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Hot Dog Muffler Man

When I started doing travel writing back in 2000, one of the early trips that I did and wrote about was a road trip along Route 66 through Illinois. We started in the south suburbs and worked our way south making stops in all kinds of small towns and ending in St. Louis.  I remember being at a program at my local library where a couple was speaking about Route 66 and that's when I first learned about muffler men - these oversized fiberglass figures that are all a little unique. Most have the same stance and facial features since they came from one large mold. They were often placed outside of muffler shops to lure in customers and that's where the name comes from. The majority of them were built from 1962 to 1976 and the first one was a Paul Bunyan figure made for the Lumberjack Cafe in Flagstaff, Arizona. I've stopped to see a few of them over the years - sometimes taking a little detour to seek them out as we've traveled, finding them in Wisconsin Dells, Cicero, Il an

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