A look at my growing scale model collection. Models include Howard Johnson's, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen!
You are looking at an HO scale model that I just completed of the original Mels drive-in located at 140 South Van Ness in San Francisco, CA. This Mels opened in 1947 by Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs, and the location was demolished in 1976. It consisted of ample grounds, attractively landscaped with the capacity for 110 cars, and a two-story rectangular building. Anyone who has seen the 1973 film "American Graffiti" remembers the familiar neon sign at the gang's favorite hangout.
If you think the name and appearance looks eerily similar to popular mini burger joint WHITE CASTLE you would be correct. Founded in 1926, WHITE TOWER would be sued by WHITE CASTLE founded 5 years earlier. WHITE TOWER was forced to change their copycat castle look (and pay royalties to CASTLE chain). Hence, WHITE TOWER updated their look with an art deco exterior in an effort to differentiate their chain -- and that it is the model you are looking at right now! Time period is late…
My ego is getting so out of control... now I'm building scale models named after me! Hahaha! This is a HO scale model of a 1950s era California drive-in restaurant... This is RADOW'S ALL-AMERICAN DRIVE-IN. It would've been located in Studio City, CA -- probably on the corner of Laurel Canyon & Ventura near DuPars.