"It's like taking the past and future and mashing it together," said Mary Beth Babcock of her new Muffler Man, Buck Atom. Unveiled on May 11, 2019, before a crowd of several hundred people including the mayor of Tulsa and Oklahoma's lieutenant governor, Buck is retro in his Muffler Man style, but trailblazing in his gestation and official blessing.
In the past, Muffler Men have been modified, with an odd paint job, or a distinctive accessory, or an occasional weird head. Buck, however, is a new breed. He began in the 1960s as a Muffler Man cowboy in Calgary, Alberta, and ended up bashed and shattered in an Edmonton junkyard. The fragments were brought to Virginia in 2018 and reassembled, Frankenstein-style, by fiberglass artist Mark Cline, who made a mold of the body. This later became the basis of Buck. "They told me he was unusable," said Mark. "But if I can make something from nothing, I can certainly make something from something."