Carowinds: The Early Years
White Lightnin' was one of two such coasters in the world when it opened on May 14, 1977. It was built at a cost of $1.1 million and was located in the Country Crossroads section of the park. Riders were catapulted from 0 to 53mph down a 180ft straightaway and hurled through a verticle loop with only a lap bar holding them in. The train would then pause at the top of a 130ft incline and roll backward down the same track, through the loop and into the loading station. Although White Lightnin' was plagued with mechanical problems, it managed to hang on for 12 seasons taking it's last riders on Oct. 16, 1988. White Lightnin' currently resides at Gold Reef City in South Africa.
News article announcing White Lightning - HERE
See White Lightning's current home in South Africa - HERE
photos courtesy of Doug Garner