American Giants Museum

Atlanta, Illinois

IllinoisMuffler ManMuseumRoadside AttractionRoute 66
Texaco service station building and gas pump replica mark the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois.

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American Giants Museum


100 SW Arch St, Atlanta, IL 61723


10:00am - 4:00pm (Tuesday - Saturday, Seasonal)


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This small museum on Route 66 celebrates all things big. The American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois pays tribute to Muffler Men and other oversized fiberglass creations that once were a mainstay of American advertising.

Texaco service station building and gas pump replica mark the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois.

Muffler Men roadside attractions are fiberglass giants who stand anywhere from 14 to 25 feet tall. Each has a similar build and was built between 1963 and 1972 by International Fiberglass in Venice, California. With signature stances, these big men stood outside gas stations, muffler shops, and a variety of other businesses to call attention from the road. More than 500 of these giants were made in their heyday, but only around 200 are still around today.

The American Giants Museum celebrates and appreciates these muffler men, along with all the other fiberglass advertising icons once created by International Fiberglass. Located on the 1926 alignment of Route 66, in the heart of Atlanta, Illinois, it’s an appropriate spot seeing as Atlanta was already home to one of the best Route 66 muffler men in Illinois, and all of the Mother Road: the Bunyon Giant hot dog-carrying muffler man.

Texaco service station building and gas pump replica mark the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois.

The museum is housed in a building designed to resemble a vintage service station, complete with a pair of customized red gas pumps outside. A giant Texaco banjo sign towers over the building and a growing collection of muffler men, including a rare Texaco Big Friend, keep watch over the property while serving as fantastic photo ops for curious road trippers.

Currently, there are two muffler men on display outside of the museum: a Mad-Magazine-esque Snerd and a larger-than-life Texaco Big Friend. But more of these giants are coming soon (including a Viking Carpet King), with a goal of having six on display by the end of 2026, the centennial of Route 66, making it the largest single collection of muffler men anywhere along Route 66.

Combine the muffler men at the American Giants Museum with the Bunyon Giant down the road, the muffler man head at the gas station, and the soon-to-come pie-holding Uniroyal Gal at the Country-Aire Restaurant, and Atlanta has established itself the premiere destination for lovers of fiberglass giants.

Fiberglass Miss Uniroyal Foot/Leg at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

Inside the American Giants Museum, you can explore the fascinating history of these fiberglass advertising icons. Informative displays tell the story of Muffler Men (then simply known as Giant Men) and other fiberglass creations that were born as advertising gimmicks in the 1960s and 70s. Find molds, body parts, memorabilia, photos, documents, files, and more in the small but impressive showroom.

The American Giants Museum is operated by the Atlanta Betterment Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to make Atlanta a better place to live, by supporting its business, civic and religious organizations.

The organization is working with Joel Baker of American Giants, the nation’s leading expert on muffler men and the fiberglass statues produced in the 1960s by International Fiberglass Company.

Baker first discovered muffler men while on a work trip in Florida in 2011. Intrigued, he started researching more, traveling to see them, and, eventually starting a collection of his own to restore. A museum to display the work he helped curate was a natural extension of his passions, and Atlanta welcomed the idea of the museum with open fiberglass arms.

The American Giants Museum building was constructed the first week of October 2022 and had its official grand opening on May 26, 2024.

Things to See at the American Giants Museum

The American Giants Museum is small, but there are so many big things and little details to check out while you’re there. Here’s what to look for.

The American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

Gas Station Building

While with most museums it’s what’s inside that counts, at the American Giants Museum, the the outside is just as important!

The museum’s white, red, and green building was designed to resemble a 1965 Texaco gas station. The design was chosen because in the 1920s through 40s a gas station once lived at this corner property. Plus, it was only fitting as one of the key design elements would be a towering Texaco Big Friend, a roadside attraction that was designed to stand in front of a Texaco service station in the 1960s.

A special touch is the custom Texaco gas pumps in front. Each one is topped with a globe featuring the American Giants Museum logo and has a QR code that leads to the museum’s website.

Texaco Big Friend at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

Texaco Big Friend

In May 2024 as part of the grand opening celebration for the new American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois a newly restored, ultra-rare giant was erected out front: an original Texaco Big Friend.

The Texaco Big Friend is an offshoot of the Muffler Man roadside attraction, but has a unique signature stance (one arm bet up and the other bent to the front, palm up), impressive size (24-feet tall), and standard issue Texaco uniform (a green branded jumpsuit and service cap).

This roadside attraction was created as part of a marketing campaign for Texaco from 1966 to 1967. International Fiberglass Company built 300 of these 25-foot-tall statues for the Texaco Oil Company’s Big Friend advertising campaign, with an option to make up to 3,000. Unfortunately, these over-the-top roadside attractions soon became a liability, unstably toppling over and causing accidents. Plus, their sheer size made them difficult to transport. Production was halted and all of the commissioned giants were ordered to be destroyed. Out of the original 300, only about 6 are known to exist today.

The Atlanta Texaco Big Friend is 24-feet tall and is located on the west side of the American Giants Museum.

Snerd Muffler Man at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois - Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Snerd Muffler Man

One of the most unique types of muffler man is the “Mortimer Snerd” Giant (also known as the Happy Half Wit). Unlike the typical fiberglass giant, the Snerd takes on a wide goofy grin on a mug reminiscent of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman.

The Snerd Muffler Man in Atlanta, Illinois was the first muffler man installed outside of the American Giants Museum, added on June 1, 2023.

Texaco Sign at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

Texaco Banjo Sign

To add to the authenticity of the vintage gas station look of the museum, a towering 1959 Texaco Banjo sign can be found outside.

Snerd Muffler Man at the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois - Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Route 66 Land of the Giants Rest Stop

Outside of the museum find the Route 66 Land of the Giants Rest Stop. This area features picnic tables and a vintage bubbler water fountain surrounded by muffler men. Currently the Snerd is the only giant on display on the concrete pads, but more will be coming soon.

Inside the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

The American Giants Museum

Of course, the number one thing to see at the American Giants Museum is the museum itself. Step inside to read informative displays detailing the history of the Texaco Big Friend and other International International Fiberglass muffler men and creations.

Look for an 11-foot Gas Station Waving Guy statue (“The Professional”), a Mama Burger and Baby Burger from A&W Root Beer, A Miss Uniroyal Gal leg and foot, a Tomahawk once held by an Indian muffler man, and a 7-foot-long Esso tiger. You can also find bits and bobs of memorabilia, like an original shipping label and product catalog.

Photos of the American Giants Museum in Atlanta, Illinois

I visited the American Giants Museum during their Grand Opening Celebration on May 26, 2024. The photos here of the museum may not reflect everything you see when you’re there. But the Snerd muffler man, Texaco Big Friend, building, and displays are all standing tall in Atlanta!

Plan Your Visit to the American Giants Museum

  • The American Giants Museum is located on the corner of Vine and Arch Streets on Historic Route 66 in downtown Atlanta, Illinois. Free parking is available on the street or in the City Parking Lot across the street.
  • The entrance to the Museum is stair-free and handicapped parking is available.
  • An accessible, unisex restroom is available for public use at the museum during regular hours of operation.
  • The museum is open seasonally, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday. The muffler men outside are visible 24/7, regardless of the museum’s operating hours.

Plan Your Illinois Road Trip

Planning an Illinois road trip to see the American Giants Museum and all the muffler men in the state? Plan your road trip with these road trip resources, road trip planning articles, and Route 66 road trip planners.

Road Trip Resources

Popular Road Trip Planning Articles

Route 66 Road Trip Planning

Roadside Attractions Near the American Giants Museum

Plan Your Road Trip

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