American Giants Episode #2

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The second episode of “American Giants” is offically released as of July 9, 2013. The episode covers the details of International Fiberglass the company that made muffler men as well as Steve Dashew who owned it. We also continue to follow Joel and the guys up route 66 in search of muffler men. They make their second stop in Springfield, IL and visit the Lauderbach bunyan and talk to his owners and find out some very interesting history. Also Bo makes a cool discovery when he mounts a go pro camera on a boom pole. This episode is a reality due to the help of the guys at Lauterbach Tire in Springfield and also the many photographers and help I got from Roadside America. Again this episode runs 15min and although I tried to keep it under 8 I was not successful. The plan is for future episodes to be under 10 min in length.

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American Giants Episode #1

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Finally at long last we have completed and released the first episode of the series “American Giants” The episode covers the details of how muffler men got their name as myself and two of my friends head north in the state of IL near old route 66 in pursuit of muffler men. We discover the soda jerk in Macon and learn about it’s connection to the shorter muffler men that International Fiberglass built. This episode has been a long time in the making and I just want to thank everyone who was involved for your help. Big thanks to the guys at Roadside America for helping me get my facts right and for what they started so many years ago. Also to Debra Jane Seltzer for all her help and countless e-mails in helping me in my research and also for the use of many of her pictures she has taken on her travels. The episode runs 15min and because it was the first one we needed a bit more time to lay some foundation. Future episodes will run closer to 8-10 minutes in length and now that the groundwork is done there should be a new one every 3 to 4 weeks.

Pahrump Big Friend Update

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IMG_2025I have followed the unfolding story in Pahrump, NV concerning their extremely rare Big Friend very closely over the last few months. Thankfully due to those of us with an interest for this sort of thing, made it known to various key players in that town how rare this guy was. Earlier this year the news and paper got involved and soon everyone in town realized what they had (or did have). By that time the big guy had already made his way to the Pahrump Valley disposal where he still resides today. Two reporters, Deanna O’donnell and Mark Waite have been very instrumental in telling his story from the start in mid December last year when he came down. In fact channel 46 did one story that heavily used this blog and 3 of my pictures appeared in the story, including one with me in it (although it’s a wide shot) Needless to say I was surprised when I watched that clip. I’ll keep updating this blog from time to time on the developments with this Texaco Big friend. Currently none of the remaining big friends are in their original paint scheme for Texaco and it is our hope that he’s restored back to the days when he wore the Texaco star, colors, cap and all.

Pahrump Big Friend Down

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December 12 was was a sad day in the muffler man world. One of 4 known Big Friends was taken down that morning after standing on top of a sign pole for about 20 years or so. He was known as the Valley Home Giant and stood at Valley Homes along highway 160 in Pahrump, NV. He had been repainted since his Texaco days but was still recognizable as one of the very rare Big Friends. Before coming to Pahrump in the early 90’s he stood on the Boulder Highway in Las Vegas. Originally he most likely stood at a Texaco gas station in Vegas. I’ll let the video tell the story of why he was taken down, it is both sad and unfortunate. There are at least a half dozen museums I know of that would have loved to have had him in their collection for visitors to enjoy. I have always hoped one of these guys would be restored back to Texaco colors and thankfully that is still a possibility for the Pahrump Big Friend. After he was taken down the locals including the TV station and newspaper became aware of his value and history from all the inquiries they received about him. This possibly prompted the Pahrump Valley Times to write an article on his disappearance and they were able to find out what happened to him after he was hauled off. Although some may not have realized his value thankfully the guys at the landfill figured there was more to this guy then a pile of junk. He was broken up a bit in the dismantling and shipping to the landfill so they took him in pieces and he is currently in storage. It is hard to say what will become of him although there has been some talk about possibly putting him up at the dump. I can think of a few better places for a Big Friend to stand then the local dump but am very thankful the guys there rescued him from the machines.

American Giants Promo #2

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Just released the second promo video on my youtube channel for the upcoming season of American Giants. I show a bit more about what some of the first season will cover across the state of Illinois. This happens to be one of the more populated states as far as muffler men go and also is a part of old route 66 so their is some combined interest there. Much of this was shot just as the idea to make episodes was starting to come to me so although I would do a few things differently, I think we got some great content and hope you will find it interesting and helpful in your muffler man hunting!

American Giants Promo #1

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It’s been two years now since I started my hobby and finally all those hours of study, research and travel are paying off in the form of videos of my travels and discoveries. This is the promo video for the episodes which will start this spring. Subscribe to the youtube channel to keep posted on my progress. Also make sure your following this blog as I post almost daily.