The Playland wooden roller-coaster is being honoured this week as one of the world’s best.

The historic ride will be given the status of “classic” and “landmark” by members of the 8,000-strong American Coaster Enthusiasts at a ceremony this Saturday. It’ll be the first coaster in North America to have both designations and one of only 20 worldwide.

According to officials at Playland, Vancouver’s famous wooden coaster was visited by a group of B.C. engineers 50 years ago just before it was completed.

The experts bet $100 — a lofty sum in 1958 — that the roller-coaster train wouldn’t make it through all the ups and downs and bends and curves powered by gravity only after the first hill.

Builder Walker LeRoy strapped a plank to the wheels of an unfinished train and, holding on to a piece of rope only, set off to prove the engineers wrong.

The ride took about 90 seconds and won LeRoy the $100.

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