The original photo was a vacation picture of Allen’s mom in a bathing suit on the beach. His father decorated his truck by keeping the photo close and painting her name on the hood, but when new corporate owners forbade him from decorating a company-owned vehicle, Stewart put his wife’s silhouette on his trailer’s mudflaps so his boss couldn’t see her when the truck was backed up.
According to Allen, it was in 1967 that local truck accessories manufacturer, Bill Zinda, saw the Mudflap Girl and it turned his fancy. With Stewart’s permission, he started selling it. It was never trademarked and soon got around.
Although we’ll never truly know the truth since since Allen’s father died in 2006, his mother suffers from Alzheimers, and no Bill Zinda was to be found, it makes a nice background story to an image most people have seen more than a few times in their life.
Allen is now planning to pay homage to his Mudflap Mom with a line of shirts bearing her sassy profile. He says that his mother would’ve loved the new interpretations of her image.
Here are a couple versions of Mudflap Merch from our very own
Mudflap Boy and Mudflap S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Girl T-Shirts
We also carry sparkly bath decorations!
Another comes from The Feministing whose gal is giving the world the finger and the Smart Mudflap Girl for a sexy book lover twist on the original