Big Mike the Bunyan Muffler Man.
Big Mike the Bunyan Muffler Man.

Big Mike the Muffler Man

Field review by the editors.

Hayward, California

Type: Bunyan (20 ft. tall)

Arm position: Standard

Accessories: Mystery Gift Ax

Nicknames: Big Mike

Hayward's Big Mike dates back to the mid-1960s. Part of the Bunyan's career was spent advertising the Morris car wash on Mission Avenue (Vickie Morris Mendoza writes it was ~1966). He reportedly held a large scrub brush. Subsequent employment at the Tyre Treads warehouse left him without accessories.

Civic sentiment evolved over the decades. At one point the giant man was called an eyesore that should be removed; more recently, the town seemed interested in preservation of the statue. Locals accepted him as part of the landscape -- a bus stop bench sat in front of his right leg.

Big Mike was purchased in 2011, moved, repaired, and by 2013 once again visible in Hayward, in an industrial park. He stands in the fenced yard next to Bell Plastics. Owner Bruce Kennedy is an avid collector of novel statues (he purchased another Muffler Man in 2013, a cowboy, installed on the same property).

Bruce Kennedy and the mystery gift ax.
Bruce Kennedy and the mystery gift ax.

About a week after word got out that Big Mike had re-emerged in Hayward, Bruce found a large package in the bushes in front of his business. An anonymous donor had left a Bunyan-sized ax with a note "For Big Mike." The ax hangs in the office foyer, an impressive prop with a real wood handle and the letters "B.M." carved into the base. Unfortunately, the configuration of the Muffler Man's hands didn't match the fully proportioned ax handle, so here it will stay, indoors (Visitors can pop in during business hours for a peek).

Bruce commissioned a special holiday demon skull head for Big Mike to don during the month of October.

Also see: Brawny Men of San Francisco Bay

Big Mike the Muffler Man

Bell Plastics

Address:
2020 National Ave., Hayward, CA
Directions:
Bell Plastics. In an industrial park. I-880/Nimitz Fwy exit 28. Drive west on Winton Ave. for one mile. At the stoplight, turn left onto Clawiter Rd, then make first right onto National Ave. Drive a quarter-mile. You'll see a blue building on the left; Big Mike is in the alley next to it.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Firefighter Giant - Muffler ManFirefighter Giant - Muffler Man, Hayward, CA - < 1 mi.
Doggie Diner HeadsDoggie Diner Heads, Hayward, CA - < 1 mi.
Uniroyal GalUniroyal Gal, Hayward, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Sam's Castle, Pacifica, CA - 20 mi.

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