The LA area takes a bit of time when wading through all the muffler men it has. Cities like LA and Chicago have a nice chunk of the M Men that are out there. The El Monte M Man was easiest enough to find but I broke one of the two most important rules there are when muffler men spotting. #1 Don’t go at night. #2 Don’t go when the business is closed. I’m sure I’ll add a few rules to the list as my blog progresses but those are two of the most important. So needless to say I went when it was closed and did not get to talk to the owners or get close to it. The business is well protected behind a fence and although I am sure they love visitors during normal business hours it was very clear they didn’t want any when they were closed. Details are sketchy but from what I have gathered this guy was missing his head in the late 90’s although it was still on display either in his hand or on the ground. Everyone seemed happy by the early 2000’s that he was reheaded once more. He holds a golf club in his hands one of two muffler men out there that do (the other also in the area) and that is fitting since he has always looked elderly to me. He just looks older then all the other muffler men. It is actually getting more and more rare to find a muffler man holding anything. Many of them just have their arms out with nothing in them and have been that way for years. I believe almost all of the M Men were shipped with tooling of some kind, an Axe, muffler, rocket, burger, and golf clubs being the ones I have heard of. The Mr Bendo version often held an iron bar and owners of course have come up with all kinds of ideas like one poor M Man that held a sign that said “will work for food”. But big items like that are often noticed by those who may not have the M Mans best interest in mind and so often they ended up in dorm rooms and private collections. So it is almost rare to find original items, often owners will make an axe out of a stick and cut plywood so if it disappears they can just make another one quick. One day I’ll get back to El Monte and learn more. If you can add to his history please do!
I have it in my notes that this guy was originally installed at a golf course in Duarte, CA (hence, the golf club).
Oops — make that a MINI golf place in Duarte.
best of luck with it