Muffler Art Men
Note: RoadsideAmerica.com's Muffler Man Tracking Project is focused on the giant commercial fiberglass statues that often hold mufflers. We sometimes receive tips on men and creatures sculptured from actual mufflers and discarded auto parts. These works can be found across America, often the spontaneous creations of individuals at auto repair shops. The more elaborate work of muffler artistes is certainly worth noting, but we separate such tips from the main Muffler Man tracking project.
The typical Muffler Art Man is less than six feet tall, and may stand on the roof of an auto repair or muffler business. Muffler art on the ground is often vandalized, so many creators put them on the roof or roll them inside at night.
Here are some that have merited coverage in local newspapers:
- The Phoenix New Times reported in 1996 on a swath of muffler sculptures in Phoenix, Arizona: Ron's Radiators features a "Mr. Muffler" and his muffler dog. The pair had been stolen and replaced, and "Mr. Muffler" no longer wears clothes, since they were stolen, too. Discount Muffler's "Moe" is a man made of welded together auto parts. "Jeronimo,"in front of Teo's Auto Glass is bright yellow with large black mustache. At Charly's Auto Service, the festive "Moffles" resides on the roof, adorned with Christmas lights and clutching a radiator grill.
- A previously reported Muffler Man family at Lake Elsinore, California, is actually a Muffler Art assemblage. Lake Elsinore's G & R Muffler, on Grand Avenue, has two dogs made from mufflers on its roof, keeping "John the muffler man" company. A Muffler Rocket Man is mounted on a pole over the parking lot. A Cowboy Muffler Art Man plays a guitar. The G & R Muffler Man waves a muffler at motorists. Shop owner and sculptor Gary Koppenhaver, assisted by co-sculptor "Turp," build new figures when work slows down and inspiration strikes.
- At Muffler City, nestled among antique shops in Belmont, California, auto part artist David Johnson has a dragon, a deer and an eagle on his roof, all visible from passing CalTran commuter trains. His shop contains dozens more of the auto parts sculptures.
- In Miami, Florida, Kevin Doyle has created two Mad Hatter Zoos at his two shops, populated with muffler creatures. Decades of sculpting has yielded gators, giraffes and other animals. The first location includes a ten-foot tall waving man, Rudolph the two-nosed Reindeer, and a dog peeing on his master's leg. At the second location Doyle reports he's got "fifteen silly things and a car" made from old automotive parts, according to the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. ( #1: Mad Hatter Muffler Shop, 10051 NW Seventh Ave., Miami, Florida. #2: 4950 S. State Road 7, Hollywood, Florida)
- On route 22 just north of Brewster, New York, there is a muffler art man, made of mufflers and painted bright yellow... [Adrian DeWind, 2/28/98]
- Wolfman's Muffler, Newnan, Georgia. The Wolfman makes muffler people, animals, furniture out of discarded muffler parts. His art is most entertaining, and adds that "just right" accent to this City of Homes. At one time he had a muffler family, complete with a dog. [Jboha, 10/11/98]
- Woman made entirely out of mufflers and other car parts parts, Santa Barbara, California. Note the spark plug fingers. Imperial Muffler, 927 Chapala St. [Matthew Cohen, 11/27/2003]
- A blocky metal man stands at Top Gun Muffler in Lafayette, Louisiana [2/10/2002]
Depending on the longevity of the associated business, or the tenacity of whoever hauls them in and out of the garage each each, car parts men tend to come and go. A couple of whacks with a mallet, and they're back to a pile of discarded parts.
Note: You can find more of these little guys on RoadsideAmerica.com by searching on an attraction name such as "car parts" or "auto parts."