Coca-Cola vending machines are classic Americana, with some machines dating back to the late 19th Century. They are sought after by vendors looking for that classic Coke machine look and by Coke collection enthusiasts the world over. But once you've got the vending machine, it can be tough to identify the model. Knowing how to ID your machine is the first and most important step in determining the value and required maintenance of the machine.
Locate the manufacturer's name. Each manufacturer labeled their machines differently, but most vintage Coca-Cola machines have the manufacturer name printed or engraved on the back of the machine. Knowing the manufacturer name will allow you to translate the machine's serial number and date the machine.
Locate the serial and/or model number. Serial and model numbers on vintage Coke machines are usually located on the back of the machine, often near the manufacturer's name. They can be printed on paper labels, metal plates, or engraved onto the machine.
Translate the serial and/or model number. Each company had a different code for their machines. Generally, the code included a number or numbers representing the month and year of manufacture, followed by the model number or the number of that specific machine. There are several online databases of vintage Coke machine manufacturer serial numbers available for public use. These are the best ways to identify a vintage Coke machine if the manufacturer is no longer in business. If the manufacturer is still in business, they usually have detailed information about the identification, maintenance, and preservation of their classic machines.