Cal-Leathers Shop Visit, Ventura CA.

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Nice. Looked like they have a lot of old/vintage jackets? Do they stock and sell vintage?
     
  2. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    the row of jackets hanging from up top are their "museum" pieces. They take them on road shows. I think I saw on their website that they had a couple for sale though. And I'm sure if you ping Gwen about what you're looking for, she might be able to flag one down for you if it ever comes through her shop. But there's always a good supply on Ebay in various conditions and prices.
     
  3. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Sigh. Not so many in size 50. Not too long ago I visited the Langlitz store in Portland, OR. They keep quite a stock of old jackets. Pretty rare to do that.
     
  4. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    tmitchell59 likes this.
  5. J Leather Investigater

    J Leather Investigater One Too Many

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    Beautiful thread
     
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  6. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    Went back and picked up my jacket. They did a great job replacing/matching just the male side of the zipper so I was able to keep that gorgeous Talon head. They also patched up an inside pocket, some liner patches, and a lot of loose stitching. Jacket is ready for another 100 years. As a reminder, they work on all leather jackets, so if you need a repair, alteration, etc. have confidence in contacting them.

    I also got some company history sorted out. Think there was a separate thread on this somewhere.

    Star Glove started off in the 1920s. After WW2, two employees bought the company-- Gary Garibaldi and Archie Frischling. Shortly thereafter they landed the LAPD jacket contract and rebranded to Cal Leathers 1948ish. Gary passed away in 1964 and Archie kept running the business. He then passed it on to his son. About 20 years ago Gwen bought it and essentially brought it back to life (set up shop in her dads upholstery warehouse, etc.). So essentially 3 owners over the past 100 years.

    Gary served in a bomber squadron and was shot down twice. Gwen has some cool nose art from the planes he served in. She wants to do some sort of flight/bomber jacket inspired piece and use the art. Gary was more of the sales guy and Archie was more of the designer/creative. For those that don't know, Ventura area is well known for their agriculture. Lots of strawberries, tomatoes, etc. Gary's family mostly grew little starter plants to sell to farmers, but Gary was the one break out sibling. After the war, he went to work for Star Glove which was mostly making gloves for the local market. He and Archie hatched a plan to buy the company, which they did, and the rest is history.
     
  7. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    5,290
    Great post. Thank you. Cals are Mount Rushmore-type jackets to me.
     
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  8. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    Ha, I was thinking the same. I think mine, at least in the category of the old school American made classics-- Buco, Cal Leathers, Schott, Taubers
     
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  9. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    Someone needs to do a Cal Leather Illustrated History. You got a lot of information now. I've seen plenty of their jackets here. I'd read it!

    I've got one Cal Leather for the Book

    DSC05537.jpg DSC05535.jpg DSC05551.jpg
     
  10. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

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    that's a beauty, Terry.

    She told me, although she's never seen any, but supposedly they were making a lot of Type 3 style back in the day. Most likely aren't tagged, so who knows where they are,, but be on the hunt. Not sure there's any sort of signature give aways like the fur in the wrist/sleeves so might not be so easy.
     
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  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    This Post-War period was a Golden Age for Motorcycle jackets and Police jackets were a big part of that. Every maker, big and small, had some police jacket pattern. In the case of Cal Leather it may have been even more significant.
     
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  12. yellowfever

    yellowfever One of the Regulars

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    122
    Wow Terry, you are killing me! That is perfection right there. Clean, perfect, minimalist design. People (rightly) rave about the Langlitz cascades’ “less is more” super clean design, but this almost makes the Cascade look fussy and overdone! Look at how few seams there are - it is just the fewest possible number of large panels of beautiful leather solidly stitched together, with that majestic one piece back as the ultimate expression of less is more.... it’s like “no need to worry about seams tearing in a crash, as there aren’t any seams!” The only leather jackets with fewer seams are the ones still worn by the cows or horses!

    And the condition of this one looks just immaculate too, from the diamond pulls it must be 60+ years old but it still looks new! Build it once, build it right...
     
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  13. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    Modern Cal CR. I dig it.

    53E6D968-95A7-4729-BF3D-0552C7CAC7C0.jpeg
     
  14. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    That is pretty damn amazing right there! I am always on the lookout for a nice size 46 LAPD and they do not come up very often. I’m sure a size 52 only appears once in a blue moon!
    I second the recommendation to check the measurements of course. One thing I have found looking at Cal’s is they tend to run pretty damn short, makes sense because they were meant to be worn as uniform jackets on a motorcycle.
     
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  15. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    navetsea and tmitchell59 like this.
  16. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    . Yes, a synthetic material.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
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  17. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    Cal CRs are great.

    Cal CR.jpg
     
  18. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    [​IMG]

    Hell's ya. lol.
     
  19. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    Magnum Force!
    That’s one hell of a good movie!!
     
    JMax likes this.
  20. technovox

    technovox One Too Many

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    Good to see Cal Leather getting some attention. Long overdue. Gwen is a miracle worker when it comes to repairing the CL vintage jackets...and such a wealth of archival info. The trip to her shop in Ventura is well worth the effort. I hope they get more business.

    Here's a CL Cafe that Gwen resurrected years ago. It was a complete basketcase and she brought it back...still one of my favorite jackets.

    CalLeatherMain.JPG

    shoulder.jpg
    sleeverepair2b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021

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