Vintage Drink Machine Repair and Restoration

Vendo 44 VMC 44 Bottle Vending Issues Explained

Can I vend today's bottles in my Vendo 44?

First, some info about the Vendo 44 / VMC 44

The Vendo 44 is one of the more popular models on the market because of it vintage look and small footprint.   This Vendo model was originally produced in the mid to late 1950s through the early 1960s.  The VMC is also popular, although not quite as valuable.  Both models are similar and some parts are interchangeable, but not all.  They take different coin mechanisms, for example. The Vendo 44 version has a chrome coin entry plate and plastic inner cabinet door linter.   The VMC 44 does not have a coin entry plate and the door liner was metal.   

They originally would vend a 6.5 oz glass bottle.  This 6.5 oz bottle size was discontinued and replaced by the a 8 oz glass bottle in the 1990s.  The 8 oz bottle has thinner glass but similar size.  However, the new 8oz bottle is a different shape, and therefore it will not stack or vend correctly without some modifications.  More on that in a minute.  

One more note:  Many of these 44’s were produced for Canada as well.  There are slight differences in the Canadian version of the 44, such as the coin mechanisms are designed for Canadian dimes    They are less valuable in the American market than the USA version.   More information on the Vendo 44 is here

So, What is the issue with vending modern bottles?

The issue that since the 1950s, Coke has changed the design of the small glass bottle.  The current version has a narrower diameter and the larger sections are not equal.   As a result of this, stacking modern bottles in the Vendo 44 will result in the bottles falling through and/or tilting forward.   Although some people seem to get luckly, most people report that they do not vend correctly.  There are modifications that need to be made if you wish to bottles in this model machine. 

What are some solutions?

There are several solutions that we offer to vend glass bottles or to work round the issue.   We offer all of these solutions for our customers when you restore your Vendo or VMC 44 Coke Machine. 

  1. Replace the whole bottle stack.  This is most the costly option.  Funtronics sells them here
  2. Add shims to the side wall of the columns.   Using 1/8″ plexiglass, and double sided tape on the side walls will make up the smaller diameter modern  bottle size.   Article here.  Even with the shims, you can only stack about 4-6 bottles per side before they are start to tilt forward. 
  3. Convert the vending from bottles to cans.  We find this to be the best solution, if you dont want the orginal experience of the bottle.  Cans are less expensive and come in more varieties.   The issues with the glass bottles are eliminated.   We offer this conversion to our customers as an upgrade when they do a restoration.