Giant "Muffler Men" along Historic U.S. Route 66

The Giant "Muffler Men" Along Route 66


Route 66 provides a variety of attractions and destinations for travelers as they journey from Illinois to California. One type of quirky attraction is the "giants", commonly known as "muffler men".

These giant advertising characters typically range from 10-30 feet in height, and are moulded in fiberglass and polyester resin on steel frames. They frequently stood outside muffler shops and other businesses to bring customers inside.

Steve Dashew started the International Fiberglass Company in Venice, California, in 1963. His company produced thousands of giant statues of people, workers, animals, and other objects until its closure in 1974. Another builder of fiberglass giants was Bob Prewitt who operated Prewitt Fiberglass Animals.

Many of the giants assumed the same position: arms bent at the elbows, with one hand facing up and the other hand facing down. This position allowed the giant to hold some object, such as a muffler, hot dog, axe or wrench.

Featured on this page are just a few of the "Route 66 Muffler Men" seen when traveling along the eight states of The Mother Road!

Paul Bunyon Man

Standing 19 feet tall and clutching a giant hot dog, this Paul Bunyon statue (not “bunyan” purposely spelled with an “o”). It is one of Illinois Route 66’s famous "Muffler Man" Statues, joining others like the Gemini Giant in Wilmington and the Lauterbach Giant in Springfield.

For more than 35 years it was proudly owned by Hamlet Arthur "Art" Stephens, the proprietor of Bunyon's, a drive-in restaurant in Cicero on Route 66 just southwest of Chicago. Art left the restaurant business in 2002, and the statue ended up being moved to downtown Atlanta.

Bunyon's statue is located in Atlanta on Arch Street, across from the Palms Grill Café, which features fine fare from The Mother Road’s golden age. It is a frequent stop for Route 66 travelers, and a popular "photo op"!

Paul Bunyon muffler man statue in Atlanta, Illinois along Route 66 Paul Bunyon muffler man statue in Atlanta, Illinois along Route 66

American Giants Museum

The Atlanta Betterment Fund organization is providing a home for the American Giants Museum in the City of Atlanta, Illinois. The new, one-of-a-kind experience will be located at the corner of Arch & Vine Streets, on a 1926 alignment of Route 66 in downtown Atlanta.

The American Giants Museum tells the story of the kitschy and quirky “Muffler Man/Bunyan Giant” statues that sprang up in the 1960s as advertising gimmicks across the USA.

Shown below is an exterior view of the museum, and one of the first "giants" on display on the museum grounds in the spring of 2023. The giant is the 21-foot-tall Snerd, an Alfred E. Newman-looking figure named for Edgar Bergan's sidekick, Mortimer Snerd.

Grand opening was held on Memorial Day weekend in 2024. For more information, opening dates and times, visit the website of the American Giants Museum

Route 66 Giants Move into Atlanta, Illinois
WANDtv - Decatur, IL - 06/15/2023
A capital place for giants': Museum has village of Atlanta thinking big
The State Journal-Register - 11/29/2023
Roadside behemoths stand tall at the American Giants Museum Memorial Day weekend
CBS News - 05/23/2024
Exterior view of the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois along Route 66 One of the first "giants" on display at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois along Route 66


The Lauterbach Giant in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield has lots to see for Route 66 travelers, from the Lincoln Presidential Museum to the State Capitol and so much more.

Lauterbach Tire and Auto Service has a fiberglass "muffler man" giant standing in the parking lot. He used to hold a tire, but was recently upgraded to be more patriotic with a U.S. flag. It is located at 1569 Wabash Avenue in Springfield.

For more information on area tourism ... Springfield Convention & Visitor Bureau website

Lauterbach Giant
Lauterbach Giant in Springfield, Illinois

The Uniroyal Girl and Beach Boy in Livingston, Illinois

The Pink Elephant Antique Mall is located in the former Livingston High School building, and offers wares from than 50 antique dealers. A quaint diner onsite offers burgers, nachos, sandwiches, and refreshments. Outside, visitors are welcomed by a giant "Uniroyal Gal" and a nearby "Beach Boy" and "Harley" man. It is located at 908 Veterans Memorial Drive in Livingston.

More information about the Pink Elephant

The Pink Elephant Antique Mall, Livingston, Illinois

"Surfer Man" at The Pink Elephant Antique Mall, Livingston, Illinois "Harley Davidson Man" at The Pink Elephant Antique Mall, Livingston, Illinois

Uranus, Missouri

Uranus is a tourist attraction in unincorporated rural Pulaski County along the former U.S. Route 66. "It's Not a Town, It's a Destination."

And in 2021 a 20-foot "Muffler Man" was installed ... the Mega Mayor of Uranus!

Uranus Route 66 Information Website

Mega Mayor of Uranus, Missouri, a 20-foot tall  "Muffler Man"

Chef Muffler Man

This 25-foot tall "Muffler Man" carries a spatula and meat fork, and wears a chef's hat.

Located at the Route 66 Food Truck Park, 1530 East St. Louis Street in Springfield, Missouri
The "Chef Muffler Man" in Springfield, Missouri

"Big Bill" at the Hi-Way Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma

The newest "Muffler Man" on Route 66 was installed at the family-owned Hi-Way Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma, in June of 2023. He towers about 24 feet in height; at his feet is a large suitcase.

Alan and Beth Hilburn own and operate the cafe. "Big Bill" is named after the late Bill Wood, Beth's father.

In November of 2022, in coordination with Mobil1, the Hi-Way Cafe set a Guinness World Record for the “Most Stickers on a Car”. Using a 1963 American Rambler and over 100 volunteers the cafe placed 60,066 half inch stickers over the body of the car and was declared a Guinness World Record Holder. This car is currently housed inside the cafe in the “garage” where customers can dine around the car. The Hi-Way Cafe is also home to a “Giving Wall”. This is a program where people can donate prepaid meals for customers that cannot afford a meal.

In March of 2023, thanks in part to grants from the National Park Service's Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program, the Hi-Way Cafe was able to relight its restored iconic neon sign.

The Cafe is located at 437918 E Highway 60, about two miles west of Vinita. Learn more at the Hi-Way Cafe website and the Hi-Way Cafe on Facebook. Phone 918.256.5465

"Big Bill" muffler man at the Hi-Way Cafe on Route 66 in Vinita, Oklahoma The neon sign at the Hi-Way Cafe on Route 66 in Vinita, Oklahoma

Mohawk Trail ‘Big Indian’ officially resides on Route 66 in Oklahoma
WWLP - 11/10/2023

Cherokee Big-Indian at the Hi-Way Cafe on Route 66 in Vinita, Oklahoma

The Golden Driller in Tulsa

The Golden Driller at the Tulsa Expo Center in Oklahoma


The Golden Driller is a 76-foot, 22-ton statue of an oil worker in Tulsa, located outside the Tulsa Expo Center.

It is the 6th tallest statue in the United States.

The plaque at the base reads "The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind."

Located at 4145 E. 21st Street in Tulsa.

Tulsa's Buck Atom

Buck Atom 21-foot tall muffler man and space cowboy, in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Stella Atom
Stella Atom, in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Route 66

Located in a former site of a 1950s PEMCO gas station, Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66 welcomes visitors from all over to celebrate the magic of the Mother Road with apparel, toys, souvenirs, home accessories, art, jewelry and more.

Stop by this unique retailer for a fun photo op with the 21-foot-tall Muffler Man, Buck Atom, space cowboy. On June 28, 2024, he was joined by Stella Atom, space cowgirl!

These bigger than life figures are located at 1347 E. 11th Street in Tulsa. More info at the Buck Atom's 66 Website

The Giants Display Between El Reno and Calumet, Oklahoma

Calumet and Geary were on the 1926 alignment of Route 66, however by 1933 they were bypassed by a direct alignment from El Reno to Bridgeport.

Today, between El Reno and Calumet, is "The Giants Display" along Route 66 eastbound. The display area features 18-foot tall color cutouts of two Muffler Men and a Uniroyal Gal. The characters were painted by California artist John Cerney in 2019.
The "Route 66 Giants Display" near Calumet, Oklahoma

Read more about giant "Muffler Men", their locations, and view photos on this website

The Giant Native American

This giant Native American statue is located at the Indian Trading Post and Art Gallery at 825 South Walbaum Road in Calumet, Oklahoma. It was previously located at the David Howe Auto dealership off Route 66 until 2010.

The Trading Post features Native American themed apparel, hand-beaded jewelry, and other memorabilia. This nostalgic store also carries Native American art from a large number of nearby tribes including pottery, paintings and other great pieces. Phone the Trading Post at 405.884.5599 for more information, and about opening times.
The giant Native American statue at the Indian Trading Post and Art Gallery in Calumet, Oklahoma

The 2nd Amendment Cowboy near Amarillo, Texas

The Cadillac RV Park is located just west of Amarillo, at the intersection of I-40 and Hope Road near the Cadillac Ranch. The 2nd Amendment Cowboy stands tall at the RV Park.

The 2nd Amendment Cowboy at the Cadillac RV Park The 2nd Amendment Cowboy at the Cadillac RV Park
The plaque under the 2nd Amendment Cowboy at the Cadillac RV Park

Lumberjack Man in Albuquerque

This giant lumberjack man holding an ax is located on the roof of the May Cafe in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 27-foot tall giant sits atop a 20-foot tall platform. The cafe, which specializes in Vietnamese cuisine, is located at 111 Louisiana Boulevard SE, near the intersection with Central Avenue. Before housing the May Cafe, the building was the home of Shofner Lumber Company, who originally erected the lumberjack man.

More information about the restaurant can be found at the May Cafe website
Lumberjack Man on the roof of the May Cafe in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Lumberjack Muffler Man in Flagstaff

The 20-foot tall Louie the Lumberjack Muffler Man is located on the Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus in Flagstaff, Arizona, not far from Route 66. The lumberjack is the mascot of the University; one of these lumberjacks stands outside, and one inside, the Walkup Skydome stadium. The pair was formerly located outside of the Lumberjack Cafe (now called Granny's Closet) on Route 66.
Lumberjack Muffler Man on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff, Arizona

Chicken Boy in Los Angeles

The 22-foot high, fiberglass Chicken Boy, is part man and part chicken, and holds a yellow bucket of chicken. Chicken Boy was originally located on the roof of the Chicken Boy restaurant on Broadway in Los Angeles. It was later put in storage, and then relocated to its current site atop the Future Studio Gallery, on 5558 North Figueroa Avenue, part of Historic Route 66, in the Highland Park area. It is commonly called the "Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles".
Chicken Boy in Los Angeles, California