Muffler men are tall fiberglass sculptures created by International Fiberglass in Venice, California, that were once popular advertising icons on the roads of America. There were many types of this roadside attraction produced — classic, Bunyan, cowboy, Indian — and they are found holding everything from hot dogs to American Flags. Another type is the bent-rod holding Mr. Bendo muffler man, like this one that once lived in Chicago, Illinois.
Mr. Bendo is named so because that is the name that is printed on his shirt pocket. Unlike most of his counterparts with a classic right hand up, left hand down stature, this guy has his right hand down, extended outwards, and left arm down by his side.
Unfortunately, this Chicago muffler man is no longer standing in Chicago. On June 18 2010, a storm rolled through the city and knocked over everything from the waist up. He lost his torso and his head. The owners eventually found the fiberglass body remnants and put them in storage, leaving the lone panted legs standing for a few years.
Alas, Ced’s eventually went out of business in 2014. But there’s good news! The muffler man was bought by Free Time Hobbies and lives on as Mr Hobbie in Blue Ridge, Georgia (47 Dunbarton Farm Rd, Blue Ridge, GA 30513)! So if you’ve ever in Georgia, check his out there! And if you’ve ever in South Dakota, you can find another Mr. Bendo there!
Mr. Bendo Muffler Man
Former Location: Ced’s Auto Service, 3940 W Grand Ave., Chicago, IL
Cost: Free to see.
Hours: Always visible.
Date: November 25, 2007