William Cobb

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This article is about the engineer. For other persons by this name, see William Cobb (disambiguation)

William L. "Bill" Cobb (1917 – December 17, 1990), was an American designer and engineer of roller coasters, as the founder and head of William Cobb & Associates. He is particularly noted for his work on designing and relocating several major wooden roller coasters in the 1970s and 1980s. A number of these coasters were world-record holders at the time of their opening.

On the subject of roller coaster design, Cobb has been quoted as saying "You have to be a little bit mean. Sometimes you have to be a little bit sneaky. You get them going on a nice straight track and they think 'This looks smooth,' and then you dip it down a little to give them a good jolt. Or you have it so that when they go over a hill it looks like they're going to get their heads chopped off at the bottom" .[1]


Roller coasters by Cobb

The following roller coasters were either designed or engineered (in whole or part) by William Cobb:

NameParkYear BuiltNotes
AnacondaWalibi Lorraine1989
Arkansas TwisterMagic Springs and Crystal Falls1978Built as the Florida Hurricane for Circus World (later Boardwalk and Baseball) in Florida, relocated to Arkansas in 1992. Named to "Top Ten Coasters in America" its first year of operation. It is the largest wooden coaster to be relocated in its original configuration.
CycloneSix Flags New England1983
Judge Roy ScreamSix Flags Over Texas1980
Le MonstreLa Ronde1985–1986Was and still is today the world's tallest two-track wooden roller coaster.
Rolling ThunderSix Flags Great Adventure1979
Screamin' EagleSix Flags St. Louis1976Was the world's tallest, fastest and longest duration roller coaster when it opened.
Sierra TonanteMirabilandia (Italy)1992Was Europe's tallest, fastest and longest duration roller coaster when it opened.
Texas CycloneSix Flags AstroWorld1976AstroWorld hired Cobb to design and build after an attempt to buy and relocate the Coney Island Cyclone, in danger of being torn down at the time, proved too expensive. The Texas Cyclone is a mirror image of the original Coney Island Cyclone. The Texas Cyclone itself was demolished with the closing of AstroWorld in 2005.
TornadoAdventureland (Iowa)1978Once listed among the top ten wooden roller coasters in the world[2]
Tree TopperUpper Clements Park1989The last roller coaster designed by William Cobb


"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."

William Cobb[3]


Other references