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Any original Buco J-100 experts?

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,573
Location
Australia
I've been taken by the look of these early cafe racer jackets. Can anyone tell me what hide the originals were made of? I hear it was cow or steer hide. Also interested about the thickness. I once held an original and was surprised at how light it was.
 
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wanz

One of the Regulars
Messages
115
Location
Dallas
I'd hesitate to call myself an expert, but I was taken by these jackets a few years ago so I know a bit about them. From Rin Tanaka's A Century of Leather Design it looks like the original jackets were made out of horsehide. At least all of the early pictures (both of jackets and ads) reference that hide. The first steer hide jacket that he shows is from 1957.

I own an original steer hide and one of Diamond Dave's repros (like I said, I was taken by these jackets). The weight of the leather in the repro is 3oz. I would say the steer hide is very similar.

I'd be interested to hear any additional details that folks might have.
 

Bunyip

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,069
Location
Australia
I too dig these jackets...I would be very interested in any pics from lucky owners. Seb, Carrie and wade are experts on these numbers. The old insurrection vintage site has their collection of vintage racers, most are for sale. As a 48" chest man there's no joy for me. Someone that doesn't have cartons of beer,take out menus and dominos fridge magnets al over their kitchen might have more luck....
 

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,573
Location
Australia
Aren't they lovely? It's been ten years since I handled an original. Thanks fellas for the info. Keep it coming. I love a jacket without needless bling or pockets, zips, gussets, etc. I'm thinking of getting one by DD but am needing cash for something else.... the eternal dilemma.

Have you noticed that on some chest pockets the zips have little dangling toggles (my favourite) and on others the zip is conventional. Wonder why that is?
 

wanz

One of the Regulars
Messages
115
Location
Dallas
Aren't they lovely? It's been ten years since I handled an original. Thanks fellas for the info. Keep it coming. I love a jacket without needless bling or pockets, zips, gussets, etc. I'm thinking of getting one by DD but am needing cash for something else.... the eternal dilemma.

Have you noticed that on some chest pockets the zips have little dangling toggles (my favourite) and on others the zip is conventional. Wonder why that is?

And if neither strikes your fancy, you can always go with a standard zip with a zipper toggle...



The simplicity is what drew me to this jacket initially. I have a fondness for cafe racers in general, but the J-100 really does it well. If I had to repeat my search all over again, I think that I would go straight to DD. I still have ebay alerts set for the jacket but I never really look at them any more.

As to the why... I did opt for dead stock zippers on mine. I think that was the only zipper variation that DD offered me.
 
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Messages
15,698
Sorry for the resurrection but... If I am not mistaken, this just might belong to the first J-100 run ever!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-40s-50s-Biker-Club-Cafe-Racer-Leather-Jacket-/262962503170

s-l1600.jpg
 

Carlos840

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4,863
Location
London
There is something weird going on with the Cafe Racer...
It is a style that is always linked to the Ton-up Boys, and british motorcycling industry, i mean it is even named after a british thing. Yet if you google search "Ton-up boys" i dare you to find an old picture of a british rider wearing a mandarin style collar.
Most motorcycle riders in the UK in the 50s 60s and 70s wore cross zips or Dominator style jackets, sometimes even waxed cotton.

Look at the Lewis Leather website, all the jackets from that era have collars (other than the Universal racer mk I & II), the Super Sportsman which we would call their first "real" Cafe Racer is from 73 and most other mandarin collar styles they make are form the mid 70s and 80s.

To me the older OG style Cafe Racer is much more an American design, Buco, Taubers, Brooks, Kehoe, Beck, the list goes on and on! So why did this style get a British name, when was it given that name, is that a modern thing? @Edward for some reason i think you would know about that...

Anyway, here is my DD:

J5Y2psY.jpg
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,795
Location
Iowa
So is it just the revived thread or Photobucket hosting that made all the original photos here so very blurry? Probably a PB thing - control there indeed...

Yes, CR's are very classic. My classic old '60's/'70's one is in for repairs, the it'll be up for sale...(too large)
 

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,573
Location
Australia
Interesting - since I started this threat interest in the Buco style exploded and for a while almost every other jacket was a J100 inspired piece. Incidentally, I don't know anyone who calls them cafe racers, it was always just a 'bike jacket' here.

These days I find a similar jacket, the 1959 Brooks 511 a preferable pattern - improved collar and a bit more visually interesting at back and wonderfully easy to find for not much money, compared to the Bucos. Brooks (under Sandor Weiss) was the subcontractor which made many of those Bucos.
 
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Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,745
Location
London, UK
Look at the Lewis Leather website, all the jackets from that era have collars (other than the Universal racer mk I & II), the Super Sportsman which we would call their first "real" Cafe Racer is from 73 and most other mandarin collar styles they make are form the mid 70s and 80s.

To me the older OG style Cafe Racer is much more an American design, Buco, Taubers, Brooks, Kehoe, Beck, the list goes on and on! So why did this style get a British name, when was it given that name, is that a modern thing? @Edward for some reason i think you would know about that...

It's a good question. I get the impression it's an Americanism indeed, one of those pop culture distortions of distance (c/f how Sid Vicious is associated with the Perfecto in the UK, whereas he only got that jacket when they went to the US in January 78 - whiel in the Pistols, it was all his Dominator for 99% of the time).

The 'cafe racer' as we know it definitely seems ot have developed much earlier in the US; UK jackets, in my experience, it isn't at all common until the later 60s jackets, then the ubiquitous British bike jacket in the later 7os to eighties is a lancer front with the mandarin collar. The much earlier mandarin collars I've seen were all on German jackets; typically early German bike jackets, the db buttoned type, but I've also seen it on 30s zip-up halfbelt types too. I think, interesting, all the European manarin collar jackets I've seen from that period were German, but I can't claim to know with any certainty.
 

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