True to muffler man behavior this one comes with a bunch of secrets and history. I am sure there are many who could tell his story much better then I can but I will do my best and please feel free to fill in what I miss in the comment section below. As far as I know this guy goes way back to the 60’s and back then he used to be “Mr Frostie Freeze” and had on a little white bakers hat and held a huge hamburger.
In 1987 this place became the “La Salsa” and the burger man didn’t really fit in anymore so a guy named Bob Wade transformed him into a more appropriate roadside attraction to stand in front of a Mexican Restaurant. He was repainted and given a mustache and the bottom half of his burger bun was turned into a serving plate for chips and salsa as well as other items to be found inside if one would stop. In 2006 someone ran off with his collection food and since then he has been standing here holding an empty tray. The day I was there was windy and hot and the place was covered in people, the traffic was so bad it took us 15 min to get to him after first spotting his head above the buildings. Looking closely I noticed he is one of the few M Men that has both palms facing up in order to hold his tray. At the time I didn’t know what to look for in muffler men so I can’t say for sure if he has the International Fiberglass stamp on his right leg but seeing that his pants drop all the way to the top of his shoes a label should be there. Gabriel Aldaz mentioned in his book that Bob once reported finding a label on the inside that said “Riverside” I am guessing what he really saw was the outside label on the M Man’s right leg that said “Venice” because I have never heard of a label that says Riverside. The La Salsa Muffler man is one of the more altered muffler men out there along with a few others that have undergone dramatic makeovers. Bob Wade was contacted for the make over and came up with the idea and props for his transformation. Interestingly Bob was completely unaware that Dennis Hopper came along years later and made a copy of his La Salsa Man and started sending the copy around the world on tour with his art show! Today that copy can be found in Dodge City and although he is a separate piece , the idea behind him came from Bob Wades creation that still stands today and is in bad need of some new items on his food tray.
Photo credit of 1980’s Frostie Freeze ExperiencingLA.com and a speciel thanks to Bob Wade for sharing pictures of La Salsa man’s transformation.