THE G8 JACKET

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by SteveZ, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    192
    Over the summer I was searching for a nice jacket in leather for going out on the town in cold weather that was a step above the average flight jacket. Im a bit on the larger size and require a XL tall size which is pricey for new leather. ( I married a gal that can really cook )

    I found a jacket on E Bay that was advertised as a G8 type in a very heavy cowhide and the owner claimed it was purchased years ago and mostly stored in a closet. The jacket for some reason was not attracting much attention when I kept track of it during bid time and the E bay item never sold. I was upset with myself for not placing any bid at all figuring that many people wait until the last minute for a last dash bidding war. NOPE ! Nobody bid at all and I figured I blew any chance of getting this slick jacket.

    But........... low and behold, the jacket owner placed the item for sale again a week later and I nabbed this thing for 100 dollars. When the coat arrived there were no surprises. It was as pretty in hand as it was in the E Bay pictures. Man this coat is heavy ! No fur insulation and it has a G2 type leather collar.

    It has a label inside has EXCELLED SHEEPSKIN & LEATHER MFG. company as the producer with a G8 flying jacket tag. Theres a military contract number 1958-G8-2 on the tag respectively. Theres another number also as MIL SPEC # 3287. ( I think the Excelled company actually had the NAVY contract at one time to produce the G1 jacket )

    After doing a little research about the G8 jacket, I gather it was never actually produced in leather at all. It was originally a nylon jacket intended as an internal liner for extra warmth but many pilots wore it by itself.

    I love the jacket I bought but am very curious about this one. I looked on the web to see if the excelled company still makes this jacket but no luck. The San Diego Leather Company produces a leather G8 and it does look like mine with the exception of the leather color. Theirs is a dark brown and mine is a med tan color. My jacket looks like a RAIDER jacket with side straps for a snug fit and has map pockets on both sides internally and theirs no wool waistband or cuffs. However, the zipper on this coat is way too small. I need a tailor to sew in a much larger zipper as its a bit difficult to zip up at first.

    One web site said that many leather coat manufacturers often made up their own jacket designs and sewed in a military spec tag to make it look official.

    Could my jacket be a version of a flying jacket from the 30s and 40s when these heavy jackets were the norm in pilots flying gear in open cockpit aircraft ?

    What can the experts here tell me ?

    Many thanks in advance !
     
  2. RJR

    RJR

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    If memory serves,Excelled is a brand made/owned/sold by Sears. They do quite a line of leather products.Seems like they usually produce a catalog several times a year.
     
  3. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    RJR,

    Not so sure about SEARS owning Excelled mfg. I dont think Sears would be awarded a NAVY contract but then again, I could be wrong. I guess well both find out if other members chime in. As a matter of fact, the Chinese made knock offs of the A2 and G1 jackets both under the LANDING LEATHERS label and were retailed in SEARS stores.

    My wife bought me a Landing Leathers Chinese copy of a NAVY G1 at AMAZON and I wear it as a work jacket and occasional outing but thats it. Not afraid to work on car in the cheaper jacket as to its made of imitation leather and if its damaged, its not a big deal.
     
  4. RJR

    RJR

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    SteveZ,I certainly wouldn't bet on it but the catalog includes all sorts of jackets and you really have to make an effort to discover its Sears.It may even be once you buy there's something on the receipt,I just don't remember for sure.
     
  5. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    192
    One more thing about my recently purchased leather G8 flight jacket, it has some very unusual elbow reinforcements sewn on and they are shaped like huge diamonds. Never seen this type of reinforcement on sleeves before. What other flight jacket would have that feature ?
     
  6. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

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    4,486
    Location:
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    US Authentic (flightjacket.com) G-8
    g8front.png g8back.jpg diamond.jpg
     
    davyjones007 likes this.
  7. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    192
    Yes Fanch, thats the jacket I saw at the San Diego Leather company site. Mines exactly like that on the outside except the color. Mines a medium tan cowhide. Was this jacket modeled after another military spec jacket ?
     
  8. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    192
    Also, this jacket in the photo is made of goat skin. I'll bet that my coat is much heavier being made of cow hide or horse hide. Another thing is that the jacket in the photo has a seamless back and mine has a seam right down the center. Could be because of the heavier leather used and my coat has some heavy duty inside insulation as well. Whatever the case, aint no way Im going to be cold in this coat when the freeze comes.
     
  9. Fanch

    Fanch I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    I am unaware that there was ever a contract military jacket made based on the G-8? there is an earlier thread you can view:
    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/g8-or-raider-jacket-history.79638/
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
    davyjones007 likes this.
  10. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    I've always thought that the G8 looked like a bunch of guys sat in a room and tried to put as many ideas into one jacket as they could. It just does not look like a cohesive piece.
     
  11. thor

    thor One Too Many

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    That's actually the thing (things?) I like about the G-8; it's a amalgamation of all the details I'm fond of in a leather jacket: A-2 collar, G-1 patch pockets & underarm gussets, M-444 diamond elbow reinforcements, vintage civilian style button cuffs, plus an Indiana Jones-esque overall look. I've got 2 of these beauties and I love 'em!
     
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  12. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    192
    I was kinda thinking that the G8 jacket ( or what ever it really is ) kinda looked like the WW2 bomber and fighter pilot jackets without all the large fur collars and internal lining. I was watching that movie about the 332nd fighter group the other night ( Tuskegee Airmen ) and their flight jackets sure looked awfully similar to a G8. Any opinion here ?
     
  13. thor

    thor One Too Many

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    The WWII Navy sheepskin jackets (M-444 and M-445) had the diamond-shaped elbow reinforcements.
     
  14. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    192
    And................. my recent G8 purchase is so solidly built, I wish the inside liner could be removed. If Im in a theater during cold weather outside, I normally leave my light jacket on. Not this G8 coat ! I'll burn up if I dont remove it. Ive never owned a heavy cowhide leather jacket before. I used to be stationed in Duluth Minnesota in my Air Force days and I sure could have used this coat on and off duty.
     
  15. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    Maybe I'd feel differently if I saw a "wear" pic. Anyone have one they'd share?
     
  16. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Reminds me of an ANJ-4 that's had the sheepskin removed and replaced with an A-2 shell.
     
  17. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    You know my theory.

    Loosely based on M-440 series

    4+4=8

    G-8
     
  18. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    Close. 4 beers + 4 more beers = G8. ;)
     
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  19. SteveZ

    SteveZ One of the Regulars

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    192
    BTW, before I forget, as I mentioned before, the zipper Excelled used on this heavy jacket is way too small. I need it removed and a much larger one installed. Theres a dry cleaners right down the street from me that is Korean or Chinese owned. Theve been there for years and a sign in the front window says they sew on patches on uniforms and flight jackets. I suppose I could ask them if they could remove the small zipper and sew in a larger and better quality one. The zipper on my NAVY G1 Jacket is fairly large. Is there a larger zipper available ? Any advice on zipper size ? Keep in mind that this is a very heavy cow or horse hide leather. Any help would be appreciated fellahs ! THANKS
     
  20. Banzai

    Banzai Familiar Face

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    United States
    I think in the other thread there was some speculation about this being a Neil Cooper design from the 80s, a kind of notional interwar years flyers jacket.

    However, no proof.

    I personally am of mixed feelings on the design. Sometimes I look at it and think it looks pretty good, and other times it strikes me as a patchwork.
     

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