Visitors to the Autopia race car track attraction at Disneyland drive specially made vehicles along an enclosed circuit. Autopia is a ride that can be found at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France, and Anaheim, California. Before it closed on June 11, 2016, there was also an Autopia in Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. The Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom and the Grand Circuit Raceway, which was formerly located at Tokyo Disneyland, are other iterations of the attraction. At the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Marceline, Missouri, an earlier version of Disneyland’s Autopia ran for more than ten years; one of the retired vehicles is now on exhibit.

Autopia is a combination of the words “automobile utopia” and “pia.” In his 1971 book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, British architecture critic Reyner Banham introduced the phrase to academic circles as a way to define Los Angeles.

One of the few ongoing attractions that debuted on July17,1955, when the park first opened is the Disneyland Autopia, in one form or another. When it first began operating, the multilane limited-access freeways that would come to be commonplace in America were still in the planning stages. When Disneyland first opened, President Eisenhower had not yet signed the Interstate Highway Act.

While driving on the track, drivers can utilize the steering wheel, but the center rail will always direct the cars. Drivers or kids who are too short to press the gas pedal are partnered with others who are tall enough to do so. When the driver lets off the throttle pedal, the brakes are automatically engaged.

The Honda GX gasoline engines that power the cars emit a considerable amount of emissions. In2000, Dusty, Suzy, and Sparky took the place of several of the cars in a much larger Autopia sponsored by Chevron. Animated dioramas of the Chevron Cars were also placed in the line.

The first Autopia fleet was dubbed “Mark I.” Autopia passed through several fleets throughout Disneyland’s first few years, as the cars were subjected to a lot of abuse. Despite having a similar appearance, they moved through Mark I, II, III, and IV by 1958. When the Monorail, Submarine Voyage, and Matterhorn debuted in1959, they were joined by a new fleet with a whole new appearance-the “Mark Vs.” Mark VI, the following design, was introduced in 1964. The center guide rail was placed for the first time in 1965. 1967 saw the introduction of another new design, the Mark VIIs, which cost $5,000 each and resembled the new Corvette Stingray. They would serve until1999, when a new generation of Mark VIIIs would take their place on the Autopia. Intermountain Design in Utah created the vehicles.

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