Uniroyal Gal, AKA Miss America, back in Mount Vernon, 2022.
Uniroyal Gal, AKA Miss America, back in Mount Vernon, 2022.

Uniroyal Gal

Field review by the editors.

Mount Vernon, Illinois

Type: Uniroyal Gal

Arm position: Standard, left arm up.

Accessories: Blouse and skirt

Nicknames: Miss America

An 18-foot-tall lady, one of the original Uniroyal Gal statues, manufactured in southern California in the late 1960s. Her sculptor, inspired by the look of Jackie Kennedy (according to his former employer at International Fiberglass), created the mold for advertising roadside businesses.

Some time after 1966, a large statue order from the Uniroyal Tire and Rubber Company called for a custom-designed female figure, with a removable blouse and skirt, and upstretched left hand to hold aloft a sign.

By 1970, after the Uniroyal campaign had ended and the figures had been scrapped or sold, International Fiberglass marketed the design in their catalog for other interested business. Their price sheet referred to this model as "Miss America in Bikini."

Uniroyal Gal at Stan the Tire Man's shop in 2008, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Uniroyal Gal at Stan the Tire Man's shop in 2008, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

At Roadside America, we refer to the overall statue Type as a "Uniroyal Gal."

Stan the Tire Man

In 1970 Stan the Tire Man, a tire business in Salem, Illinois, purchased the Uniroyal Gal figure from a gas station and installed her next to their mascot Paul Bunyan Muffler Man statue. Locals considered the pair happily "married," but nothing lasts forever. In 2007 the Bunyan departed for Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and the Uniroyal Gal moved out and a half-hour south to Stan's Mount Vernon location.

Headed West

When Stan the Tire Man closed the business in 2015, Bruce Kennedy bought the big gal, and had her shipped to Hayward, California. Kennedy, who was assembling an impressive array of classic roadside statuary, had the lady completely restored, and upgraded with more detailed skin and hair. The Uniroyal Gal's blouse and skirt were restored, freshly painted, and stowed away. For years she stood in her pink polka-dot bathing suit among Bell Plastics' cargo containers and Bruce's other roadside giants. Bruce made a complete new fiberglass mold from her body, enabling him to make more Uniroyal Gals.

Back to Illinois

With her progeny secure, the new-look Uniroyal Gal returned to her former spot in Mount Vernon in July 2022, wearing her bikini top and what appears to be a DIY skirt. Instead of a tire, she was given an inflatable pool ring to hold.

Uniroyal Gal fiberglass mold, at Bell Plastics in 2018, Hayward, California.
Uniroyal Gal fiberglass mold, at Bell Plastics in 2018, Hayward, California.

Uniroyal Gal

Mount Vernon Overhead Door

Address:
1213 Broadway St., Mount Vernon, IL
Directions:
West side of downtown, on the south side of IL-15/Broadway St. at its intersection with S. 13th St. She faces west.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Pose with Stovepipe Hat AbePose with Stovepipe Hat Abe, Mount Vernon, IL - < 1 mi.
Road Sign ArtRoad Sign Art, Mount Vernon, IL - 3 mi.
Golf Ball and Tee Water TowerGolf Ball and Tee Water Tower, Rend Lake, IL - 16 mi.
In the region:
Charlie Birger Gallows and George Harrison Artifacts, Benton, IL - 22 mi.

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