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Vending Machine
The 'Real Thing' Showcar of the Year!

  • Original year: 1970
  • Company: MPC
  • Scale: 1/25
  • Designer: Steve Tansy and Glen Yealy

Vintage cab cover, custom interior, 327 Chevy engine, pop cooler in the rear, antique radiator, long, wild exhausts, wide Indy tires.

Click image above to see a close-up

Dave's comments:

I'd like to teach the world to sing (about showrods) in perfect har-mo-ny....hey dig that pop spigot on the radiator! Here's the complete "fizz" on this "Real" Show Rod:

"In 1967, Indiana natives Glen Yeary and Steve Tansy were touring a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Kokomo with intentions to purchase a couple of old bottle dispenser machines. Seeing the plant operating at full speed must have been inspiring, for the young men hit upon the idea of combining Coke, the world's most popular soft drink, with the automobile, America's favorite object of obsession.

When Yeary and Tansy explained their vision of a rolling Coca-Cola icon, they were given a couple of the old machines free of charge.

The 327 Chevy V-8 has four four-barrel carburetors. Yeary went right to work on the project; building the entire chassis by hand in his garage. The two young men installed a potent drive train consisting of a 327-cid Chevrolet V-8, automatic transmission and Corvette rear axle. The V-8 sports not one, not two, but four four-barrel carburetors -- each with its own ram-air intake. Eight straight header pipes exit into two collectors that do little to muffle the engine's thunder.

The huge rear tires are drag racer-style, typical of the period when acceleration was everything and performance cars only went in a straight line for a quarter-mile at a time. They measure 16 inches across and wrap around Cragar mag wheels.

Tansy, who operated a body shop at the time, used his talents to build the machine's vintage "cab-over" Model T body. Using actual parts from the Coke machines they'd acquired during their tour, Tansy carefully blended the dispenser doors into the sides of the cab. Once the basic body outline was complete, the interior was upholstered with Coke red plush material and twist-off caps for buttons. Two 24-bottle wooden Coke cartons make up the seats on which cushions were placed. The transmission shifter grip is the old vending machine's handle.

The side of the cab is actually the door from a Coca-Cola vending machine. Carrying the Coca-Cola theme to the extreme, the two Hoosiers dyed two bottles red on the inside and mounted them to the rear of the car for brake lights (accompanied by bottle openers). The stoplight bottles flank a beautiful Coke cooler that hides the gas tank. Perhaps the most eye-catching and humorous application of Coke-related hardware is the radiator-mounted fountain spigot.

"The Coca-Cola people wanted us to put a spigot on the radiator that would actually dispense their product," Yeary remembers. "We thought better of it because people might spill some on the car."

When they were done, Yeary and Tansy had spent three years and $10,000 to build a Coke machine on wheels. What followed was a decade at the top of the custom car show world.

Yeary, who brought the retired Vending Machine with him when he relocated to the Charlotte area this year, says he only has one regret about the whole experience. It involves the 1/25-scale plastic model kit of his car produced in 1970 by the Model Products Corporation.

If you can't afford to build the real thing... "MPC gave us boxes of the model when it came out," Yeary says. "We used to give them out for free to kids at shows. I only kept one of the unopened model kits for my son; now they are worth around $300 to $400. Oh well, I still have the real car."



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