You might lose your head over this Route 66 roadside attraction. But, don’t worry, you’ll be in good company, because he once lost his head too. Meet the Lauterbach Tire Muffler Man in Springfield, Illinois (AKA the Lauterbach Giant).
This fiberglass Illinois Route 66 Muffler Man has stood in the parking lot outside Lauterbach Tire & Auto Service in Springfield, Illinois since 1978. Muffler men roadside attractions are fiberglass giants who stand anywhere from 14 to 25 feet tall. Each has a similar design and was built between 1963 and 1972 by International Fiberglass in Venice, California. With signature stances, these big men stood outside of muffler shops and other businesses to call attention from the road.
While the Lauterbach Giant now looks perfectly fine, he had earlier undergone some tragedy: he lost his head when a tornado flew through town in 2006.
Thankfully the Lauterbach muffler man’s decapitation was clean cut, the head was found intact, and the fiberglass giant has since been restored to beyond his former glory. He used to hold a tire, but after his muffler man surgery, he now proudly waves an American flag, beckoning roadside travelers to pull over and come say hello.
Visit this Illinois roadside attraction on your Route 66 road trip.
Lauterbach Giant in 2007
While you’re road tripping through Springfield, Illinois, be sure to also check out these other local nearby Illinois roadside attractions: Abraham Lincoln’s Lucky Nose in front of his grave at the cemetery, Pinky the Pink Elephant with a Martini Glass, Cozy Dog Drive In, and the Abraham Lincoln The Railsplitter Statue.
Lauterbach Tire Muffler Man
Location: Lauterbach Auto Service, 1569 Wabash Ave. Springfield, IL 62704
Cost: Free to see.
Hours: Always visible.