Muffler Men move. More so, I’d say, than any other type of roadside attraction out there. One day you’ll see a muffler man hanging out outside your favorite gas station and the next day he’ll have moved to a restaurant three states over. Maybe it’s those big, tall legs they have, perfect for taking a stroll, but muffler men just can’t seem to stay still. They like to see the world, move around the country, travel to new places, find new homes, making finding muffler man locations a bit tricky. (See this Muffler Man from Chicago who now lives in Georgia as an example.)
This is the Ace Hardware Muffler Man in Elkhart, Indiana. Or, at least, it was, at one point in this roadside attraction’s life, the Ace Hardware Muffler Man in Elkhart, Indiana and a popular tourist attraction.
This Paul Bunyan style roadside attraction originally stood in front of a local Palmer Hardware location in Elkhart around 1967. Sometime before 2005, sporting a pair of green trousers and a crisp white shirt, he moved with the business to a True Value Hardware store nearby. In 2005 the store turned key to an ACE hardware and this handsome giant man was repainted in a bright red shirt and stocking cap and blue trousers.
This is where I met this Paul Bunyan muffler man in August of 2010 on a road trip that took me through Indiana.
Little did I know then that, after a long life in Elkhart, he was getting itchy feet, and his time in Indiana was slowing to an end.
In 2011, this Paul Bunyan packed his bags, said goodbye to the Midwest, and moved along to his new home in front of Red Oak Trading Company in Coeburn, Virginia.
He seems content there, for now. But, who knows what his future holds and when he will feel the calling to move once again.
Paul Bunyan Ace Hardware Muffler Man
Former Location: Ace Hardware Elkhart Indiana , 21826 IN-120, Elkhart, IN 46516
New Location: Red Oak Trading Company, 421 Front St. West, Coeburn, VA
Cost: Free to See
Hours: Always Visible (but check store hour)