Big Friend.

Big Friend - Waving Giant

Field review by the editors.

Oakwood Village, Ohio

A rare variant on a Texaco "Big Friend" stands at Oakwood Village. The previous giant at this location was a Muffler Man, which moved to the Western Reserve Museum in Cleveland in ~2000. By 2003, a new sentinel had arrived in Oakwood Village. Not a pure Muffler Man (though made by the same California fiberglass statue company), this man is taller, with his right arm raised to wave and his left arm down at his side (the standard configuration for a Big Friend was for the left arm to be bent with palm up). This figure's head also differs from the few baseline Texaco giants we've seen. But the legs, torso and large puffy hands appear to be correct.

Texaco "Big Friend" statues were made in the 1960s in tandem with a nationwide gas station ad campaign by Texaco, then ordered destroyed when the campaign ended. This waving variation is believed by some to be a separate group, perhaps made from some of the same molds later for a different business.

This giant had last been seen promoting the Raff Road Raceway, a Canton, Ohio go cart track, in the early 1990s.

Also see: Texaco Big Friends | Muffler Men

Big Friend - Waving Giant

Address:
26290 Broadway Ave., Oakwood Village, OH
Directions:
I-480/I-271 exit 23. Drive southeast on Broadway Ave. for about a mile. After you cross Alexander Rd/Pettibone Rd, keep an eye peeled for a small trailer park on the right. Turn right immediately after the trailer park. The Big Friend is a little ways in, on the far (west) side of the building straight ahead. If you reach Thermo-Fisher Way or Richmond Rd/Shepard Rd while driving on Broadway, you've gone too far.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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September 24, 2018

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