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Land Of Kong / Dinosaur World Bus
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WhitewallsJohnson
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:00 am    Post subject: Land Of Kong / Dinosaur World Bus Reply with quote

Rather than continuing to hijack the Logo'd / Signwriting bus thread i thought it would be better to post a new thread on my latest bus find.

My wife and I found out about an old defunct roadside attraction called Land of Kong / Dinosaur World, just west of Eureka Springs Arkansas. So after the show this past August, we headed out to check the place out. Prowling around and photographing old amusement parks is sort of a side hobby of ours Smile We both nearly dropped a load when we found this inside the park!

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Dinosaur World, was previously known as John Agar's Land of Kong. Its an old defunct touristist attraction in Beaver, Arkansas. Basically. a theme park covering 65 acres, which still contains 100 life-size sculptures of dinosaurs, cavemen, and other prehistoric creatures.

The park was started in the 1960s when Ola Farwell built a 40 feet tall statue of King Kong known as the "World's Largest King Kong". Farwell's business partner was film actor John Agar (who would later appear in the 1976 version of King Kong).

The sculptures themselves were created by Emmet Sullivan, who also designed the dinosaur statues in Dinosaur Park and Wall Drug in South Dakota, and the Christ of the Ozarks statue in nearby Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Its still the largest dinosaur park in the world, but has been closed for quite some time.

My wife, Kim fell in love with the bus immediately and she started beating the bushes to find a way to contact the park's current owners. Neigbors told us that the park was closed dues to insurance costs and that people had been trying to buy that bus for years.

Kim finally found the owners in Oklahoma, i believe, and her inquiries were ignored. After weeks of perstence they finally responded by stating the BUS WAS NOT FOR SALE. Kim was undeterred and kept at them! She finally got the reponse she wanted..."Make an Offer" Very Happy

So we loaded up the trailed signed the paper work and it was finally ours! A few hours later i had the bus back up on all four and rolled it out the door!

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Its a 1966 walkthrough panel with a Riviera camper conversion. Unfortunately, the camping interior is gone. The bus was however filled with old toy dinosaur boxes which leads me to believ it was probably used as a utilty vehicle around the park, or maye that the interior was stolen and they began using the bus as storage?

If anyone knows anything more about the bus or its history, PLEASE let me know! The current owners didnt know anything about it. Crying or Very sad

So far, weve got the bus cleaned out and the paint cleaned up amazingly well. I was very happy to find the original key hiding under the bright blue shag carpeting. I was also happy to find a long list of M codes, including the late rare M-156, Extra Large Oil Bath air cleaner for dusty conditions (which is intact with all its brackets).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Hopefully ill know whether she runs this week. The motor is free but doesnt seem to have much compression. Im hoping the cylinders are just dry.

I supspect its got a bad clutch and thats probably why it was parked in 1988. The clutch doesnt seem to disengage the engine from the tranny but the motor turns the wheels when the engine is turned. It also rolls freely in neutral. Sound like a fair assessment?

Ill post more pictures as we move along on it.
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your find! Tenacity has its rewards - as I recently discovered, too Wink

Are you going to paint it, or leave it as it is?
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Last edited by 67 Florida Deluxe on Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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NorCalRiviera
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Most awesome Riviera ever! What can I say? I PM'd with Whitewalls a little bit yesterday talking Rivi stuff, but this is just one of those wildly cool pieces of roadside Americana. I love it and can't wait to see its progress as it gets back on the road.
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Lind
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bad ass bus. what is the destination code on the M-code plate?

I like how they mix king kong with dinosuars. haven't they ever heard about being "period correct"?
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Barnabus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool find. That thing is awesome.

Can you post any pics of the park itself.

-O
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vw7266
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very bad ass indeed...I see someone put a dual port motor in it at sometime as well...the dusty conditoins air cleaner is a cool piece as well...
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lind wrote:

I like how they mix king kong with dinosuars. haven't they ever heard about being "period correct"?


Y'mean dinosaurs, cave men, and King Kong weren't really neighbors?? Brick wall
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WhitewallsJohnson
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the kind words, im totally jacked up about this bus.

Ill post more pic.s when I get home, even of a few of Kong himself, who is still standing there (right next to the dinosaurs Laughing )

Id like to get the bus on the road by Bulli Brigade, but if i run into some serious surprises, it will at least be ready for next Eureka Show.

I think it would be awesome if the new owner would let me back into the park for a photo Op with Kong after the bus is done (it was a drive-through park by the way).

Lind, The destination code was Seatle, WA i think. Its funny how these things get around.
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Clara Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet bus! Gotta love those logos!

WhitewallsJohnson wrote:
Lind, The destination code was Seatle, WA i think. Its funny how these things get around.


Wouldn't the port code be UP? I had the idea that the Rivieras came through Riviera Motors in Portland, OR
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vw7266
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea you should totally go back and cruise through and get shots of it in front of various dinosaurs etc
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WhitewallsJohnson
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lind wrote:
bad ass bus. what is the destination code on the M-code plate?

I like how they mix king kong with dinosuars. haven't they ever heard about being "period correct"?


I also like how theyve just totally abandoned any sense of scale in the murals, The cave men on the driver's side are actually bigger than Kong Wink

Im not exactly sure where the volcano sized snake on the passenger side comes into play either.

It seems that the creators were kinda nuts. One of the cavemen has Ronald Reagan's head, another one on the gift shop mural is wearing a baseball cap. Theres still a few unsettling mannequins hanging around the place brandishing pistols, cigarettes and hamburgers too Confused
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splitpile
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vw7266 wrote:
yea you should totally go back and cruise through and get shots of it in front of various dinosaurs etc


A video would be cool of the bus driving through the park
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhitewallsJohnson wrote:
It seems that the creators were kinda nuts. One of the cavemen has Ronald Reagan's head, another one on the gift shop mural is wearing a baseball cap. Theres still a few unsettling mannequins hanging around the place brandishing pistols, cigarettes and hamburgers too Confused


I think ^that's^ the koolest thing of all! Musta been a fun park to visit! Laughing
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NorCalRiviera
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clara wrote:
Sweet bus! Gotta love those logos!

WhitewallsJohnson wrote:
Lind, The destination code was Seatle, WA i think. Its funny how these things get around.


Wouldn't the port code be UP? I had the idea that the Rivieras came through Riviera Motors in Portland, OR


My current Riviera came in through Baltimore, so I guess anything's possible.

And yes, video would be awesome! Mannequin's brandishing burgers...there's a punk band name in there somewhere. Smile
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Clara Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NorCalRiviera wrote:
Clara wrote:
Sweet bus! Gotta love those logos!

WhitewallsJohnson wrote:
Lind, The destination code was Seatle, WA i think. Its funny how these things get around.


Wouldn't the port code be UP? I had the idea that the Rivieras came through Riviera Motors in Portland, OR


My current Riviera came in through Baltimore, so I guess anything's possible.

interesting!
mine is UP.
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jazzed
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would be interesting to know just when that mural was painted. '60's?
Immediately after a visit with Dr Leary? Shocked Very cool bus and congratulations for having your tenacity rewarded.
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DeluxeMike
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhitewallsJohnson wrote:
Id like to get the bus on the road by Bulli Brigade


Hell yeah bring it down to Florida!

There is also a dinosaur world somewhere outside of Tampa
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://users.aristotle.net/~russjohn/art/dworld.html
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NorCalRiviera
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clara wrote:
NorCalRiviera wrote:
My current Riviera came in through Baltimore, so I guess anything's possible.

interesting!
mine is UP.


I just went out to double check and, yeah, mine is UD. *shrugs*
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That air cleaner is making me randy.
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