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FS: Cal Leather Motorcycle Jacket (Potentially 1940s/1950s) - Medium/Repair at a Discount


Practically Family
This is quite an interesting one - first of all, the jacket is undoubtedly a Cal Leather. Where it gets a bit more tricky is dating it. As you probably know, jackets can often be reliably dated based on the presence of original hardware. This particular Cal has a rare spring-loaded Crown zip, and Conmatic sleeve zippers. However, it appears these were either replacements or reattached to the jacket as part of a repair. Interestingly, however, is the zipper teeth in the pockets, which appear original to the jacket - these teeth are the Crown "two-way" track, introduced in early 1944 and was originally designed for gun turret applications.

Furthermore, the lack of epaulettes, gussets, rounded belt loops (as opposed to a square finish), unique lapel configuration, the hide of the horsehide leather, all suggest that this is quite an early version of the jacket. I have handled quite a number of jackets dating from the 1930s to present, and one can become a bit more experienced dating a jacket based on feel, touch, the material used in the pockets, the amount of storage wear, etc.. When I received the jacket, everything about it suggested that it was incredibly old. It is my best guess that this is quite an early Cal Leather, potentially mid-late 1940s or early 1950s.


Cal-Leather began making leather products in Ventura, California in 1927 as "Star Glove & Leather". By the 1940s, the company was making jackets under the "Cal-Leather" label for motorcycle riders. Cal-Leather quickly gained a reputation among riders as a highly dependable apparel company and was commissioned by the LAPD in the 1940s to develop and produce the official LAPD jacket for their motorcycle force. Other law enforcement agencies throughout the country followed suit, as did the outlaws they were going after.

Cal-Leather has become an extremely collectible and valued brand in the vintage leather jacket community, as their jackets are known for their timeless style and sophistication, which encompass both classic and contemporary elements. Their vintage jackets are well known for their commitment to quality, attention to detail, and amazing quality, in regards to both leather and hardware.

Many Cal-Leather jackets made in the mid-20th century were produced for private labels or law enforcement agencies and do not have a label. In accurately identifying a true Cal-Leather jacket, many identifying features can be utilized. Such identifiers include, but are not limited to: mouton-lined sleeve cuffs; stitching details throughout the jacket, mainly in the back, belt loop areas, and across from the main zipper to the pocket area, 'drop down' feature of the bottom of the jacket in the back; smooth satin lined black interior; snap buttons both inside and outside the jacket (which were originally used for a detachable mouton collar); consistency of the leather hide, and more. This jacket exhibits all of these features and more, and is without a doubt a true Cal-Leather motorcycle jacket.


As you can see, there is condition issues. Mainly issues with stitching (namely, in the shoulder area, inside the jacket, and a bit of separation under one armpit as well as small spots alongside the side of the jacket. I have examined the jacket and did my best to exhibit any area of separation. Selling this one at a big discount so forgive any oversight for any other small area. Further, the lining has some issues, but is not overly bad. I have done my best to picture any wear areas.

The hide, on the other hand, is still pretty nice. No major cracking, a bit of dryness due to the age of the jacket, no tears, no holes - overall it is still quite nice. All pockets are intact, all zippers work well. This jacket is actually quite heavy - one of the big reasons I'm selling it. Rather than sending this one off for some repairs (as it should be) to wear it confidently, I actually determined I prefer lighter weight jackets, so this one just didn't make the cut. Someone else can enjoy this old beast.

Please see measurements below (and pictured). Please allow a small degree of discrepancy due to human error:

Armpit to armpit: 21"
Shoulder to shoulder: 18"
Bottom hem: 18.5"
Length from bottom of collar down: 23.4"
Sleeve length (taken straight from shoulder seam): 23"

Asking price is $135 shipped (Paypal Friends and Family) in the continental U.S. Please note I have done my best to exhibit the jacket as you will receive it. If you have any additional questions regarding condition or size, I am happy to provide additional photos or answer any questions. I have bought and sold jackets via this forum.


My Mail is Forwarded Here
Whoever bought it should send it to Chapman to work on the zipper.

EDIT: Typo.
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