Antique Restorations

By Inland Aviation Specialties

Restoring Antiques, Coca-Cola Collectibles & Other Cool Stuff

We have a well equipped facility and the inherent ability to restore or even just rebuild or fix your old antique collectibles, Coca-Cola machines and other cool stuff.
There is an extreme satisfaction when it comes to the preservation of an original Coca-Cola Ice Box. I personally carry out each and every part of all restorations or rebuilds that come in, from the truly transformational nut and bolt rebuilds to every unique orginal coating and paint.

Restoration of Old COCA-COLA Machines & Other Cool Stuff
by Inland Aviation Specialties

Inland Aviation Specialties provides superior quality based maintenance, repairs, restorations and inspections. I will put quality ahead of quantity every time and perform excellent work every time. The restoration services I provide are:


  • Rebuild and restoring close to original condition
  • Painting and color matching
  • Electrical fixes
  • and much, much more…

So, I know what you’re thinking. How in hell did I get involved with old Coca-Cola® machine restorations. Well, it was back in 1987 when Heidi and I were strolling through the VW & Porsche Swap Meet at the Pomona Fairgrounds one early Saturday, looking for VW & Porsche parts for the shop projects, when after an unsuccessful morning of walking up and down the aisles of the “same old stuff”, we decided to go check out the Antique side of the swap meet area. After about a half an hour we stumbled upon this guy selling these old, restored Coca-Cola® vending machines, as well as some old Gas Pumps and a variety of other “industrial” type of antique apparatus’. I was drooling over those Coke® machines. I was really impressed, so I decided to enquire on what one of them would set me back. I about fell over when he said “about two grand”. Whew! Too rich for me. I’ve got other projects to spend that money on. So, we left a little discouraged, but not uninterested.

            A few months later, Heidi and I were again strolling through another swap meet, this time at the famed Rose Bowl in Pasadena. After about another half hour, we came upon a guy selling old Coke® machines, only this guy was selling them as is. That is, non-restored. Great! Just what I was looking for, another project. So, I enquired as to what the costs of some of his machines were and he said to make him an offer. So, I did. Apparently he thought he had a gold mine, and refused my offer, so I thanked him and moved on. Later that day, as the sellers are starting to pack up and leave, I cruised on by my “gold miner” friend, and asked if he still wanted to sell that Westinghouse model 42 Coke® machine? He said he did, but not for my price. So, I said he would have to haul it back home then. As I started to walk away, I got about ten steps from his booth, when he yells, “O.K., O.K. You can have it for $400.00. But you’ll have to haul it out of here on your own”. Great! Another project. Just what I needed.

            While we were perusing up and down the aisles earlier, I noticed a guy selling an old grain warehouse hand truck for fifty bucks, so after I paid for my new project, I high tailed it over to the hand truck guy hoping to score it for $20.00. After a few minutes of “swap meet talk”, I was the new owner of a vintage 1923 wooden hand truck for twenty-five bucks. I now had the means in which to transport my new project out to the van.

            After about three months of working on it, it was time to have the embossed lettering painted. I know my limitations, so I took it over to Li’l Louie in San Berdoo to do the hand painted lettering. Meanwhile, I had taken all of the trim pieces over to MJB Plating in Rialto to have Bill chrome plate everything including some pot metal and aluminum items. Another month passed, and I was finished with this project and plugged it in probably for the first time since 1957, and it started to get cool right away, and it’s really been running ever since.

            We went to the next Pomona Swap Meet and after my usual stroll through the VW & Porsche section, we headed over to the Coke® machine guy. Well, after spending months restoring that Westinghouse model 42 of mine, as I took a closer look at these machines, I became a little dismayed as I started to see some flaws and lack of details on this guy’s workmanship. Hum…….. He’s asking two grand for these P.O.S., I could at least get that for mine. (If I wanted to sell it). My job was far superior in quality than his, but he was still selling boat loads of his machines.

            Go back a few months, when my machine was at Li’l Louie’s getting the lettering painted, one of his customers saw my Coke® machine and wanted my number so he could have me do his. So, as most stories go, shortly thereafter, I found myself in the Coke® machine restoration business. I ended up restoring about fifteen machines total for individuals and for an owner of an Antique store on Waterman Avenue in San Berdoo. That gig lead into restoring all kinds of “industrial” items from old Parking Meters, to old Fire Hydrants, to old Ice Box’s, (real ice box’s before refrigeration), to old Phone Box’s and Fire Reporting box’s, to old gas pumps, and on and on. So, there you have it.

by Inland Aviation Specialties
Antique Restorations Gallery

“Cheap work isn’t good, and good work isn’t cheap.”

You know the old saying, “you get what you pay for”, and that’s generally true. I have to put quality ahead of quantity every time. If one doesn’t understand the value of excellent workmanship and just looks at the cost of it, then he needs to find another shop to work on his aircraft… We’re not it.