HomeThe MarketMcDonald’s Collection cars set for Mecum’s Chicago auction block

McDonald’s Collection cars set for Mecum’s Chicago auction block


The four classic American cars that stood outside the replica 1955 McDonald’s restaurant – known by the company as Store No. 1 – in Des Plaines, Illinois, have been consigned to Mecum’s auction in nearby Chicago. 

All 1955 models, the cars are lavishly restored, Mecum says, following their long stint parked outside the ersatz McDonald’s, which was used as a corporate museum until it was razed in 2008. The cars were preserved in storage until recently being brought back to factory condition.

The four cars were parked outside of the McDonald’s No.1 museum

The cars are a Chevrolet Bel Air, an Oldsmobile Super 88, a Ford Crown Victoria (sporting a period continental-kit spare tie) and a Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis, each of which should garner premium bidding after their famous roles in preserving the eatery’s history.  All will be auctioned without reserve prices.

“The stunning collector-grade cars were all built in the same year that Kroc opened his first McDonald’s, and they all seemed to embody the success that he quickly achieved by doing so,” according to a Mecum news release. “Their abundant chrome work and glistening two-tone paint schemes seemed to promote the affluence and prosperity associated with Kroc’s entrepreneurial accomplishments.”

Each of the four cars is said to have been completely restored

There is dispute about whether the Des Plaines location was actually the first McDonald’s – visionary entrepreneur Ray Kroc opened his first “official” McDonald’s there based on the burger joint operated for years by the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, California. The company celebrated the Illinois store as the start of the worldwide chain.

The four cars, collectively known as The McDonald’s Collection, will be sold during Mecum’s Chicago Auction from October 25-27 at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. For more information, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. I recently went to a Mecum Auction to sell a 1939 Ford two door Sedan that had been meticulously restored along with a matching 1935 Mullins Trailer . After making the trip from Toronto Canada and standing around for two days. When the car came across the block it was over in less than 3 minutes. The car rose quickly o $23,000.00 then the biding slowed down but unlike the other cars that had gone through earlier the auctioneer seem to stop soliciting bids at as though he felt that the car was not worth more and closed the bidding? I feel that it was a waste of time and my money to even take it to the auction! I have sold cars at other Mecum Auctions in Florida and at those times I felt the auctioneer did his best to get a good price for the cars that time. But not this time. I will not take my cars to any further Mecum Auctions.

    • I will neither buy nor sell a vehicle at any of these classic car auctions. They seem to pick and choose their favorites and the prices are way over-inflated. They play to the fact that bidders seem to get caught up in the moment and sometimes prices can quickly rise to 3 or 4 times what the vehicle is actually worth on the open market. With the example mentioned above, that price might be about right for the car minus the trailer. Perhaps the auctioneer saw something much more valuable to cross the block next and was anxious to move on?

    • Not 100 % sure but i have been told more than once that some of these auction companies own a lot of the cars that go thru and try and get as much as they can for "their" cars


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