SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Coming in at 25 feet and 800 pounds is Springfield’s newest piece of history, the Queen City is getting a muffler man statue.
It will be front-and-center at Springfield’s new “Route 66 Food-Truck Park” and is now the twelfth statue along the “Mother Road.”
The owner of the Food Truck Park, Kirk Wheeler, says it will pay tribute to Route 66’s long history which dates back to as early as the sixties.
Wheeler says in the sixties the “Muffler Man Giant” stood out in front of muffler shops holding, of course, a giant muffler.
There are 11 different types of these statues between Chicago and California.
The twelfth coming to Springfield was made in a month by a company in Virginia.
Springfield’s statue is a chef holding a spatula and meat fork.
Wheeler says this statue is one of many reasons why he’s excited to open his park to the public.
“The Muffler Man Giants are pretty iconic items along Route 66. Most of the travelers that travel Route 66 make it a point to stop and take pictures with each Muffler Man,” Wheeler said. “So hopefully some of those 1.3 million people that travel Route 66 each year stop and take a picture, and smell the food and get hungry, and decide to eat at the Food Truck Park. I’m looking forward to seeing how it can help the neighborhood develop. I’m hoping maybe it’s like the first domino that got knocked over and that this corridor of Route 66 gets its due notoriety.”
Wheeler tells me he’s hopeful the park will open next Saturday, the 15th.
The food truck park will have several options, from Mexican to Mediterranean food.
Rain or shine, the park will be open six days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.