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It’s alpha to attending a lot like Christmas afresh at Joor Muffler & Auto Service in Escondido.

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For the aboriginal time in 10 years, the shop’s iconic 20-foot fiberglass muffler man bronze at East Valley Parkway and North Juniper Artery is dressed up for the division as Santa Claus.

For 25 years, from the mid-1980s to the aboriginal 2000s, the auto boutique busy its bronze for the Christmas holidays in a red and white suit, atramentous boots and belt, white bristles and stocking cap. But in 2009, boutique buyer Nick Manning cautiously retired the tradition.

Damage from rain, the sun and vandals had larboard the apparel in tatters, and in the bosom of the recession Manning couldn’t allow to agency a new one. But with the advance and adeptness of a adjoining business, Sickel’s Fabrics & Upholstery, the muffler man is now antic a brand-new, all-weather Santa clothing that should aftermost for abounding yule seasons to come.

“We aloof absitively amid us, Sickel’s and us, that we should try again,” Manning said. “They pushed a lot to do it and we all formed calm to accomplish it happen. I’m blessed we did.”

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Nick Manning, buyer of Joor Muffler & Auto Service, left, with Sickel’s Fabrics & Upholstery abundance co-owners Michelle Guillen and Felix Guillen, affectation with the anew costumed Joor Muffler Man in Escondido on Thursday. It’s the aboriginal time in 10 years the 20-foot fiberglass bronze has been dressed up for the holidays.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Joor ancestors opened the boutique in 1931 at 302 E. Valley Parkway. In 1967, they purchased the muffler man bronze at a barter show. According to the website RoadsideAmerica.com, it was one of several hundred statues fabricated by International Fiberglass of Venice, Calif., in the 1960s and aboriginal 1970s. The aboriginal bronze was a Paul Bunyan captivation an ax, and over the years the cast was acclimated to acclimate the bronze into muffler men, cowboys, Indians, amplitude aliens, a appearance called Big John and more. Originally priced from $1,800 to $2,800, the 100-plus actual statues are admired from $15,000 to $20,000.

In the mid-1980s, the Joor ancestors awash the boutique to Don DePiero, an Italian immigrant who endemic several city businesses, including Action Car Wash. DePiero, who anesthetized abroad aftermost year, was the one who started the attitude of bathrobe the bronze as Santa. Aback he awash the boutique to Manning 16 years ago, he anesthetized forth a bleed Santa suit, but it alone lasted two years.

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Twice over the years, Manning said he commissioned bounded seamstresses to accomplish new Santa apparel at a amount of almost $5,500 to $6,000 apiece, but they never lasted actual long. The aboriginal clothing was again attacked by vandals who blanket Santa’s boots a few times and alike set the pants on fire. The additional clothing angry blush brief afterwards a abundant cloudburst done out all the red color.

“It looked like hell, alibi my French. We approved to dye it but it didn’t work. Eventually we aloof had to accord up,” Manning said.

But the course began to about-face aback addition longtime Escondido business confused in beyond the artery from Joor eight years ago. Sickel’s Fabrics & Upholstery was accustomed in 1956 at Quince and Washington streets. In 1970, the Sickel ancestors awash the business to the Guillen ancestors of Escondido. Today it’s co-owned by brothers Felix and Ray Guillen and Ray’s wife, Michelle Guillen. In 2011, the business relocated to 311 E. Valley Parkway.

Michelle Guillen, who runs the business, said she and her bedmate were actual aghast in 2011 aback they didn’t see the Santa clothing go up on the mufflerman, which they can see out the advanced aperture and windows of their store.

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“My bedmate is actually crazy about Christmas. He and I grew up in Escondido and we bethink the bronze actuality dressed up as Santa aback we were kids. It was one of our admired memories,” she said.

So about four years ago, the Guillens began auspicious Manning to let them body a new Santa clothing at a reasonable price. Afterwards abundant adulation and consideration, the time seemed appropriate this fall. Application the old Santa clothing as a pattern, Felix Guillen congenital a new clothing application 51 yards of able Sunbrella fabric. The activity took about 50 hours of labor. On the morning of Nov. 26, a aggregation of six Joor and Sickel’s advisers got the Muffler Man dressed.

Although the apparel never seemed to accompany the boutique any new business over the years, Manning said barter do assume blessed to see the attitude renewed. Abounding casual motorists accept slowed bottomward to adore the apparel over the accomplished anniversary and others accept chock-full to booty photos.

When asked the amount tag of the new suit, both Manning and Guillen said they haven’t ample that out yet. The Guillens promised to accomplish it affordable by acid aback their activity accuse and Manning said he’s assured they’ll appear to a blessed agreement.

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“We didn’t absolutely altercate money,” Guillen said. “We aloof array of did it. The amount is not the object. It’s a acceptable acquaintance array of thing.”

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