I was pleased to discover this morning that giant fiberglass bikini woman still stands tall in Peoria, Ill., lording over a grimy industrial strip where I first saw her on a bitterly cold day in 1996.
Travis Alber's Flickr photo best captures the scene.
The tire company she calls home has named her Vanna Whitewall, but she began life as one of several Miss Uniroyal women in 1968. Her description on the company's web site provides her dimensions (though they might want to check the math):
Manufactured in the 1960s in Venice, California, "Miss Uniroyal" arrived at our location in May of 1968 as a grand opening promotion. She was stored at our location until Uniroyal needed her at another grand opening. Due to the years of wear and tear on her body, Uniroyal decided to change to their present mascot, Bengal "Tiger Paws" Tiger. Plaza Tire acquired Vanna Whitewall in 1971. She is 17 feet 6 inches tall and weighs approximately 450lbs. Her measurements are 108-72-108, three times the perfect woman's (36-24-26).
There are at least 11 others of her kind, according to Roadside America:
The sculptor who created the original molds for the large lady had a thing for Jackie Kennedy. She was issued with a dress, ready for shedding or donning depending on the community climate.
From the looks of a more recent photo by another Flickr photo who is traveling the country in search of huge beings, Vanna's now wearing a dress. I'm surprised at the change, because she's been a beacon of immodesty at the family-owned tire business for decades.
The Huge Being List Project, is attempting to document all of the gargantuan fiberglass people in the U.S. I'm going to find out if there's still a Uniroyal woman beckoning the drivers on Highway 50 in Ocoee, Florida.