Tag: Muffler Men

To All the Muffler Men I’ve Loved Before

To All the Muffler Men I’ve Loved Before

Muffler Men are the handsome superstars of the American roadside attraction universe. With their chiseled good looks and steadfast perseverance they are a welcome sight to many a roadtripper.

When traveling around the US, visiting muffler men is one of my go-to sightseeing stops. The fiberglass giants always put a smile on my face.

Seaside Height, NJ – Mini Golf Halfwit

My awareness of and interest in muffler men is now spanning into plural decades. It started with an “oh, so that’s what they’re called!” after thumbing through a paperback copy of New Roadside America: The Modern Traveler’s Guide to the Wild and Wonderful World of America’s Tourist Attractions in the early aughts. It then spilled into tracking and visiting them via the Roadside America website, and iPhone app.

But before I knew that muffler men were indeed referred to as muffler men, I knew that they existed in a peripheral sense. You see, we have a muffler man Indian here on Long Island. I’d passed the Elmsford, NY Bunyan many times and mini-golfed with a halfwit in Seaside Heights, NJ.

Muffler men have long been a part of my universe. They were simply waiting for me to wake up to them.


Muffler Men – The Same But Different

Now, I’m sharp enough to know that some people think my level of interest and muffler man visitation is a waste of energy. The idea of traveling around and looking at big dumb fiberglass statues that “look the same” as all the other big dumb fiberglass statues I’ve seen before is ridiculous. But who needs that kind of negativity in their lives?

Yes, it’s true that they share the same basic DNA. And yet, these same-old-same-olds do have their own personalities, if you will. Each with little details that set them apart from one another that the uninformed might not be aware of. From accessories like hats, hamburgers, eyelashes and chest hair, the giants do have their own unique flair.

Wilmington, Illinois – Route 66 – Gemini Giant

It has also occurred to me that each one is infused with the flavor of their locale. They take on the vibe of their surroundings as they become infused with the landscape, neighborhood, or the personality of the owner.

You hear it all the time, “people are the same everywhere.” Hell, I’ve said it myself and meant it. But that sentiment is both true and false depending on the parameters and nuance you wrap around it. The same is true for big fiberglass people. They’re all the same, but different.

oaks pennsylviania halfwit muffler man and giraffe 2021
Halfwit and Giraffe – Oaks, Pennsylvania – 2021

Take a moment to consider the thought process of the person charged with repainting the Uniontown, Pa. muffler man. They looked at his face, squinted their eyes and said “something is missing…”

A few thousand bush strokes later, and with a triumphant voila! our boy was befitted with bedroom eyes.

Uniontown, Pennsylvania

And then someone somewhere else looked at the Lake George, NY Around the World mini-golf muffler man and said, “Yeah! Him, too! …but only on the right eye.”

Lake George, NY Mini Golf Muffler Man

Tales of Muffler Men Resurrection

When cruising around if I know a muffler man is close by, even if I’ve previously visited, I will typically stop to see what’s doing.

Over time the overall condition of the giants will change due to wind, sun, storms,… people hitting them with their cars. When you pull up to find one repaired or in better condition then when you last saw it, I’m not gonna lie – it’s kind of exciting. It’s heartwarming when someone loves what you love.

Hancock, Massachusetts

Hancock, Ma.

Having passed by the Hancock, Massachusetts giant a few times over the years, I got to witness his resurrection. He’d been suffering from a terrible case of the peels and it was great to see him freshly painted again.

Check out his blue bowtie – now red, nails on fleek, and sporting a fresh baseball cap.

Hancock, Ma.

Just look at those beautifully manicured nails!

hancock Massachusetts muffler man nails
Hancock, Ma.

Elmsford, New York

Another case of a giant who needed some TLC was the Elmsford, New York Bunyan. He stood armless for years. This spring (2021) when I stopped by, I was glad to see he’s got at least one ticket to the gun show again.

elmsford new york bp bunyan muffler man no arms - triumph speed triple motorcycle
Elmsford, NY

Sadly, the green-eyed giant is now starting to peel.

elmsford new york bunyan muffler man 2021
Elmsford, NY – 2021

Cheshire, Connecticut

The first time that I pulled up to the House of Doors in Cheshire, Connecticut years ago I was surprised to find nothing more than a pair of muffler pants. Doh!

cheshire connecticut muffler man pants - triumph speed triple
Cheshire, CT

Saved! The muff was returned to flag holding service!

Cheshire, CT

Riverhead, New York

When superstorm Sandy crushed the east coast, Long Island’s Muffler Man Indian, also featured on the Sopranos, was sheered across the middle.

Riverhead, NY- Following Superstorm Sandy

He too was little more than a pair of muffler pants for a while.

Thankfully, Long Island’s beloved giant was repaired and is back to waving at the traffic in the town of Riverhead, NY.

Riverhead, NY

Muffler Men on the Move

As well-loved as muffler men are, it isn’t surprising that enthusiasts and collectors buy and move the giants from their long-term locations to new locales. Sometimes they move clear across the country.

And then sometimes, they just up and disappear altogether.

The Big White Guy of Massachusetts

Big White Guy – Chicopee, MA

This fella, previously referred to colloquially as “Plantation Man” as he stood outside of the Plantation Inn in Chicopee, Massachusetts – was sold at auction and then turned up in nearby Agawam, Mass. He stood there for a short time and is now MIA.

Big White Guy – Agawam, Ma.

From Mecca to Joshua Tree, California

Mecca, California

In 2016, I visited a muffler man who stood in the town of Mecca, California along the Salton Sea.

Fast forward to January 2020, and I visited that same muffler man, now sporting a new paint job and name. Meet Big Josh, of Joshua Tree, California.

Big Josh – Joshua Tree, California – 2020

AWOL – Desert Storm Muffler Man

I stopped to visit the Desert Storm muffler man in Havre de Grace, Maryland several times. As of 2015, he was taken down and moved to storage. Who knows where and when we’ll see him again?

Desert Storm Muffler Man – Havre de Grace, Maryland

Big Mike – Hayward, California Muffler Man

In 2014, we visited Big Mike in Hayward, California. He stood outside of a business that was boarded up. That’s typically a sign of uncertainty for the giants.

Hayward, California

Thankfully Big Mike was purchased and moved across town to Bell Plastics to keep a host of other giants company. He was even thrown a 50th birthday party!

Bell Plastics – Big Mike and friend – Hayward, California

Uniroyal Gal – The Ladies of the Muffler Man World

Rare in the muffler man world, there are only about a dozen known Uniroyal Gals in the wild. Seeing one is a treat for any muffler man lover.

The Uniroyal Gal of Pearsonville, California – Hubcap Capital of the World

Uniroyal Gal – Pearsonville, California – 2016

Nitro Girl – Uniroyal Gal Superhero

New Jersey is home to Nitro Girl, arguably the most badass of all the Uniroyal Gals. She’s my favorite of all the girls.

Nitro Girl – Blackwood, NJ

During my last stop to visit her, I was able to purchase a Nitro Girl bobblehead which stands proudly on my desk at work

Muffler Men - Nitro Girl bobblehead
Nitro Girl Bobblehead

Muffler Men Photos

If you too love muffler men keep scrolling for more photos of the big guys I’ve seen in my travels. Buckle up, there’s a lot to look at!

Alabama

Say, hello to Stan from Birmingham, Alabama. He’s a gemini and like lifting invisible weights. Hiiiii Stannnnn.

birmingham alabama - stan the muffler man
Birmingham, Alabama

California

cowboy muffler man happy camp california
Hat Creek, California
hayward california muffler man cowboy bell plastics
Hayward, California

I’ll be honest – there is something a bit creepy about the dead black-eyed stare and drawn on mustache of the Planada, Calfornia muffler man. It’s a wee bit, I dunno,… murdery? I believe this guy may have been sold or moved.

planada california muffler man
Planada, California
willits california muffler man cowboy
Willits, California
kevin van buys california muffler man
Kevin – Van Nuys, California
el salsero muffler man in mailbu california
El Salsero! – Malibu, California
babe - san jose california muffler man
Babe – San Jose, California
bakersfield california muffler man indian
Bakersfield, California

The house where the Mentone, California muffler man stands has a yard full of… stuff including a giant chicken army fiberglass rooster! It’s quite something.

mentone california muffler man bunyan
Mentone, California

Connecticut

cheshire connecticut house of doors bunyan muffler man - triumph bonneville motorcycle
Cheshire, Connecticut
norwich connecticut cowboy muffler man
Norwich, Connecticut

Georgia

The Washington Georgia muffler man has a formidable set of nostrils.

washington georgia muffler man
Washington, Georgia

Illinois

The Gemini Giant on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois was my holy grail of muffler men. My favorite of all. I love this guy!

gemini giant muffler man route 66 wilmington illinois
Gemini Giant – Route 66 – Wilmington, Illinois
lauterbach muffler man route 66 springfield illinois
Lauterbach Muffler Man – Route 66 – Springfield, Illinois

The shrimpy Harley-Davidson muffler man stands outside of the Pink Elephant Antique Mall which is chock full of interesting roadsidey goodness. Definitely worth a stop and a look-see.

harley-davidson muffler man livingston illinois
Livingston, Illinois
hot dog holding muffler man atlanta illinois route 66
Atlanta, Illinois -Route 66
surfer dude livingston illinois at pink elephant mall
Surfer Dude – Livingston, Illinois
big john metropolis Illinois
Big John – Metropolis, Illinois

Maine

rumford maine muffler man bunyan
Rumford, Maine

Maryland

berlin maryland mark cline muffler man cowboy with ice cream
Berlin, Maryland
ocean city maryland pirate muffler man
Ocean City, Maryland
desert storm muffler man - havre de grave maryland
Havre de Grace, Maryland

Massachusetts

big white guy muffler man agawam - texaco big friend - ktm 990 baja motorcycle
Big White Guy in Agawam, MA
shirely Massachusetts muffler man indian
Shirley, Massachusetts
yvon shrimpy muffler man groveland massachusetts
Yvon – Groveland, MA

New Jersey

halfwit in jackson new jersey
Jackson, New Jersey
ocean city new jersey pirate muffler man
Ocean City, NJ

You may recognize this muffler man from the opening credits of The Sopranos. He hangs out underneath the Pulaski Skyway.

sopranos muffler man - jersey city new jersey wilsons carpet
The Jersey City – Sopranos – Carpet Muffler Man
deerfield new jersey carpet store viking statue
Viking – Deerfield, NJ
mr bill - halfwit muffler man - winslow new jersey
Winslow, NJ
nitro girl uniroyal gal muffler man blackwood new jersey
Blackwood, New Jersey
magnolia new jersey muffler man
Magnolia, New Jersey
cowtown rodeo muffler man cowboy woodstown new jersey route 40
Cowtown Rodeo – Woodstown, NJ
seaside height new jersey halwit muffler man mini golf
Seaside Heights, New Jersey

New York

yasgurs farm hippie muffler man - bethel new york
Yasgur’s Farm – Bethel, NY – 2021
muffler man - around the work golf lake george new york
Lake George, New York
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york
Lake George, New York – GONE
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york
Lake George, NY – GONE
former magic forest muffler men - lake george new york
Lake George, NY – GONE
lake vanare new york one armed muffler man
Lake Vanare, NY
soda jerk mark cline muffler man derby new york
Derby, NY
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york paul bunyan
Lake George, NY – GONE
irving new york muffler man indian
Irving, New York

This muffler man is in the town of Stony Point close to where I grew up. He’s a little sentimental for me because I actually took my dad to see him before he left this world.

stony point muffler man
Stony Point, New York

North Carolina

I believe that the Cherokee, North Carolina muffler man may be in storage.

former cherokee north carolina muffler man indian
Cherokee, North Carolina

I don’t know why but the face on this guy looked so amazed to me 🙂 And i love the sartorial choice of overalls!

raleigh north carolina muffler man
Raleigh, North Carolina

If he just isn’t the most friendly muffler man!

wilson north carolina white tire service muffler man
Wilson, North Carolina

Pennsylvania

uniontown pennsylvanie muffler man - one of the muffler men with eyelashes
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
kittanning pennsylvania muffler man holding a hamburger
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
greensburg Pennsylvania headless Pittsburg steelers muffler man
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
muffler men - big chip - coopersburg pennsylvania
Big Chip – Coopersburg, Pennsylvania – 2021

The Rockwood, Pennsylvania muffler man is only available for viewing when the campground is open. I had to check in at a booth and get a pass to enter the grounds. It’s worth it. He’s awesome!

muffler men royalty - red white and blue rockwood pennsylvania muffler man
Rockwood, PA

Tennessee

This burger-clutching muffler man stands on top of Pal’s Sudden Service in Kingsport, Tennessee.

pals sudden service kingsport tennessee muffler man holding a hamburger
Kingsport, Tennessee

Virginia

A muffler man… with an actual muffler!

newport news virginia muffler man holding an actual muffler
Newport News, Virginia
roanoke virginia muffler man
Roanoke, Virginia

This kooky amalgamation is called The Paulverizer.

paulverizer muffler man in buena vista virginia - a mark cline creation
Paulverizer – Buena Vista, Virginia

West Virginia

farnham colossi muffler men group in unger west virginia
The Farnham Colossi – Unger, WV

Learn More About Muffler Men

Hope you enjoyed this trip down road trip muffler man memory lane. If you’re interested in finding out about the history of, the latest news, and location maps for muffler men, these sites are excellent resources for more information:

Muffler Man of Mentone, California

Muffler Man of Mentone, California

The muffler man of Mentone, California stands watch over the desert valley from behind a fence in someone’s front yard. The plaque on his middle, like an ersatz giant belt buckle says “Outboard Inn, Mentone Beach.”

mentone beach muffler man of mentone california

With his baseball bat at the ready it seems like he’s ready to rough any wayward trespassers up. Doesn’t he look like the type of guy that might tell someone they’re “cruisin’ for a bruisin’“?

bunyan muffler man of mentone california

Look at him! You just know he tells dad jokes. Or maybe lights his own farts on fire with a lighter. You can totally see that, right? It’s the stifled, sly smile.

No?

Moving on…

muffler man of mentone california - close up

The hot desert sun has bleached this poor fellas irises to a rusty orange tone. Either that or he’s really seen some stuff. It was 2020 when I visited, after all.

giant fiberglass rooster mentone california

The Buyan spends his time amongst other interesting Mentone Beach-dwellers like a soldier in the Giant Chicken Army on the roof (naturally) and a Statue of Liberty head. Not to mention a bevy of outboard motors, antique car wheels, and a mountain of other yard junk.

If you take a look at the Google Maps streetview, you can get an idea of what’s doin’ in that yard. It’s quite something!

mentone califronia bunyan muffler man

Though it was very tempting to try to get a peek over the fence, I heard dogs on the property so I opted to keep my distance. I’m sure they get plenty of visitors stopping for a look, but I wasn’t interested in being mauled. And when visiting these types of private home stops, even though they are a spectacle, I feel it’s important to respect their space.

Muffler Man and Yamaha FZ07 - Mentone California

Thank heaven for the weirdos. They keep life colorful.

Visit the Muffler Man of Mentone, California

10098 Garnet St, Mentone, CA 92359
Google Maps

Big Josh – The Joshua Tree Muffler Man

Big Josh – The Joshua Tree Muffler Man

As of 2018, there is a new guy in town, the Joshua Tree Muffler Man – Big Josh.


Where is the Joshua Tree Muffler Man?

You can find Big Josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man outside of The Station, in the town of Joshua Tree. It is just east of the National Park entrance.

The Station
61943 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, CA

In December of 2016, I traveled south along Route 111 on my way towards Salvation Mountain near the town of Mecca, California. At the time, the only thing on my mind was racing the setting winter sun so that I could have enough time to visit the attraction.

To my surprise, a muffler man came in to view as I motored along. All decked out in his cowboy finery, he was a handsome surprise.

Fast forward to 2017. The Mecca Muffler Man was sold and removed from his perch along the Salton Sea.

After being out of sight for almost a year, in 2018 he returned to view with a spiffy new paint job in the town of Joshua Tree. You’ll find him now a hop, skip, and a jump from the World Famous Crochet Museum standing outside of The Station.

In addition to his spiffy new livery, he’s also got himself a new name: Big Josh!

Fuzzygalore visits big josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man

Say hello to Big Josh – The Joshua Tree Muffler Man.

Big Josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man at the Station

Big Josh the Joshua Tree Muffler Man stands outside of The Station, welcoming visitors from far and wide with his rugged, handsome exterior.

His newly painted orange shirt, blue jeans and cowboy hat are a nice sartorial update. And, they do a good job of protecting his delicate skin from the ever-present sunshine of the desert. No one likes a wrinkly muffler man with age spots. Truth.

The Station
61943 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, CA

Unfortunately, The Station wasn’t open when I stopped by. Based on my peek through the window, it looks like they have a few items that I would have enjoyed.

Come for the muffler man, stay for the Gay Bikers for Jesus.

HOW TO: Meet Tall, Handsome Men While Riding Your Motorcycle

HOW TO: Meet Tall, Handsome Men While Riding Your Motorcycle

Don’t forget to bring a friend for some extra excitement!

My How To guide for meeting tall, handsome men while riding your motorcycle.

Step One: Have a Motorcycle

OMG, seriously? You already have a motorcycle? Well then, you’re already part of the way there! Go you.

fuzzygalore yamaha FZ07

Step Two: Navigate to RoadsideAmerica.com

Tall, Handsome Men Galore Dating Service

Or, if you’re the extra fancy type, they have an iOS app for your phone. I find it particularly helpful while on the go. But, by all means – don’t listen to me. It’s not like I know a dang thing about finding weird stuff out there on the highways and byways.

While on the site or app, search for, drumroll, please… Muffler Men! Find one that’s close enough for you to ride to.

In the last couple of years, several of them have been on the move, from one state to another. It’s best to consult the oracle so you don’t get stood up on your date.

Now, don’t forget to write down directions, pin on a map, or stick a waypoint in your GPS for your newly found friend.

The Farnham Colossi – Unger, West Virginia

Step Three: Ride your Motorcycle to the Muffler Man

This very well could be the best part of your whole experience. They say it’s the journey, not the destination. I say, why can’t it be both?!

Hot dog wielding Muffler Man in Atlanta Illinois. Great journey, great destination.

Step Four: Bask in the greatness of the Muffler Man

Some people might think, if you’ve seen one muffler man, you’ve seen ’em all. Some people are also idiots.

Though they were cast from the same mold, over time Muffler Men they’ve been repainted and repaired, customized and modified in ways that set them apart from their original look. I’ve seen some big guys with eyelashes, chest hair, unique clothing, or holding different objects. Like people, they’re the same but different.

Each time I visit a muffler man, it makes me happy. I have seen quite a few in many different states. Every visit is unique, be it from the journey I had to take to bask in the glory of the muffler man, or just the big guy himself. It’s always worth the trip.

Fuzzygalore gemini giant muffler man wilmington illinois
My Holy Grail: The Gemini Giant – Route 66 – Wilmington, Illinois

Step Five: Share pictures of your date with the tall, handsome man

If you brought a friend, have them take your picture in classic muffler man stance with your new fiberglass buddy. Flying solo? Who doesn’t love seeing your motorcycle parked next to cool stuff?

Pictures or it didn’t happen, people.

Hey, buddy! – Wilson, North Carolina

Step Six: Be awesome and tell me about it!

Have you visited a muffler man? Did you have a fun time getting there? Tell me about it. Have a blog link, an Instagram link, or something else to share about a muffler man? Leave a comment below!

Miles and smiles, my friends.

White’s Muffler Man – Wilson, North Carolina

White’s Muffler Man – Wilson, North Carolina

Do you think the people who live in this neighborhood are tormented by the irresistable urge to wave back to this muffler man? I mean, look at him. What a friendly guy.

“Mornin’, Bob. Have a great day at work.”

“Hi, Mable. Hair looks great today.”

“Hey, Jimmy. Goodtaseeya, buddy.”

Maybe it’s like when you ride by horses and say horses or moo at cows when you pass. Or maybe I’m losing my mind.

Address:
701 Hines St. S.,
Wilson, NC

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