Those with short memories might regard Richard and Maurice McDonald as the originators of limited menu, fast food restaurants chains. Wrong. While there may be many predecessors to the concept, one of the most successful was the Nedick's chain founded by Robert T. Neely and Orville A. Dickinson. There was a time when Nedick's, with its eponymous orange drink and signature hot dogs, was a fixture on nearly every block in New York City. Not surprisingly its founders made a bundle and that afforded Neely the ability to commission this magnificent 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Imperial Cabriolet with coachwork designed by Hibbard et Darrin and constructed by d'Ieteren Freres. The right-hand drive Rolls-Royce was probably delivered to Neely in Europe and enjoyed a Grand Tour before returning to the U.S. Its fittings and accoutrements are far from the hot dogs and orange drinks that funded its construction, lavishly equipped with Marchal headlights and driving light, a sliding division window, enclosed rear spare wheel, drinks cabinet (probably intended for something more than orange soda), jump seats, clock and elaborate upholstery in blue leather for the chauffeur and beige cloth for the fortunate rear compartment passengers. The exterior is equally splendid in blue with an aluminum hood, blue leather padded roof and dark blue fenders. The highly polished, elaborately figured and inlaid wood trim is exquisite. In fact, the whole car is exquisite, reflecting the quality and refinement of Rolls-Royce, Hibbard et Darrin's design and the construction and finishing skills of d'Ieteren Freres. It was acquired from Robert T. Neely's estate in 1962 and displayed in Ohio's Finelli museum for years with a cosmetic restoration by the next owner in the late 90's. It is one magnificent automobile. The colorful hot dog and orange drink history is a no-cost extra.
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