Qualified Condition

October 10, 2008

Which Came First, The Chicken or the Legs?

Filed under: Buildings Shaped Like Stuff — qualifiedcondition @ 7:21 pm

Have you met Charles, the giant checker clad steering column salesman?  He’s over on Mission St not too far from Chavez in Boyle Heights.


In the 1960s a number of these giant statues were made by a fiberglass company in Venice and many of them were peppered around Los Angeles.  Most of them seemed to have ended up at auto repair facilities–a goodly portion at muffler shops–and consequently they are popularly known as Muffler Men.  Hot.  They’re pretty easily recognizable and all seem to have an “insert your product here” hand-stance.  Charles, in Boyle Heights is holding nothing (what up?) but his brothers have been known to hold giant mufflers, golf clubs, sandwiches and expense report binders.  Okay, not expense report binders.  If others out there know of the whereabouts of other Muffler Men in LA, I’d love to know about them!  I think there’s one in Carson near the 405 holding a 5 iron.

Also, as I spent some time photographing Charles’ chiseled fiberglassyness my mind wandered back to Chickenboy in Highland Park.  Then, later in the day as I passed a chicken slaughterhouse in Chinatown it hit me–I know where Chickenboy came from!

  +    = 


UPDATE:  Charles’ name might actually be Sergio.  Also, there are Muffler Man fans out there who have paid much more attention to these matters here.



  1. I don’t understand why the quincinetta dress shop wouldn’t just sharpie on some eyebrows and put chicken boy in a dress? It would work, I know it.

    Comment by jessie — October 11, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  2. I think joor mufflers bought these all up in the 60s-70s, they may have even commissioned them. there was one in my home town of Escondido. Every Christmas they would dress the muffler man up in a giant Santa suit by the way (strangely he wasn’t bearded normally like the one you have pictured). The joor muffler man made several appearances in student films I made at the time.

    Comment by bolig — October 11, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

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