor is still and automaker). Or they might double down on the retro aspects, theming everything to an earlier era.

Conceivably they might even brand it to a film or show; likely something that doesn't exist yet. A bit late for a Muppet Movie road trip or even a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse race, but you get the idea.

The bigger issue is the submarine ride, which is underneath much of the Autopia. If that closes, there'll be pressure to close the Autopia and free up all the real estate for something else.

Fifthrider said...

Completely agreed with DBenson. Back then Autopia was the magical far off land of "ten minutes into the future." Today it's a duplication of what you went through just getting to Disneyland. The only saving grace are the imaginative landscapes you pass through, which make it priceless. That having been said, you'd think they would have innovated this into electric cars a long time ago and/or something that would innovate the next step into the future.

This plan to force everyone to drive an electric car is contrary to the principle of freedom, our country's cornerstone. People should have the freedom to choose, not have life mandated on them "for the common good." Coming up with helpful rules is good but it doesn't take long to make the leap into telling everyone what to do and how to do it.

Autopia yes, California no. Sometimes I root for Lex Luthor's plan in the 1978 Superman.

Max said...

happy October
I hope