The statue of a man holding two tires has stood on the roof of a Starkey Road business for years. The Paul Bunyan-like statue has a yellow cap, red shirt, and blue pants.
Known as the "Muffler Man" or "Muffler Men", the large fiberglass sculptures were originally made to hold full-sized car mufflers at automotive repair places. Most of the Muffler Men were made in California and stand about 20 feet tall, according to tripwiser.com.
According to Roadside America, Largo's Muffler Man has been on Starkey Road for 25 years and came from Webb's City Store in St. Petersburg originally. The website tracks Muffler Men around the country.
A Patch reader recently emailed us, concerned about the fate of the Starkey Road Used Auto Parts store with the Muffler Man on its roof. The reader had reported seeing people packing up boxes and moving the crates out of the business. Patch stopped by and found a note on the door that said the business was closed for renovations. But the Muffler Man remained watching over the business.
According to Don Forehand of the Largo Area Historical Society, the auto parts business was one of the first businesses on Starkey Road when the road first opened to the public. The road was originally part of the Starkey family's farm. The original business owner had the Muffler Man built and installed 25 or 30 years ago. The family of the auto parts business sold it within the last year or so to another auto parts business, Forehand said.
Largo's Muffler Man was depicted recently in the mural at new Firehouse Subs on Bryan Dairy Road. The lumberjack rests on a stretcher in the mural, which depicts various local scenes and people.
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Know more about Largo's Muffler Man or the Starkey Road Auto Parts store? Let us know in the comments.