Retro soda machines are an excellent way to give a storefront, office break room or lobby a touch of nostalgia or give a game room a vintage feel. Five common models of soda vending machines from the early 1960s include the Cavlier 64, Vendo 56, Vendo 63, Vendo 90 and the Vendo 126. With all the models, the left third is a glass door for accessing bottles, while the right side has a marquee, coin acceptor, change collector and coin return.
Cavalier 64 Series
The Cavalier 64 series of soda machines went into production in the early 1960s. The unit holds 64 bottles, ranging in size from 6.5 to 12 ounces. The ability to accommodate different bottle sizes comes from the Cavalier 64's slanted shelves. The unit pre-cools 17 bottles and can vend as many as eight varieties of soda. Some models offered a wood-grain finish on the coin collector door and coin return panel, as well as a light-up, 3-D marquee.
Originally produced in the late 1950s, the Vendo 56 saw continued production until the mid-1960s, making these units a common sight in the early 1960s. Some models have a wood-grain finish while others have traditional painted metal. One option the Vendo 56 offered was a "Decorator Door," which appeared as double cabinet doors. This allowed the Vendo 56 to be hidden but still accessible. The unit holds 56 12 ounce bottles and pre-cools between 12 and 18, depending on the specific model chosen. The Vendo 56 is capable of vending seven soda varieties.
As with the Vendo 56, the Vendo 63 was produced from 1959 until 1966. It holds 63 bottles and pre-cooled between 12 and 18, depending on whether they are 6.5 or 12 ounce bottles. It can vend seven varieties of soda using a slant shelf delivery system. The Vendo 63 produced a line of rare vending machines, the Dr Pepper Queen Anne machine. The machine is painted an off-white with a Victorian era painting for the marquee. It also has elaborately engraved trim and decorative, Victorian era legs.
The Vendo 90 began production in the early 1960s and continued to be produced until the early 1970s. The capacity varied, depending on the size of the bottles. Vendo 90 units can hold 90 bottles ranging in size from 6 to 10 ounces but holds only 81 bottles if they are the 12 ounce variety. Sixteen bottles can be pre-cooled in the Vendo 90. Models in the 1970s began to offer wood-grain finish rather than the painted metal that was found in the 1960s models.
The Vendo 126, produced between late 1959 and the early 1970s, held 126 bottles, pre-cooling 26 at a time. Models from the 1960s were painted metal, but in the 1970s the models began coming with wood-grain finish panels. Fourteen soda varieties can be sold at one time using the Vendo 126. To accommodate such a large number of bottles, the Vendo 126 is a very tall, heavy machine. It is more than 6 feet high and weighs 492 pounds when empty.
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