Top’s fun park Dragon Coaster, which roared its way nine floors above the ground in the Myer Centre on Queen Street throughout the 1990s, evokes plenty of warm, and maybe even terrifying, feelings.
It ran until 2000 when Top’s was closed to make way for a cinema.
The coaster was sold off, and eventually transformed into a 36-passenger, 4WD trackless train for use at carnivals, fetes, and the like.
It went up for sale in 2004 but sometime after 2007, after years of price drops, the listing disappeared.
And that’s where the trail went cold.
Photographs of a dragon coaster, said to be the same one that used to rattle around the top of the Queen Street centre, were posted to popular Old Brisbane Album Facebook on Friday by Brisbane man Dean Davis.
By the looks of things it’s been lumped outdoors, surrounded by trees and what appears to be other amusement rides.
So is it Brisbane’s coaster?
Mr Davis says it is.
“It’s at a mate’s place in Geelong [in Victoria] … it’s been there for a while,” Mr Davis told ABC News.
He was surprised to see the overwhelming positive reaction to his photos online.
“I really didn’t think there was that much interest,” he said.
Mr Davis, who works in the amusement industry, said despite appearances, the coaster isn’t in that bad a shape.
“The fibre glass is OK. Nothing that a little bit of work won’t fix.”
He said the photos were taken this past week.
It has the same red and gold colours as Brisbane’s coaster, although faded, as well as the same white and blue trimmings on the carriages.
There is one big point of difference — the seats are now blue, instead of the red they once were.
It appears it had once been registered in Queensland, judging by the number plate visible.
Being a trackless train, it would have required conditional registration to operate, which is required for all non-standard vehicles that do not comply with standard regulations for registration, and have a genuine need for limited access to the road network.
It’s the same type of registration needed for some agricultural, construction, and recreational vehicles
Earlier this year the ABC tried to get to the bottom of the Dragon Coaster’s whereabouts of the coaster as part of our Curious Brisbane series.
There were rumours aplenty on its fate.
Some said it ended up at another fun park, Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast, but that wasn’t true.
Others said it was sold overseas for “a lot of money”.
‘Should be mounted in Queen Street Mall’
On Saturday, ABC Brisbane’s Facebook page asked followers what should become of the coaster.
There was no shortage of those who wanted to see it brought to Queensland in some capacity.
“Mount it on the tallest building in Brisbane.” Karen Devers
“Should be mounted in middle of Queen Street Mall.” Andrew Greenwood
“How awesome would it be if they built a track at South Bank and brought this piece of Brisbane history back to life for everyone to enjoy.” Jordan Wilson
“Install it in a neglected rural town, where local kids and visitors will really appreciate the treat and positive attention.” Michael Baker
“It would be cool to see it as a statue/artwork in Queen Street mall.” Vanessa Robinson