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Sears Motorcylce Jacket History 1949-1963

jonbuilder

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I have a Buco J-27 52 or 53 based on the first horse tag Buco used, after the two early Buco tags that did not reference horsehide. I believe prior to 52 Buco only use horsehide so the hide was not call out on their tags, I've handled early Sears mc jackets that are made with leather consistent with early 50s tan horsehide without horsehide on the tag
Comparing my Buco with the Allstate, the Buco has spots/false snaps at the top of the triangle above the belt loops, My Buco's hide seems stiffer but it has hardly been broken in, and the Buco appears longer? the back length of the Buco is 27"
I can not tell with the Allstate, but the Buco has a zip closure on the sleeves in addition to the strap & snap. I do not want to post a picture of the Buco it might confuse readers. This tread is about Sear mc jacket
 

JMax

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This thread is great. I feel like Thornton Melon.

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This indeed is an excellent and super informative thread. Sears MC jacket has always been one of my favorites and I'm happy to own one. It's really cool to see all the changes it went through.
 

navetsea

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wow, and all worn either with necktie, or fully donned shirt and slacks, no jeans or tshirt. what internet style gurus teach about wearing a mc jacket with dress shirt and tie actually have more solid ground than I thought...

great thread Terry, so pleasing to see pages of those kind of drawn cataloque of the past
 

tmitchell59

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In looking through the sequence of catalog pages, it's interesting to see when the mid-50s phase-in to steerhide took hold.

Yes, there is much to learn in this chronology. I seem to glean something new each time I look at it. I haven't even read all the description.

Use of steerhide through the years has always interested me. 30s/40s jackets horsehide is dominant, with a lot of capeskin and suede. I have 30s Steerhide Police jackets that always seemed odd to me. Most of the Ralphs-Pugh jackets I've seen are Steerhide.

There was year where there was no Horsehide jacket listed. The only leather is Steerhide. Later there are descriptions that just talk about "hides" no mention of leather type. The Steer jackets are less money while the Horsehide is exalted as the "Best" for more money.

When I think of 50s Sears motorcycle jacket it this one; Black Horsehide, Red Quilt lining.
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The jacket became the Oakbrook by 1962. They are Steerhide. I am impressed with the Oakbrook jackets, consistently looking good. They produced a ton of them.

I was surprised to see how many steerhide models they made through the years. How they came and went. Different styles. Today I don't see them. The Oakbrooks are most popular.

I just don't see that many in Steerhide

This is a very nice example and currently in my possession. I've owned another just like it. They are well made jackets. I'll have to dissect this jacket while I have it.

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dannyk

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Here’s mine. If anyone has an idea on its production? Mines for sale in the classifieds at this time. Only because I need to move a bunch of jackets. Taking up too much room and have some new ideas I need to get. But it’s surprisingly as @tmitchell59 says great jacket. It’s in amazing shape for its age. Decently thick leather. Just a very sturdy, well built, designed jacket.
 

tmitchell59

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View attachment 250514 Here’s mine. If anyone has an idea on its production? Mines for sale in the classifieds at this time. Only because I need to move a bunch of jackets. Taking up too much room and have some new ideas I need to get. But it’s surprisingly as @tmitchell59 says great jacket. It’s in amazing shape for its age. Decently thick leather. Just a very sturdy, well built, designed jacket.

I would estimate this one to be an early Oakbrook around 1962. This is the early Oakbrook label with the Steerhide label attached. I don't see them with the Steerhide label. They produced a great deal of these jackets.
 
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Damn. I just broke my thumb hitting the like button. Terry, in all honesty, you are a true gem. I’ve learned more from your posts than any other. I appreciate you and the work you put in. Frankly this place would be sorely lacking without your contributions. RESPECT.
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Guppy

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A question: Is the Allstate that made these jackets still around? There's a present-day company called Allstate that makes, frankly, budget-tier motorcycle jackets that have very little appeal, but are price-point made and very commonly worn by actual bikers. They do the job, check the box, but that's about it if you ask me.

Wikipedia's article on Allstate says that it was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and spun off in 1993, so these jackets are evidently related to the insurance company, although, I'd assume the leather manufacturing business isn't part of Allstate Insurance today... but I wonder if selling safety gear was part of an strategy to mitigate risk and reduce cost for insurance policies?

It's kindof zany to think about, but at one time Sears was an absolute giant of a corporation, similar to Amazon today, but from a different era.
 

Guppy

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Damn. I just broke my thumb hitting the like button. Terry, in all honesty, you are a true gem. I’ve learned more from your posts than any other. I appreciate you and the work you put in. Frankly this place would be sorely lacking without your contributions. RESPECT.
View attachment 250601

Amen to that. Long life, Terry, I hope you're around long enough to wear out every one of the jackets in your collection, and to write extensively about them.
 

Seb Lucas

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wow, and all worn either with necktie, or fully donned shirt and slacks, no jeans or tshirt. what internet style gurus teach about wearing a mc jacket with dress shirt and tie actually have more solid ground than I thought...

Of course. Leather was worn similarly to a tweed blazer - neat casual. Even labourers wore a tie until the late 1960's, depending on the town. Not that long ago wearing jeans and a t shirt would stop you from being let into hotels, bars, and even some shops.
 

navetsea

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sure, but I imagine that with more formal style leather jackets with center zip or buttons, it is a surprise to me that they wear the same attire under motorcycle jackets I thought it would be more sweater and boots
 

Seb Lucas

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sure, but I imagine that with more formal style leather jackets with center zip or buttons, it is a surprise to me that they wear the same attire under motorcycle jackets I thought it would be more sweater and boots

The point I'm making is you didn't go anywhere without a tie. Boots were also a no no in polite company.
 

navetsea

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yea, I forgot motorcycle must had been their mode of transportation going somewhere, not riding for the sake of riding.
 
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