These days the female version of the muffler man is a rare find and many muffler man hunters will drive out of their way to see her. Our case was no different when the American Giants crew deviated to Peoria, IL after visiting the Atlanta, IL Bunyan and before seeing the Gemini Giant in Wilmington. With only about 12 left across the country a uniroyal gal sighting is always a must if your in the area. I had heard about the one in Peoria before planning our road trip (currently being shown in American Giants Episodes) and found her unique in that she gets an outfit change every year. Turns out she is no stranger to Peoria and arrived there 45 years ago in 1968. She was part of a grand opening promotion for the Plaza Tire Co. and she was made by International Fiberglass for the Uniroyal Tire Company. Uniroyal had dozens of these giant women made in the mid 60’s to promote their tires and the girls were set up for promotions at participating dealers of Uniroyal Tires. Around the same time she arrived in Peoria another uniroyal gal was shipped to Salem, IL about 210 miles to the south. After the promotion the giantess in Peoria was moved around the area to different businesses to help promote tires and other grand openings. After 4 years on the road she was retired in 1971 and given back to the Plaza Tire Co. Uniroyal was moving in new directions and discontinued the Uniroyal Gal program across the country. At this time the giants were either trashed or fell to private businesses and collections. At 17ft 6 inches tall and 450 lb she became a landmark in Peoria and has stood all these years in almost the same spot. Because people kept backing into her legs on occasion she was moved recently to stand on top of a wooden planter to keep her safe from cars. Interestingly if you look at her steel platform it is the same one that she was shipped with from International Fiberglass. All muffler men shipped on these platforms so the area reps could move them around to different promotions locally. She was recently restored and given a new paint job and renamed Vanna Whitewall! Uniroyal Gals came in a fiberglass skirt and shirt and had the option for these to be removed to reveal a bikini underneath. She is the only uniroyal gal I know of that still transitions between the two every year. During the winter she has on her skirt and shirt and when it gets warm off come the clothes to “announce pool season” as the guys there told me. They also took me in the shop and showed me the giant “clothes hanger” they use to hang her clothes on during the summer months. We got an interview and some great go pro shots while we were there and she was well worth the diversion! She will be featured in American Giants Episode #4.
Along with his “cowboy” Glen is also the proud owner of one of the rare uniroyal gals. Although not as popular as her male counterparts she was also sold by International Fiberglass. I still am trying to get all the history on the these but apparently Uniroyal Tire started ordering them in the late 60’s to advertise their tires at different locations across America. Some questions have been raised about the unique hand position and what she was originally meant to hold. It appears that this hand design was made to hold a tire although it has always seemed to me that was made to hold something with a handle. I have heard one report that one of these girls stood at a gas station in Florida in the 80’s and held an oil can in that raised hand. There are 11 known Uniroyal Gals left standing today that I know of and 3 others that probably still exist but have been off the grid for awhile. This one here used to stand in Wichita Falls, TX about 65 miles away at a car dealership and only had on a red bikini back then. Glen bought her back in the 90’s I believe and put on her clothes which the car dealership had in storage and also lengthened her skirt so she would “be more holy”. Today you can see her standing with the rest of his giants (which make her look almost small).