International Fiberglass did not use a specific name for this statue. Therefore, I have nicknamed this particular model the “Waving Giant.” It is described in International Fiberglass’ product listings as 22 feet tall, with a long sleeve shirt, necktie, dress slacks and shoes. It mentions that the statue is lifelike and is also available with a suit coat. These statues weigh 325 pounds and were sold for $3,000 in 1964 which equals $22,600 in today’s economy. It is not known if these Waving Giants were produced for a particular company or for a type of business.
This statue in Oakwood Village was probably ordered for a business in Ohio. In the 1990s, it stood at the Raff Road Raceway in Canton. In 2003, it was purchased by the owner of a graphics company. The statue was repainted and installed at his shop in Oakwood Village by 2004. The owner had been suffering from Muffler Man withdrawal after selling his Cowboy statue to the Crawford Museum of
Transportation and Industry in 2001. The Cowboy remained in storage there in Cleveland for several years until it was sold to Teako Nunn in Hatch, NM. It now stands in front of Nunn’s RV business. The statue’s cowboy hat now rests at his feet.
These Waving Giant statues appear to be related to the Big Friend statues that were produced for Texaco in 1966. While they are the same height and have the same hand positions, they are clearly made from different molds. I know of only two Waving Giants made with the suit coat option. One has disappeared while the other one at the Plantation Inn in Springfield, MA may be moving.
The Oakwood Village Waving Giant is still standing on the wheeled platform that was patented and produced International Fiberglass. There are only a few statues still installed on these platforms. There was another Waving Giant in Bartlett, IL that looked just like the one in Oakwood Village. It had been missing since around 1999. I was able to track it down last year. It is still in storage near Bartlett. The owner may put it back on public display soon.
Glen Goode of Gainesville, TX created two statues from a mold he made of a Waving Giant. These statues were assembled with standard Muffler Man Paul Bunyan style heads that Glen obtained from nearby Muffler Men.
Thanks to Brian for letting me hop the fence and get some pictures of his “Waving Giant” in Oakwood Village and also to Glen Goode of Gainesville, TX for letting me photograph his collection of Muffler Men. Also to Debra Jane Seltzer for editing this article.