Vintage Drink Machine Repair and Restoration

JFK’s Vendo 39 Restoration

The story behind the machine

We got a email from a customer on Conway SC, who had a Vendo 39 he wanted to get restored.   It was in rough shape, and normally we would pass on a machine this damaged.   More on that in a minute.   

He explained to us that this machine was at this grandfathers store for as long he could remember and that in the 1960 John F Kennedy stopped at the store while campaigning in SC, pulled a dime of out this pocket and got a coke from this machine.   ( the customer is sending a full write up and images of the store that we will post as soon as get it).  

We took the machine for restoration, and it became known as “JFKs 39” for the weeks we had it. 

The Challenge

The problem is that the machine apparently set in water for a very long time.  The bottom 4 inches of the machine were rusted out so bad that they crumbled apart.  And then on the top, water apparently dripped on it for a long time, rusting out a big hole.   That water got into the machine, leading to more internal damage.   

Although we had images before we started on it, we did not know how bad it was until we tried to take it apart.  Here is what we are talking about.  

Before images

Completed Images After Restoration

Now this family will have an heirloom piece to treasure for generations to come.