This is a version of muffler men called Mr Bendo, I have yet to learn about where the name came from and why International Fiberglass started making them but there are a few across the country and they all look the same. They have the hand positions of the indian version and they typically have a red shirt, white pants and “Mr Bendo” written on their shirt. This one stands at Ralphs mufflers in Indianapolis and has since the late 60’s. Other versions of Mr Bendo stand in Sioux Falls, Wilson, NC as well as Chicago IL among other places.
Mr. Bendo was given his name because at Ralph’s the guys bend their own pipes. They still do this there, I’m not certain on how common it is for exhaust mechanics to bend exhaust pipes custom to each vehicle. This shop was opened by my grandfather Ralph Potter who recently passed away. Now the ships are ran by my family members. This particular location with Mr. Bendo is my father’s shop.
Ralph was a true innovator in racing. Starting his career in racing back in the 50’s while working for his father who owned a speed shop in Indianapolis. One of his first experiences in racing was running for land speed records at the Bonneville salt flats with his friend Mickey Thompson . In those years he was better known as “Sonny” Potter being a Jr. He returned to Indy and opened one of the first Muffler Shops in the United states. For recognition Ralph installed a giant statue in front of his 16th street store. He named him “Mr. Bendo” and Mr Bendo became a nationally known Hero in his own right. To keep his crew busy in the winter Ralph began building and racing Quarter Midgets. He was the East Coast distributor for Frank Kurtis Quarter Midgets. When Frank got out of the Quarter Midget Business Ralph took on the brand and began developing Quarter Midgets of his own design. It would be impossible to count the number of great race car drivers that started their career either in racing a Kurtis Quarter Midget built by Ralph or as one of his house car drivers a very prestigious position for a young kid .
Okay so in previous replies I was mistaken. It is Huth Benders that gave Mr. Bendo his name.