Like a Phoenix...Bill’s Old G-1

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Atticus Finch, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

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    This is my my new/old, no-name G-1.

    About four or five years ago, a friend called and said he had an old “bomber jacket” he’d like to give me. He’d found it hanging in his barn where he’d left it decades ago. When he showed up with it a few days later, it was almost unrecognizable as being a leather jacket. It was so dried and covered with grime, it was grey instead of brown. No kidding, it was about the same color as old asphalt. And it was so stiff, it would easily stand vertically on its own, without support. The cuffs and waistband were in tatters and it stank of oil and sawdust. The tag was missing...but from the synthetic collar and modern brass zipper, I guessed the jacket to be an early-eighties, E-series G-1. Not a particularly collectable jacket, even in mint condition.

    My friend couldn’t remember exactly when he got the jacket, but he said it was a long time ago. Around here, in the days before the internet, to “obtain” a real G-1, one usually had to know someone in the supply department at Cherry Point. My friend was in the North Carolina Senate in those days...so he likely had the right connections...but I can’t be sure this is where Bill came by the jacket. I thanked him for the jacket, but I doubted that it could be saved. And, anyhow, it looked smaller than my normal size. So I just stood it in the back of my closet and forgot about it.

    A year or so later, I decided to try my hand at restoring it. I had little to lose. After all, the jacket had no historical value and I hadn’t paid anything for it. I started by washing it in the washing machine with a strong detergent. Twice. The washing worked wonders. When I’d finished, the jacket was not only clean, but it was brown again...and it didn’t stink. At least, not as badly as before. I let it dry for several days and then treated it with gobs of Pecard Leather Dressing. In fact, I left the Pecard on the leather for a month or so. This made the jacket much more pliable and soft. So much so, it actually felt like a jacket instead of a board, and it would no longer stand up on its own. But I was right. It was too small. And I wasn’t going to incur the expense of replacing the knits on an E-series G-1 that didn’t fit me. So I put it back in my closet and forgot about it, again.

    But the story has a happy ending. In 2015, I retired. I was no longer chained to a desk and a courtroom, so I became more active and lost weight. Suddenly, wearing Bill’s old G-1 became a viable idea. So last week I bought some mil spec knits on eBay, had my seamstress install them...and, just in time for fall, got a new favorite jacket.

    AF
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  2. Deacon211

    Deacon211 One Too Many

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    1,008
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    That looks amazing. Great job on the restore. It looks like it's got several more decades left in it!
     
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  3. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Practically Family

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    918
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    It really is nice! I would have never guessed that it had previously been in such terrible condition. Yeomans effort.

    - Ian
     
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  4. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Congratulations on a job well done AF!
    And congratulations on losing a few lb's!

    If I may ask, could you let me know the ebay I.D. of the person you bought knits from please?
     
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  5. thor

    thor One Too Many

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    Cool jacket and I'm glad the resurrection of this G-1 was a success @Atticus Finch !
    My guess is that's she's a 1973-1975 Star Sportswear G-1; that peculiar elongated rectangular zipper is the same style zip as on my '73 Star G-1 (as well as afew other Star G-1 examples I've seen on the internet).
    Whatever she may be, you've done a fine job bringing her back from the brink!
     
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  6. WhiskeyTangoFox

    WhiskeyTangoFox One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Iowa, U.S.A.
    What a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us. I would never have guessed that the jacket in the photo was in that kind of condition when you first got it. The restoration really turned out well. Enjoy wearing it!

    Noel
     
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  7. TREEMAN

    TREEMAN One Too Many

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    Great job Atticus !!
     
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  8. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    115
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    UK
    Great Job there! Looks fab. I am no expert but I have a 1980s Brill which has the same type of zipper. Might narrow it down a bit perhaps
     
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  9. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

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    Interesting! I had guessed it to be an early eighties jacket, but I wasn’t at all sure. The shell is embossed cowhide, but it’s much thinner and of higher quality than the thick, squeaky hides if the 70’s Imperial Leather G-1s. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear it was goat. If this jacket is a Star Sportswear, it’ll be the forth Star that I’ve owned. All were/are great jackets!

    AF
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
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  10. Flightengineer

    Flightengineer Practically Family

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    RF
    Excellent job and excellent result.
     
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  11. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

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    I had considered Brill...but most of those mid-seventies Brills were very russet colored. This one is much more seal than it appears in my photo, above.

    AF
     
  12. Peter 1956

    Peter 1956 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    UK
    I have 2 1976 Imperial s and must be the only one who loves them! Tough as boots and I got used to the sleeks ha ha!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,490
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    Very nice find. I have always had a soft spot for G-1's.
     
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  14. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

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    This is a rather blurry photo of Bill’s Jacket’s zipper showing the large “G” stamped into the bottom stop. I wonder what brand is this zipper. @thor, I just glanced through the internet and saw several seventies jackets sporting this zipper, two were 1975 Stars.

    AF




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    thor likes this.
  15. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,666
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    Sydney Australia
    Great news AF and really happy for you! Looks great on you. Gives me a real lift reading your post.
     
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  16. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    13,142
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    This is why leather IS better. Awesome story and the finished product speaks volumes for the sustainability and value of a quality cut of skin. Sweet.
     
  17. pjman

    pjman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Biloxi
    What a great-looking jacket that turned out to be! Amazing results, given the condition it was in when you got it.
     
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  18. NABodie

    NABodie New in Town

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    SC
    Very nicely done! Looks great and is an excellent fit
     
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  19. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    I’ve bought good ones from
    seller:lb4041j
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
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