Joor Muffler Man, Escondido, California.
Joor Muffler Man, Escondido, California.

Origin of the Species: Introduction

They're big. They're scary. And there are hundreds of them.

Origin of the Species.

But where did the Muffler Men come from?

If there was a single ancestral birthplace of these hulking highway giants, it has long been shrouded in murk. Today's owners, often three or four times removed from original purchasers, had little or no information. Were some really seen in the 1940s, as chronicled in our Sightings Reports? Were they fashioned by "some company in California," or dozens of dead and defunct fiberglass makers? Tantalizing clues, and, to be honest, we didn't dig too deeply. It seemed better not to know....

Lumberjack Bunyan, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Lumberjack Bunyan, Flagstaff, Arizona.

Enter Steve Dashew, who stumbled onto our web site in 1999. It was Steve's company, International Fiberglass, that turned out thousands of commercial statues in the 1960s and 70s. International Fiberglass took a single statue mold created for a cafe and parlayed it into a roadside industry.

Turns out muffler man spawning has been just a short chapter in Dashew's interesting life. He's owned a successful boat-building business, has written several books on yachting, and is now retired in Arizona. Steve (age 57 at the time of our 1999 interview), along with his wife of 30 years, Linda, had sailed over 200,000 miles, including a six-year circumnavigation with their two young daughters.

Steve spoke with us about the primal fiberglass "Brand Man," answering many of our Biggest Questions. There are still cloudy patches in the chronology -- leaving lots of fertile ground for future research...


Origin of the Species: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Texaco's Big Friends

Muffler Man, Magnolia, New Jersey.
Muffler Man, Magnolia, New Jersey.

Also see: Muffler Men Home Page

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 29, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Martian Landing Site Monument, Grovers Mill, New Jersey (Oct 26-Nov 1, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now