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MACK
A GERMAN CONSTRUCTOR

MACK A STORY

The majestic wooded mountains of the Black Forest are the backdrop for the Mack factory. We are in Waldkirch, Bade-Wurtemburg, near the French border, at a site emblematic of German savoir-faire.

ANCIENT HISTORY

It all began more than two centuries ago, during the period of the Holy Empire when Germany was not even conceived, and Frédérique II, Voltaire's close friend, held the destiny of the country in his hands! In 1780, we are far...very far from roller coasters! That year, Paul Mack founded a carriage-making factory. For one hundred years, Heinrich Mack GmbH & Co. would produce vehicles for country people, those from the middle class, and the 19th century postal services. In 1880, in response to a rather unusual request-a special car to transport a giant organ-the company would begin to diversify into new territory.
The date marks a decisive turning point in the history of Mack. It is at this point that the company began to manufacture original vehicles for the whimsical world of circuses and fairs.

MODERN HISTORY

MACK Courting a new milieu is likely to give rise to new ideas. The one that would launch Mack into its current activity would take 40 years to germinate. In 1920, the company would join the world of amusement parks. The logic was simple: a factory exists at Waldkirch with well-skilled labourers already in place who can work both wood and steel...so why not have them make cars for the amusement rides? In 1921, Waldkirch released the first wooden roller coaster.
The rest is but the story of the expansion of an audacious enterprise. In 1936, the first fuel-driven roller coaster was produced. After the war, in 1952 under the leadership of Franz Mack the company goes international. Mack would provide roller coasters for parks in the US, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY

MACK 1951: construction of the first amusement ride "Bob".
1957: the first prototype of Wilde Maus (the Mack version of Crazy Mouse) is made in wood!
1976: construction of the first flume ride. By the middle of the 70's there are already a number of Mack classics. In 1975, the family is able to afford itself a luxurious showcase for its products: Europa-Park is inaugurated at Rust, a stone's throw away from Waldkirch.
Today, Mack has 125 employees, 50% of its business in Europe, 30% in the US, and 20% in Asia.
Today, rare are the parks that don't have a Wilde Maus. Today, the visitors at Asterix Park getting their thrills on the Trace du Hourra are oblivious to the fact that this "bob", the fastest and highest in the world, is a German creation.
Today, Poseidon is the only coaster in Europe that is "half-air, half-water"; it was made by Mack and is located in one of the choicest spots in the Greek Village at Europa-Park. Moreover, today, Europa-Park with its 3 million annual visitors finds itself ranked 4th in Europe in terms of number of visitors. And finally, today, it is the 8th Mack generation that runs the production site of thrills and laughter that is the Waldkirch factory.

07/24/2002


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