Do you remember long drives through the interstate highways? Your parents belting out some sweet disco tunes as you peered out the car window while “Funky Town” became furiously loud? Suddenly, your eyes catch a glimpse of an enormous building shaped like a coffee pot. You beg your parents to stop so you can see what this strange object is all about, and before you know it, your photo album is filled with countless pictures posing with the building and a myriad of other unusual attractions.
From South of the Border to a giant, yet handsome, Paul Bunyan statue standing proudly in Bangor, Maine, roadside attractions used to be quite an epic adventure. However, one of the most fascinating, and what I’d like to consider, the First Lady of Roadside Attractions is none other than Miss Uniroyal.
This beauty dates back to the 1950s in Venice, California. The company, International Fiberglass, molded a series of these sensuous and towering divas with a marketing scheme in mind. What better way to draw attention to shops than having a statute of this nature standing tall and proud in front of the business? Take for example Ed Werbany Sr who purchased Miss Uniroyal after falling in love with her in 1965. For only $250, Miss Uniroyal has been greeting guest at Werbany’s auto repair shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Believe it or not, Miss Uniroyal was originally designed wearing just underwear. She came with snap-on outfits, you know to avoid frostbite or a chilly night in fall. Ultimately these oversized Barbies were meant to be dressed for their location’s climate.
50 Years Later
We’d like to say happy birthday to the 18 feet tall attraction! This look-alike Jackie Kennedy, which might we add is no accident, has had various looks. You can find a bikini-clad Tootsie at the Uniroyal Gal in Bradenton, Florida. You can find Vanna Whitewall in Peoria, IL who first appeared in 1968 at the Plaza Tire’s grand opening. Lastly, we can’t forget about the Miss Uniroyal which is still standing gracefully in front of Martha’s Cafe in Blackfoot, ID. Originally a blonde, this Miss Uniroyal has a rejuvenated look and is now a striking brunette.
Who said blondes have more fun anyway? Have you spotted a Uniroyal Gal? Let us know in the comments below and share your selfie with the First Lady!
The one in Peoria Illinois name is “Vanna Whitewall”
The Peoria one is named “Vanna Whitewall”. And I’m not kidding.