San Jose, California: Babe the Muffler Man
Classic towering fiberglass statue made in the 1960s to promote roadside businesses. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Visitor Tips and News About Babe the Muffler Man
The Babe's Muffler Man that is at 880 The Alameda, was, I believe, moved there after spending many many years on Willow St. in the Willow Glen area of San Jose where I grew up. If not, then there were two in San Jose at one time.[Bob Henson, 01/24/2005]
I got a chuckle from visiting your site and seeing the Muffler Man. I did not know he appears all over the place until seeing your site! Here is someone doing "the Phoon" in front of the Muffler Man in San Jose, CA.
I collect pictures of people at tourist spots (or any place, really), provided they stand in a particular pose -- the Phoon.
What is the origin of the Phoon? In 1980, I worked at a summer camp. I came up with the word "Phoon" (pronounced "foon") as a greeting. Later that summer, I snuck a particular pose into several family vacation photos and nicknamed the pose "the Phoon".
In early 1999, I was on a business trip, wandering around the mall for the evening. I remembered the photos from nearly 20 years earlier and did the Phoon in a photo, for old times' sake. It wasn't long before I dug up the old photos, scanned them, and started a simple web page, inviting others to send me their own Phoon photos. You can see the growing collection at www.phoons.com.[John Darrow, 02/25/2001]
The first place I visited was Babe's Mufflers in San Jose, CA. The address is 808 The Alameda in San Jose. It's just down the street from the San Jose Arena where the San Jose Sharks play hockey.
While I was taking pictures, a guy that lives in an apartment next door started telling me about the Muffler Man. He said that it had been there since he had come to San Jose in 1960. He also said that there's a strong resemblence between the Muffler Man and Babe of Babe's Mufflers. I guess that's why the statue has a 'Babe' name patch painted on his shirt. If I go to a hockey game this year, I'll try to walk down to the shop and get a picture of 'Babe' in full hockey gear.[Carl Elsbernd, 10/18/1998]