Muffler Man: Dude Man
After a long day on (and off) the Mother Road, exploring trading posts (both open and abandoned) in Arizona, we crossed into New Mexico and headed to Gallup. We had a room booked for the night at the El Ranchero and I was eager to meet another Muffler Man.
But as we pulled into Gallup, I realized that I was feeling overwhelmed by all of the roadside delights that we had seen that day, so I intentionally drove past the Muffler Man, saving it for the next morning when I could fully appreciate him. I trace my awareness of this phenomenon to my first trip to Italy—after days and days of seeing important works of Art, I eventually reached a saturation point where I just couldn't absorb any more. Since Muffler Men are basically the American version of the David, this has happened to me on nearly every road trip I've taken. Luckily, all I need is a good diner breakfast or a few hours of sleep and I'm ready to enthusiastically collect delights again.
After seeing the very first Muffler Man ever made in Flagstaff, AZ I was slightly disappointed that there was only one left to see on our agenda for this trip. There are hundreds of Muffler Men spread out around the country but I get frustrated sometimes that I will probably never see them all at the pace I'm going. The Gallup Muffler Man (nicknamed "Dude Man") is the 19th fiberglass giant that I've met, but I might have better luck seeing every UniRoyal Gal since they're much more rare.
Dude Man stands on the roof of John's Used Cars, and while it's not technically located on Route 66, it's close enough to consider him a Route 66 attraction. I can't find any information on the provenance of Dude Man, but he appears to be well maintained. He has a cowboy hat and a pistol and wears jeans and a western-style shirt. I love the pennant flags that radiate around him, and the employees of John's were seemingly unbothered by me wandering in and out of their lot to take photos (his back side is visible from a nearby alley).
John's Used Cars
416 W Coal Avenue,
Gallup, NM 87301
Gates to the lot are closed after business hours, but Dude Man is visible at all times