Back from the road and tucked away is Classic Designs, a graphic design company in Oakwood Village, OH. I had made my way there because of the large waving fiberglass statue they have there that looks allot like a texaco big friend but is a different mold. I have since confirmed these giants were made by international fiberglass but have yet to find out why and for who. While talking to the owner Brian he kept mentioning a former fiberglass giant he had sold to a museum nearby and said it was still in storage there. Slowly the dots started to connect in my head and I remembered hearing about an ebay sale on 2006 of a muffler man from a museum. As is often the case muffler man history can be a tough nut to crack and the Hatch, NM one is no exception. Seems he started out his life possibly in Oklahoma and first reports came in about him standing at a truck stop in the state in the early 90’s. Sometime after he was purchased, moved to Ohio and restored. I think Brian was the second owner to get him in Ohio and he set him up at his business and even took him home a few times for parties. Eventualy Brian sold him to the Western Reserve Historical Society who planned to put him up at their museum in there Route 66 exhibit. After 9/11 they never got their funding and the m man, his giant hat and rifle sat in storage for years until the staff finally decided to put him up on ebay in April of 2006. The auction went well and he sold for a reported $7,100 to Teako Nunn of Hatch, NM who promptly set him up at his RV dealer lot right off the interstate. He still stand there today and holds a 1970’s era toy RV in one hand while his hat leans against his other leg. Apparently win can even blow off a muffler mans hat so they decided the ground was a safer place for it. Sadly Teako wasn’t around the day I was there so I didn’t get to talk to him and find out more information about his m man or the many other fiberglass figures he has collected. I did discover a Mark Clien soda jerk in the back which was a pleasant surprise, I’ll post more on that in the next blog. Teako collects a wide selection of fiberglass animals and statues, many of which came from International Fiberglass. He’s got plenty of stories to tell about the people who love his collection and those who do not. Check out www.roadsideamerica.com If you ever stop by for a visit check out his collection and all the chilli shops in town. Apparently hatch is the self proclaimed chili capitol of the world and there are a bunch of stores that sell chillies around town.
Teako’s collection also seems to be about as present as the chilies and you can find many large fiberglass figures and animals from one end of town to the other. Just down the road from his RV dealership is his world famous burger restaurant also with a collection of fiberglass including a giant uncle sam. I believe the uncle sam is also International Fiberglass but that has yet to be proven.