Muffler Man in Albuquerque to be restored

It must be a good year for Muffler Men along Route 66. A second will be restored in a matter of weeks, right after a souvenir shop in Tulsa erected a new one.

The Muffler Man that stands high above Route 66 on the east side of Albuquerque will be restored in the next two weeks, including his severed arms, reported KQRE-TV.

The fiberglass statue of a lumberjack that publicizes a well-regarded Vietnamese restaurant, May Cafe, stands near the southwest corner of Central Avenue (aka Route 66) and Louisiana Boulevard (map here).

The key part of the story:

The owner of the cafe has decided to give him a new paint job. He’s also hired a team of builders to reattach Bunyan’s missing limbs and ax, wanting to restore the lumberjack to his original glory.

KRQE News 13 was told Bunyan’s arms will be reattached next week. The cafe’s owner told KRQE News 13 to expect an added surprise with his makeover.

In case you’re wondering, a severe windstorm blew off the Muffler Man’s arms and axe about five years ago.

Here’s the nearly two-minute segment from the television station:

The Roadside America site, which features a map of Muffler Men across America, states the Albuquerque figure is a “mutant” model of a Paul Bunyan. The editors state it was a chef figure transformed into a Paul Bunyan after a fire in 1974.

The Cuban population of Albuquerque calls the statue “Fidel,” after the late Cuban dictator.

Muffler Men are sculptures from 18 to 25 feet tall created by International Fiberglass of Venice, California, primarily during the 1960s. Dozens survive across the U.S.

As stated, it’s been a good year for Muffler Men along Route 66 so far. Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66 in Tulsa dedicated a newly fashioned Muffler Man to much fanfare a few weeks ago. Mere days after that, the new owners of the Launching Pad Drive-In announced it was restoring their unique and historic Gemini Giant.

(Recent excerpted image of the Muffler Man at the May Cafe in Albuquerque via Google Street View)

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