Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Vintage Schott-Beck Motorcycle Jackets

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,431
I couldn't find a specific thread on this topic, though I saw several adjacent. I figured it was appropriate to have one because this is definitely one of the pieces to this history.

It's well known that Beck had jackets made by Schott, some of which were available under a different model name at each of their respective catalogues.

One of my own is the checkered-flag Beck label 999, which I recently discussed with @jeo in another thread. This exact jacket, which I thought was a 60s jacket but he placed it at the late 50s due to the construction:

il_1588xn-4287708153_h04e-jpg.583540

il_1588xn-4240055552_in8g-jpg.583539


Here is jeo's, which he estimates to be early 60s:

img_5664-jpeg.583545


I had assumed that the additional workmanship such as the French seams was something Beck had specially requested for their own-labeled jackets. Indeed the presence of French seams led some people to suggest they couldn't have been made by Schott.

Recently I saw this on eBay! Nothing inherently wild about it but it gives us another piece.

Seems to be a sibling of my jacket, except with the Schott ribbon label. I've seen plenty of jackets with that label, but the motorcycle jackets have usually been 618s, like this one that @AHP91 sold last year.

This one though is pretty much exactly my Beck 999, including the French seams.
front.jpg

back.jpg


So it seems that the construction differences weren't based on private label vs house label, but just came down to which model it was. The detachable belt models and at least one of the cafe racer models got the French seamed construction, while the attached belt model and some of the cafe racers did not.

I'm not sure what the reason for this is, but it's interesting.

I'd be really curious to hear what others have found about these jackets, not just stitching wise. I think for instance the Schott label confirms that this generation of Beck jacket is also steerhide. (John Chapman upon examining reckoned it's most likely steerhide but a visual inspection is inconclusive; I think this label answers the question, so I'll let him know; I actually saved these pictures meaning to send them to him.)

I know @Marc mndt owned one of the Beck cafe racers at one point; I think it had French seams, but I'm not sure. I know that when Schott recently did a repro of their own-brand contemporary of that jacket, it had the French seamed panels as well.
 

jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,869
Location
Philadelphia
Awesome and much needed thread.

If anyone is interested in Schott/Beck jackets and their history I highly recommend the Schott Tanaka book.

Here are pics from the book. I did the best I could with these. They really need to be scanned.

(Just an fyi, there are some inconsistencies with a few things)

Let’s start with the labels.

IMG_6704.jpeg

IMG_6705.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,431
Looking at the label of the 30s jacket, I find the "Horsehide Pony Weight" phrasing interesting, considering our recent discussion of "What does ponyhide mean?"

Maybe some makers used it as a weight indicator rather than an actual animal age indicator like calf/lamb?
 
  • Like
Reactions: jeo

jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,869
Location
Philadelphia
Here’s the second version Beck 999. Still horsehide. This model came out in 1955. This is the design we most commonly see.

IMG_6855.jpeg


Here’s the ad for it from 1955 announcing new pocket configuration with added coin pocket.

IMG_6854.jpeg
 
Last edited:

jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,869
Location
Philadelphia
Here’s my third version Beck 999 in steerhide. Now the label just says “Beck Northeaster Flying Togs” no leather specification.

This label isn’t on the chart. I’d need to look back but I don’t think this jacket is in any of the Tanaka books. This is probably late 50’s (57-58)

IMG_6741.jpeg
IMG_6745.jpeg
IMG_6743.jpeg
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,431
@Aloysius did I say early 60’s? Thought I just said 60’s lol. This exact model was advertised into the mid-late 60’s.

I was probably just confusing it in my head with how I thought mine was early 60s until you corrected me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jeo

jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,869
Location
Philadelphia
Ok now onto the horsehide Schott Perfecto 618.

Here’s the first one shown in the Schott book. It says mid-late 50’s. Probably closer to early-mid 50’s.

I don’t know if this is the first version but it has a one piece back and no kidney panel.

IMG_6719.jpeg


Heres the second horsehide Perfecto shown in the book. Now with kidney panel. Says late 50’s early 60’s. It’s probably mid 50’s.

The Ribbon label is said to be late 50’s into the early 60’s. Most makers stopped using horsehide mid-late 50’s and I’d imagine Schott would be no different

IMG_6723.jpeg

IMG_6724.jpeg


Here’s the third one shown in the book. Uber rare Perfecto label and a steerhide label. Just says 50’s. Probably mid-late 50’s since it’s steerhide.

IMG_6720.jpeg



And here’s an awesome two tone horsehide Perfecto. Says mid-late 50’s and again probably more earlier 50’s than late.

IMG_6721.jpeg

IMG_6722.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
107,245
Messages
3,032,043
Members
52,704
Latest member
southpawdraw
Top