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1950’s National Candy Vending Machine

Mel and I saw this in S.F. and had to have it.

We shot right down to the bay area and gladly purchased it. It weighed a TON! Once we got it home and I got to look at it we noticed that there was suppose to be a mirror in the front and that we needed a vending key. The paint wasn’t in too bad of shape but the sides of the unit were scraped up and there was some rust. I decided that I was not going to be able to salvage the paint on the sides so I purchased black appliance paint from Lowes and refinished it. The original paint in the middle is in pretty good shape so I left that alone. Once I purchased a replacement vending key I was surprised to find out the coin unit was still in it and it worked!
Next I went to a glass shop and purchased a replacement mirror for the front. It seemed kind of plain so I went by an automotive store and purchased a pewter colored pinstripe. I really think it makes the piece look soo much better.  While I was out I also had to buy some candy to fill it up and that was like $50-$60 on candy! We moved it into our diner/bar after I finished the restoration. It is a really cool piece.

Click Images to Enlarge


15 responses »

  1. Beautiful restoration! We have this same exact candy machine. I actually came across ours while picking up some car parts at a local wrecking yard. The thing was buried in old car parts and coated in dirt and oil, which turned out to be a blessing because it kept the paint/chrome finish underneath nearly perfect after I cleaned it up.

    Question for you… where did you find a replacement key for yours? The top section on ours is unlocked, but the bottom storage cabinet has been locked since we’ve had it. Inside the top section is a tag that says “Bottom cabinet – National Vending Key #104”.

    Or is this something the local locksmith will be able to come up with using that info?

    Once again… great looking unit!



    • hepcatrestorations

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much for the positive feedback on the restoration. What a score on your piece! I have found so many treasures at wrecking yards and city dumps but nothing as awesome as your find. A local locksmith will be able to help re-key the bottom cabinet.

      I appreciate you dropping by my site!


  2. Nice Machine , How heavy was this unit


  3. Hi !!
    We recently scored a 1950’s National candy vending machine !! It was just sitting in the breakroom at the grocery store I worked at. It didn’t work and hadn’t been serviced since the early 90’s. Management wanted it out and We took it !!!! A couple of questions if you don’t mind. How do we get A new box that the coins fall into? And one column on ours drops a random number of product. Sometimes 1 maybe 5. Is it possible to find one for purchase? lol We have already taken it apart and cleaned it up. ( The reason it stopped working was coins stuck in the shut.) lmao Such a pleasure getting this girl up and running. So far our only expense has been buying a key for the top. I read you advise to Steve about the bottom key so I will get with a locksmith.


    • Hello Barbara, To be honest with you I am not sure about parts for these units. If it were me I would reach out to a local vending machine repair shop and ask if they have any connections to vintage parts. They are great machines to have in the home but they do cost a little when it comes time to stocking them.


  4. Hi Shane,

    I was wondering if you knew anything about setting the individual prices for the candy. I have not been able to find a manual and would like to change the prices. I have taken the mechanism out and i see how i can get to the credit unit.


  5. Hi, I was wondering if you could offer any direction on setting price for the machine or where i should look to make this happen?


  6. cindy beedham

    What do the Two red plates above and below the coin return say?Mine are missing.


  7. Do you still do restorations…..also I was wondering if you know where you can get parts for a National Vendors candy machine. I have the exact one that is on the top of your website. Do you know of a supplier for parts for these machines.



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