a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, October 15, 2007

Muffler Man is "The Man"

Motorists entering Uniontown from the south are once again greeted by a giant roadside attraction known as the Muffler Man.
The Paul Bunyan lookalike, which stands 20 feet, 6 inches tall, reappeared last month in the Fayette County, Pa., county seat after spending nearly six months in the repair shop.

“He’s back in service,” said Dave Thomas, an employee at Import Export Tire Shop, where the landmark lumberjack stands alongside Route 51. “He looks brand new,” Thomas added.

The fiberglass statue was among many that popped up in the 1960s outside muffler shops across the United States. But last year, the one in Uniontown had begun to look a bit tipsy because its steel skeleton was rusting away.
“He was starting to lean over,” Thomas said.

Originally, these odd advertisements gripped mufflers and tailpipe in their muscular hands instead of hatchets. As those shops closed over the years, their “men” would take on as such appearances as a cowboy, Indian, pirate, Viking and spaceman, according to Roadside Magazine.

The Uniontown Muffler Man has a fresh coat of paint, and retains much of his original, tough-guy style. Somehow, he pulls off the look with his pant legs tucked in his boots. But without a muffler, this Muffler Man resembles a jiggy redneck rapper.

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