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Author Topic: The True Story Of Zuverman Part 1, 2, 3, 4.  (Read 3660 times)
Robert Zuver
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« on: March 21, 2013, 09:02:51 PM »

Hi guys.
I haven't had a lot of time lately to share some fun facts from Zuver's Gym History. This time I'm going to tell of how it came to be that Big Bob Zuver came up with the idea of creating the Giant Zuverman Statue that was used at the WSM Show along with being shown in hundreds of photos over the yearsand is still in existence today.
      Back in the mid 1960s Bob Z. thought he would build a 7 ft muscleman to stand in front of his ever growing Zuver's Hall of Fame Gym. There was a gym member and a great artist by the name of Eric Askew that would do all the signage for the gym. He also helped to design the now Famous Zuver Muscle Plates and painted the Great Black Velvet muscleman mural that hung in the Zuver's equipment factory in the 1980s. One day Bob Z. called Eric up and told him what he wanted to do. Eric came down to Zuver's shop and started laying out a 7ft tall muscle statue on the floor. Using modeling clay Bob, Eric, and myself started molding the clay as per Eric's instructions. Eric did the final carving before we applied the silicone rubber to make the molds. To make a long story short we finished the mold's poured the resin and put the final parts together. We painted him and put him on display. He was a instant hit with the public. Soon Bob built another one that mounted on the back of his Delivery truck and a half Bust on the front over the cab.
This story will be three parts. This is part one.  Part two will continue tomorrow.
RZ    


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Slik
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 11:57:29 PM »

Awesome!
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 12:07:18 AM »

Pic 1 The specs of Zuverman.
Pic 2 And the Bust of Zuverman on Zuver's Truck.
Pic 3 The Second Zuverman Bust displayed in the original Gym with the Zuver's Famous Odd Lifts. This one still exists today after over 35 years.
Pic 4 The second 7ft Zuverman mounted on the back of the Zuver's Delivery truck. This one drove people nuts when they followed the truck down the highway. I was stopped in Texas once whale driving to deliver a compleat gym to the Dallas Cowboys. The cop that stopped me said he didn't like hippies from California and to get out of his state. He sure felt Stupid when he found out who my load was for. They take there football real serious in Texas. But don't drive around with a half naked man on the back of your truck in Texas. Yep though's were the days.
Feel free to ask questions along the way. The story does get better and better. Your comments are welcome.
Part two to come soon.
RZ


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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 10:01:19 AM »

THE TRUE STORY OF ZUVERMAN.  PART 2

It wasn't long before Bob Zuver was thinking , why not build a GIANT ZUVERMAN. One almost three times the size of the first one. So once agin Big Z called on Eric Askew and after buying several pallets of modeling clay we went to work on the 18ft patterns first the head, than the feet, than on the floor we modeled the body. It was a big job and took months to compleat. It was well worth the effort. The Giant Zuverman was a huge success. He was displayed in front of the original Zuver's Hall of Fame Gym for many years. He was also used as a muscle icon at the World's Strongest Man Contest in 1977 as well as several star struck ESPN and CBS television shows.
The picture's shown are the patterns being shaped from modeling clay by Bob Zuver. The finish carving was done by Eric Askew. When finished he was magnificent. People from all over came to have there pictures taken with him at the World Famous Gym.  But was he enough to satisfy Big Bob Zuver?Huh Return tomorrow for the answer's.
The answer to come in Part 3 .
Rz


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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 10:41:23 AM »

Just a few more shots of The Giant Zuverman.


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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 10:50:03 AM »

Here is a little known FACT.
ZUVERMAN'S HEAD WAS MODELED BY ERIC ASKEW USING BOB ZUVER HEAD AS A MODEL.


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funk51
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 11:01:30 AM »

Hi guys.
I haven't had a lot of time lately to share some fun facts from Zuver's Gym History. This time I'm going to tell of how it came to be that Big Bob Zuver came up with the idea of creating the Giant Zuverman Statue that was used at the WSM Show along with being shown in hundreds of photos over the yearsand is still in existence today.
      Back in the mid 1960s Bob Z. thought he would build a 7 ft muscleman to stand in front of his ever growing Zuver's Hall of Fame Gym. There was a gym member and a great artist by the name of Eric Askew that would do all the signage for the gym. He also helped to design the now Famous Zuver Muscle Plates and painted the Great Black Velvet muscleman mural that hung in the Zuver's equipment factory in the 1980s. One day Bob Z. called Eric up and told him what he wanted to do. Eric came down to Zuver's shop and started laying out a 7ft tall muscle statue on the floor. Using modeling clay Bob, Eric, and myself started molding the clay as per Eric's instructions. Eric did the final carving before we applied the silicone rubber to make the molds. To make a long story short we finished the mold's poured the resin and put the final parts together. We painted him and put him on display. He was a instant hit with the public. Soon Bob built another one that mounted on the back of his Delivery truck and a half Bust on the front over the cab.
This story will be three parts. This is part one.  Part two will continue tomorrow.
RZ    
thanks robert , i saw this on dave draper's site and was hoping you would post it here.
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funk51
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 11:09:00 AM »

 Smiley the ad used in many of the muscle mags of the day to promote the zuver  equipment.


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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 11:21:56 AM »

thanks robert , i saw this on dave draper's site and was hoping you would post it here.

Thanks my friend.
I'm adding a few things and photos to this post that wasn't shown on the Draper Article.
Hope the members enjoy it.
Also if there is ever anything you would like me to post on this site please feel free to ask.
PS
I've met quite a few great new friends through this site. My thanks go out to Getbig.com.
The Zuver's are very blessed to have known and had as friends many of the worlds best.
Here are a few of though's. can you name them?Huh?
RZ


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funk51
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 12:20:49 PM »

len ingro, bill" peanuts" west, ferrigno, columbo, tinnerino, got to look at the pic again.
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funk51
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 12:24:13 PM »

your father , paul anderson,terry todd.
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funk51
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 12:25:38 PM »

mac bachelor, russ knipp but not 100 percent on that one.
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 12:33:51 PM »

mac bachelor, russ knipp but not 100 percent on that one.

So far so good except on this one Russ Knipp is right the other is wrong.
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2013, 12:36:25 PM »

mac bachelor, russ knipp but not 100 percent on that one.
not mac bachelor i think that is bert elliot and possibly bill thurber in group pic?
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2013, 12:39:00 PM »

not mac bachelor i think that is bert elliot and possibly bill thurber in group pic?

Good call. I thought you would know most all. There's one more there you should know.
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2013, 12:55:55 PM »

Good call. I thought you would know most all. There's one more there you should know.
not sure but in pic with tinnerino is that dr ken leistner?HuhHuhHuhHuh?
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2013, 01:13:49 PM »

not sure but in pic with tinnerino is that dr ken leistner?HuhHuhHuhHuh?

I think it is but I'm checking with him to make sure. Ill let you know. 
But there is still one you missed that I think you'll know.
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2013, 01:27:19 PM »

I think it is but I'm checking with him to make sure. Ill let you know. 
But there is still one you missed that I think you'll know.

The answers
These are the ones that I know for sure.
Bob Zuver
Paul Anderson
George Frenn
Len Ingro
Bill (peanuts) West
Bert Elliot
Jean Zuver
Dennis Tinerino
Bruce Wilhelm
Lou Ferrigno
Franco Columbu
Russ Knipp
Terry Todd
If you are sure about any others let me know. Still checking on Dr. Ken Leistner?
RZ


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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2013, 02:28:10 PM »

not sure but in pic with tinnerino is that dr ken leistner?HuhHuhHuhHuh?

Just heard back from Doc.
It's not him in the pic.
Would like to know who it was. Mom don't remember either. To many years gone by. Could be one of the many reporters that would come with the big boys to visit back then.
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2013, 11:43:53 PM »

THE TRUE STORY OF ZUVERMAN.  PART 2

It wasn't long before Bob Zuver was thinking , why not build a GIANT ZUVERMAN. One almost three times the size of the first one. So once agin Big Z called on Eric Askew and after buying several pallets of modeling clay we went to work on the 18ft patterns first the head, than the feet, than on the floor we modeled the body. It was a big job and took months to compleat. It was well worth the effort. The Giant Zuverman was a huge success. He was displayed in front of the original Zuver's Hall of Fame Gym for many years. He was also used as a muscle icon at the World's Strongest Man Contest in 1977 as well as several star struck ESPN and CBS television shows.
The picture's shown are the patterns being shaped from modeling clay by Bob Zuver. The finish carving was done by Eric Askew. When finished he was magnificent. People from all over came to have there pictures taken with him at the World Famous Gym.  But was he enough to satisfy Big Bob Zuver?Huh Return tomorrow for the answer's.
The answer to come in Part 3 .
Rz
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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2013, 11:58:20 PM »

THE TRUE STORY OF ZUVERMAN   PART 3
As you know The Giant Zuverman stayed on display in front of Zuver's Hall of Fame Gym till its closing in the late 70s. After Big Bob closed down the Famous Hamilton Street gym Zuverman was moved to Zuver's equipment factory on 19th Street in Costa Mesa where he stood in front of Big Bob's office door for several years.
When Big Bob and Joe Weider were getting ready to team up we moved the factory into a much bigger building on McAurther blvd in Santa Ana Ca. Times were changing. The zoning laws for signage had gotten strictor in Calif. and a 18ft plus statue was no longer allowed. It seamed that Zuverman was doomed and heading for the scrap pile. Well a man with a gym in Portland Ore. by the name of Giant's Gym wanted a mascot. So the owner, George Comalli bought Giant Zuverman and transported him back to Portland. George reprinted Zuverman solid gold and changed his name to simply The Giant. He was placed on the roof of Giant's Gym until the city told George the Zoneing law there didn't allow signage that big there either.  George was lucky. His building inside was tall enough to put The Giant inside. Where it sits with its head in the rafters overlooking the gym members pumping iron. If your in Portland and need a place to train stop in and grab a workout.
Update. Giants Gym name has changed to Hollywood Fitness.
That's not the end of Bob Zuver's Zuverman story. Tune into  Part 4  tomorrow.
Enjoy a few pics of Zuverman at Giants Gym.
RZ


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funk51
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2013, 07:57:35 AM »

The answers
These are the ones that I know for sure.
Bob Zuver
Paul Anderson
George Frenn
Len Ingro
Bill (peanuts) West
Bert Elliot
Jean Zuver
Dennis Tinerino
Bruce Wilhelm
Lou Ferrigno
Franco Columbu
Russ Knipp
Terry Todd
If you are sure about any others let me know. Still checking on Dr. Ken Leistner?
RZ
i should have gottewn george frenn , just never remember him being young used to the mustached version. i was looking at an old strength and health the other day from the 50's it had a pic of a 15 year old bruce wilhem in it he was already a great lifter and shotput champ at this young age.still can't figure out the other guy.


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Danjo
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2013, 08:30:31 AM »

Very interesting stuff!  Thank You!
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Honest commentary...
Robert Zuver
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2013, 09:59:07 AM »

George looked a bit different back then. When he and Bill (Peanuts) West would stop by our gym they were like little kids at Disneyland. Running around joking, and cheering each other on. When they pumped the heavy Zuver's iron they would scream like mad men. Sadly Something not allowed in the fitness centers of today.
It's to bad there both gone now. They were a benefit to the muscle world. They made there mark in the powerlifting world.
Gone But Not Forgotten
RZ


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Robert Zuver
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2013, 11:15:16 AM »

ZUVERMAN THE TRUE WHOLE STORY. PART 4
Ill bet you thought that there couldn't be any more to this story. WRONG.
The 18 foot Giant Zuverman was something special all right but was Big Bob Zuver satisfied? You know better than that. Big Bob Zuver always wanted More, Bigger, Stronger, more Fantastic than what he had already done. You have seen the Great things he came up with in his famous Hall of Fame Gym. The Great things he built for the WSM Contests, and other shows for television. The work he did for The Lord. The great things he did for the youth of America. Thousands of lives are different because he cared and had the imagination to do things others only dreamed about.  BUT there was one thing that he sadly never Finished it was a SUPER GIGANTIC ZUVERMAN. Yes a 50ft tall ZUVERMAN. It was to be displayed at the planned ZUVER'S HALL OF FAME GYM WORLD CENTER. Where all the biggest and best Muscle related items would be housed along with the biggest and most compleat gym in the world. Agin sadly never completed. Big Bob got tied up with the equipment business, Weider, and all the television shows and never returned to Finnish Super Giant Zuverman.
Below is some photos of the hands And feet patterns that we built for the molds. You can see there size compared to Bobs wife Jean Zuver. This would have been the Worlds Largest Muscleman Statue.
Or would it have been?  I always wondered if Big Bob Zuver would have been satisfied or would his next thought have been to create a 100ft tall ZUVERSAURUS.
WELL THAT'S THE END TO THIS STORY.  OR IS IT?Huh??
News Flash
There is a Rumor that the Giant Zuverman may want to have a new home for the first time on the east coast.
I will keep you advised.
RZ



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