About the Cavalier 51

The Cavalier C-51 is a big, sturdy, and uncommon vending machine made to compete with the Vendo 39, another highly successful vending machine at the time. It didn’t surpass the latter in popularity, however, the C-51 is still a nice piece to own due to its unique “ammo belt” vending mechanism that stored more cokes. 

This machine was produced solely for Coca-Cola during the 1950s. Various versions were made with different details, like other paint jobs, chromed trim details, and more.

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  • Even though the machine was produced for almost a decade and had a slightly superior system, it didn’t enjoy the same success as the Vendo 39, its main competitor at the time.
  • The Cavalier C-51 is an interesting machine due to the very different “ammo belt” vending mechanism, which was innovative when compared to the drum systems that were mostly used at the time. However, that didn’t make a big difference, because they would get stuck and required service often.
  • Aside from that, they had a great appearance and could compete in terms of appealing aesthetics with the Vendo 39.
  • The first versions of these machines were completely red with chromed cranks, bottle chutes, bottle doors, and coin entry. They also had “Drink Coca-Cola in Bottles” embossed at the top, and “ice cold” also embossed at the bottom. Also, the bottle doors had a different handle for the bottle door that said “open door”.
  • Later versions introduced in 1956 were painted white and red and had chrome trim details. All machines after this year were embossed with “Drink Coca-Cola” at the top and the classic “ice cold” near the bottom. Finally, they also had a different handle that was akin to a simplified door knob.
  • The machine could vend 51 bottles as its name stated and had enough space below the “ammo belt” vending mechanism to pre-cool 36 bottles.
  • The machine was also one of the biggest of its time, and certainly bigger than previous Cavalier models like the C-33.

Cavalier 51 Specs:

  • Vends: 51 bottles of up to 8 oz.
  • Pre-cools: 36 bottles
  • Size:  64 9/16″ Tall, 24 ¾” Wide, and 21 ¼” Deep
  • Weight: 358 lbs
  • Refrigeration Specs:  118 h.p. Frigidaire Meter-Miser Unit

Various Sources were used in compiling this information,
a list of sources is located at the bottom of this page.   

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