Coke Machine

My father passed away in September of last year and my mother was kind and asked if I would like to take it home with me to Colorado… she helped me load the machine into my car and gave me this Coke Machine with the understanding that in the future, it would belong to our younger family members as they grew old enough to hold such a treasure in their homes. I do want to start off by saying this will look great in my man cave… my old 1956 BMW R50 sitting next to this classic Coke machine. Which of course I would like to keep the same in the outside appearance (but with some TLC like cleaning and buffing the paint, a few new decals, etc) and then repair and replace and find the remaining required parts for the inside of the vending machine so that I can bring this “piece of art” back to presentable condition. I will display this in my home and plan to keep fresh ice cold cokes at the ready in the summer and fall.

I have provided the following information with pictures so that anyone looking to see a Model 27 can see can have a bit of history to view , and appreciate the great condition this one is in, and see the excellent quality of what America use to make in the good’ol USA in the 40s and 50s.

A Vendorlator Model 27 (1948 through 1951)
A Vendorlator Model 27 (1948 through 1951)

A Vendorlator Model 27 (1948 through 1951)
Serial number of this soda machine  is 27.6348.
I am Missing a drum, drum wheels, wheel axles, and the coin mech not operating (would like this part reworked/restored). I am also Missing the back panel (I would like to see if one can be fabricated or if not too costly a new Old Stock purchased).

Other photos:




Top view and of the gasket, which is in still good condition.





A Vendorlator Model 27 (1948 through 1951) coin mechanism
A Vendorlator Model 27 (1948 through 1951) coin mechanism
left side door (inside).
Missing the drum and drum wheels


Side note… it is sitting next to my 1956 RCA console (FM/AM, Record player, with iPOD dock) which had all the tubes replaced and a restoration on the tube amp electronics and receiver about 8 years ago. (Which of course I did!)


Inside looks great!



I hope to explore a restoration done by a professional, but if cost prohibit, I will be sure to show my progress and detail the work myself. more photos to follow.. and I hope to build the tube stand myself… who wants to teach me to weld?!

Want more information…..
A good description I pulled of the web somewhere…
“The VMC 27 was the smallest in size soda machine manufactured by the Vendorlator company (in 1948 through 1951), and one of the smallest Coca-Cola machines ever made by any company. The machine stands only 27 inches high (measured 23″ x 27″ x 19”) and vends 27 6.5 ounce bottles. Vendorlator manufactured the 27 with space enough to pre-cool 10 Coca-Cola bottles. Many people refer to the 27 as the “Tabletop” because it could be placed on a counter. There were a variety of stands made for it manufactured by a variety of companies, including a pipe stand made by Vendorlator and an all-wood stand made by Kay Display Products. The popularity of the Model 27 prompted Vendorlator to open a third plant  in Picqua, Ohio in April, 1949, in addition to the two plants they already had in Fresno. The fact that the cabinet of this machine was made of aluminum (although steel versions were also made) helps to explain why this model is often found with dents, particularly around the bottle chute.

It was right around January, 1950 that Vendorlator began selling the VMC Dual 27. This extremely small upright machine used the same vending mechanism as the countertop Model 27 but had a 27 bottle pre-cool capacity, hence, the designation “Dual 27”. It also used a more conventional arrangement for the refrigeration unit with the condenser housed in the bottom of the machine. Its new found popularity led to the discontinuance of the 27 about a year later in 1951. Subsequently, the Dual 27 was dropped from Vendorlator’s line by 1954 and replaced by the Model 33,with a slightly modified bottle drum allowing for six more bottle capacity. The physical size was the same as the Dual 27 with the only outside distinguishing feature being a one piece coin door, although two piece “split door” versions are also known.

Side note: Vendorlator machines are found with the 7 UP as well as Pepsi-Cola logo, among others, giving them broader collector appeal.


3 thoughts on “Coke Machine

  1. It would be so awesome if you got that working! Did it work when we were kids? Does the juke box work?

    1. This one was just one of the many that were used as display… but it is in very good working order… As for the juke box… it is still in it’s prime, played monthly, and full of life in my moms living room!

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