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Coca-Cola Cavalier Junior Airline Cooler

June 10th, 2009 · 27 Comments

All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.

Coca-Cola Cavalier Junior

This is a Coca-Cola Cavalier Junior Cooler we restored. They were manufactured from 1948 to 1952. These are often referred to as “airline” coolers because they were taken on board small passenger planes to serve cold Cokes to the passengers during flights. The Coca-Cola Company and Delta Airlines are both based in Atlanta, Georgia and have been partners since the 1930s, supplying Coke to Delta passengers.

The Cavalier Junior coolers were designed to be very sleek and compact to fit within the confined space of the passenger airplanes of the time. This model has a baked enamel finish and is lined in stainless steel to prevent corrosion from the ice that was used to keep the sodas cool. They also came in an all-stainless steel version, which is very rare today. The cooler has a sturdy carry handle, two double-hinged, safety release lid clasps and a bottle opener on the side. This airline cooler was made by the Cavalier Corporation, which manufactured soda vending machines exclusively for the Coca-Cola Company into the 1960s.

Cavalier Junior Cooler

Interior Coke Airline Cooler

Airline Cooler Advertisement

Manufactured by:
Cavalier Corporation
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dimensions: 17”L x 7”W x 12.5”H
Weight: 12 lbs.
Capacity: 12 bottles of Coca-Cola

This item is not for sale. We show restored items in this blog to encourage discussion, prompt questions and further the hobby of collecting and restoration. We also enjoy sharing the photos of the many items we have restored over the years.

Tags: Uncategorized

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jeff // Dec 4, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I have one of these in very good condition. It came from the Cavalier Corp. facility in Chattanooga where my grandfather worked. It has some minor paint chipping on the handle and top lid along with some white paint spots.

  • 2 T D Watkins // Dec 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I have one in original condition…needs restoring but good bones. No rust but lots of paint chip/erosion. Available as is, email for pics if interested. mackeysmom@yahoo.com

  • 3 David Freeman // Jan 22, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I nedd to know where to get latches for restoring airline cooler, mine are pretty well pitted. I’m willing to sell as is though for $150+ shipping.
    David Freeman

  • 4 Kim Harvey // Jan 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    How much is one of these coolers worth?

  • 5 vintagevending // Jan 29, 2010 at 9:18 am


    We aren’t able to give estimates on value, but you can keep an eye out on ebay or Craig’s List. Sometimes items like this pop up, but the worth depends on the condition of the item.

  • 6 David Freeman // Jun 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

    still looking for parts to restore my airline cooler, the latches and hinges are rusty.
    Any ideas?
    David Freeman

  • 7 vintagevending // Jun 23, 2010 at 8:56 am


    I believe I have found the parts you need at this link: http://www.fun-tronicsllc.com/store.php?crn=245&rn=679&action=show_detail
    They have chrome or nickel plated, and also sell the handles in both metals.

  • 8 Volamus // Jul 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I have a Cavalier Junior, which was presented to my Mother in the late ’40s by the local Coke plant owner. She catered their annual Christmas parties. It’s probably an 8 of 10 in condition.

  • 9 Erik Johnson // Jul 13, 2010 at 1:29 am

    I was just watching the reality show Pawn Stars and they bought one of these in good condition for a 100 bucks.

  • 10 steve // Sep 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    i just ran across a coca cola cooler it is from Cavalier Corporation in Chattanooga this is not an airline cooler it is bigger and the latches are on the side it has a bottle opener and a tray on the inside great condition would like to know where i can get this cooler refinished thanks

  • 11 tyler // Jan 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    i have one of these airline coolers in great shape. the one i have is the all stainless steel verison all of the websites i have found all say the solid stainless steel ones are very rare if not impossible to find i am asking 875 or best offer please let me know

  • 12 Michele Miller // Feb 15, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Hi Tyler, I would absolutely love to buy one of these. Would it be possible for you to e-mail me with photos? Thank you very much in advance!

  • 13 Cabling Plus // Mar 8, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I sure wish they made these in modern form. They are so cool. If I owned one it would be hard for me not to use one as a actual cooler. They are durable, look cool, and make a great seat! They sure do not make things like they use to. Coca Cola needs to roll these out again! I love the side bottle opener too!

  • 14 Justin // May 2, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Has anyone ever seen an airline cooler that says “Its the real thing” on both sides? It has the half tray on the inside, as well.

  • 15 Becky Hardin // May 7, 2011 at 6:50 am

    I just purchased one of these coolers. It’s in great shape. I noticed some of them have the Cavalier Corp. stamped into the cooler body. Mine does not. Does anyone know the difference? Thanks ! I have looked for one of these for years and finally got one!!!

  • 16 jesse // May 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    i have a couple of coke coolers i need help identifying and finding parts for where do i go

  • 17 Cheryl K // Aug 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Going to an auction tomorrow where there is an airtline cooler in nice cindition. Anyone looking for one?

  • 18 bryan hanks // Jun 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

    i want to know where i can get chrome hinges and claps and handle new for an coke airline cooler

  • 19 Mark // Jun 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Here is where you can get parts for the airline cooler


  • 20 mario // Jun 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    If anyone wants to sell for $140 let me know

  • 21 Rob // Jul 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I have one all original and in really awesome shape I will sell for 150 to 180. It was my grandmothers, she worked for the airlines and kept it in a closet forever. It looks almost new.

    Email me if interested, robrhodes5150@gmail.com or call 360-865-2803

  • 22 sandy // Aug 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    just had one walk into my antique shop here in connecticut. It is a very kool Item. Mine has some chips and very little rust. we are asking for $300 or BO for ours latches work find. I can only imagine what it would look like restored

  • 23 Katrina // Jul 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I just bought a Cavalier Junior model for $400 in an antique shop in near perfect condition.

  • 24 Kevin collins // Jul 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Just bought a Cavalier airline cooler at auction for 325.00. It is in very good condition. Still has the bottle opener, all latches and hinges are in good condition, as is the stainless steel plating inside. A few very small chips on top. Asking 450.00. Kevincol931@yahoo.com

  • 25 CBJ // Feb 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I have one that my grandmother left me. Mine never had the bottle opener on the side. It’s in beautiful condition. I am glad to finally know what it is!

  • 26 johnny brooks // Dec 27, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I have a vintage airline cooler jr. size that I bought
    years ago excellent condition.From the computer I
    searched for the airline tray to compare to mine.The the tray came with the cooler.Never have found another tray.Any one know about a tray that came original like mine.Johnny

  • 27 johnny brooks // Dec 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I have a vintage airline cooler jr. size that I bought
    years ago excellent condition.From the computer I
    searched for the airline tray to compare to mine.The tray came with the cooler.Never have found another tray.Any one know about a tray that came original like mine.Johnny

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All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.