Big news friends! We're thrilled to announce the Vintage Roadside fiberglass family has grown with the addition of one very large new fella - Big George.
Some of you Muffler Man fans may recognize Big George from the Sterling McCall Classic Car Museum in Round Top, Texas. He was purchased by Mr. McCall in the late 1990s and stood in front of his museum until one unfortunate day in 2010.
According to his former caretaker he received a call one morning letting him know "the Big Guy was down." He had been placed on a raised section of the grounds (image
) and sadly became a victim of overnight winds. He fell face-first, in what must have looked like the world's most awkward cliff dive, breaking his fall on the sidewalk below with both his outstretched arms and his forehead.
The results of his tumble are evident in the damage to both armpits, smaller fractures across his chest, tears at his waist and a non-lethal head wound.
Big George was then taken apart at the waist and moved to the Museum's storage warehouse. In the following years the Museum's collections were auctioned off and sadly Mr. McCall passed away in 2013. In the Fall of 2015 a friend let us know that the family was considering finding a new home for Big George. We tried to make contact but weren't able to get in touch with the family. In February we decided to give it one last shot and luckily we reached one of Mr. McCall's daughters. She put us in touch with the caretaker of the collection and he was kind enough to send us a set of detailed photos.
After discussions with the McCall family an agreement was made and we became the proud new parents of Big George.
We do have one bit of caution to other potential Muffler Men owners - be prepared to find your perfect Muffler Man no closer than 8-10 states away from wherever you're located. Before landing Big George we had "almost" landed one in South Carolina, Georgia, Texas (different statue) and California. Being in Oregon we knew immediately the California one wouldn't work out - way too easy! While finally locating one is certainly the largest part of the challenge, shipping a 20' statue home is also a major part of the process. We ended up going the uShip route and in the end he arrived here in Portland.
The two questions we've been asked are: "What's next for him?" and "Where can we see him?"
A complete restoration begins for him next week which will probably take somewhere around 3 months. We have also had several inquiries from local businesses interested in having him on display. Our number one priority is to get him restored and back out in public view. Portland has never been home to an International Fiberglass Muffler Man and we're so excited to bring one to town. As soon as we confirm placement we'll be sure and let you all know. We can't wait to get a photo with him either. :-)
If you're a local Portland business and are interested in having Big George at your location or event please contact us regarding availability here
. For over 50 years now these roadside giants have drawn a crowd.
In closing we'd like to once again thank the McCall family for passing him on to us, and to all of you who have been so supportive of Vintage Roadside over the past 10 years.
Jeff & Kelly
P.S. We've also recently added two other pieces to our vintage fiberglass mascot family - a rare Tastee Freez Twin as well as the head of a Bunyan model Muffler Man. We'll post about those two next time out.