Sunday, December 11, 2011

Muffler Man II

I had to revisit the "Muffler Man" blog entry because two readers, "BeemerGirl" and my friend Wayne mentioned that he looked like "Alfred E. Neuman", the fictional mascot and cover boy of Mad Magazine. Wiki here.   After a little research, here's the background of Muffler Man. Wiki here.

According to Roadside America website, they're big. they're scary and there are hundreds of them.  The site has a page on the "origin of the species" that you can read more here.
Apparently, in 1999, Steve Dashew stumbled onto the site, he was the owner of International Fiberglass, the company that turned out thousands of commercial statues in the 1960s and 70s.  International Fiberglass took a single statue mold created for a cafe and parlayed it into a roadside industry.  Roadside America interviewed Steve which you can read here.
The first figure was a Paul Bunyan, done for the PB Cafe on Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona in about 1962. Most of the statues were derivatives of that one mold. You can find more info on this site

There was Miss Uniroyal, in bikini and dressed version.

The Alfred E. Neumans, "Happy Half-wits", which apparently one is/was in Seaside Heights and held the Paul Bunyan axe, I have to take a ride there to see if he's still standing, and the one I saw in Jackson.

They were also made for various other establishments.  Here's two common ones, the "Indian Brave" in Bemidji, MN and "Salsa Muffler Man", Malibu, CA.

During my research I ran into Roadside Architecture website which has lots of information on Paul Bunyan Muffler Man and on giants of the road including the huge gorilla at Mighty Joe's Gas Grill & Deli in Shamong, NJ which I have run into a few times. I don't have a picture of my bike in front of him.
Visit Roadside Architecture website here if you interested in getting pictures of your bike in front of a giant, they are found all over across the country.

Mighty Joe's
Now it's time for you to go out and post a picture of your bike in front of a giant, leave a comment here with a link to your post.

List of sites mentioned:
Wikipedia - Alfred E. Neuman link
Wikipedia - Muffler Man link
Wikipedia - Paul Bunyan link
Roadside America - Origins of the species link
Roadside Architecture - list of giants of the road link
Ratrun - You will find a pretty big list of Muffler Man on this link


  1. Nice, George-
    Love these last 2 posts!

    New Jersey has so many great roadside finds and a nice handful of Muffler Men. There are still 2 that I haven't had a chance to see in NJ. The one in Ortley Beach and the one in Jackson.

    Aside from the Seaside halfwit, there is also another halfwit in Winslow at Mr. Bill's ice cream.

    A blog challenge to find a pic of my bike near a big, strange thing? I think I can handle that. Queuing one up... :)

  2. George:

    Your posts are so detailed & thorough. It must have taken you a lot of time to source all this material, thank you. too bad all of these statues are so far away from us.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. @Fuzzy
    Thanks, I now have to go find the ones you mentioned :-)

    Thanks but I enjoy, love Wikipedia for research.
    I'm sure there must be some near you, the Paul Bunyan in California is not too far ;-)

  4. While we're targeting big men (and women) you can't ignore Mufferaw Joe of the Ottawa Valley fame made famous by the one and only Stompin' Tom.

    There is a statue somewhere around here, but it will have to wait until next summer for a picture.

  5. @Canajun
    Loved the video and song of Mufferaw Joe, you have to get a picture next season :-)

  6. Don't forget Roadside Wonders. This site allows and encourages user submissions. So check out your area or submit any that you know of that aren't there already.

    Great article George!

  7. @BeemerGirl
    Like I say on my header, "so much to see, so little time" ;-)