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Vintage Schott-Beck Motorcycle Jackets

jeo

One Too Many
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Philadelphia
The steerhide Ribbon label Perfectos are from late 50’s and into the early 60’s.

Here are my two Ribbon label Perfecto 618s, one from late 50’s and one from early 60’s.

First is my late 50’s version.

Thick seams, square buckle (not the miter buckle), cloth on underside of belt, rounded epaulets that are double stitched, double stitch around shoulder (that continues onto the cactus label perfectos), vinyl on inside hem, loose leather sleeve gusset, double stitch around sleeve zip and french seams throughout and some amazing steerhide. Oh and most importantly it’s a completely different fit than the later early 60’s ribbon label Perfecto!

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jeo

One Too Many
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1,869
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Philadelphia
My early 60’s ribbon label Perfecto.

Not as thick seams, cheap thin miter buckle, leather on underside of belt, pointed epaulette that is single stitched, double stitched around shoulder, vinyl on inside hem, attached vinyl sleeve gusset, single stitched around sleeve zips and no French seams anywhere. The steerhide is also really nice but not as nice as my earlier version. Fits a bit longer and isn’t as square shaped as the earlier version.

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Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
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4,920
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London
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

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

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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.
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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.

"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."

Didn't all the early perfectos with double stitched shoulders come with french seams on the sleeves?
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,431
Now the steerhide Ribbon label Perfectos.

Here are my two Ribbon label Perfecto 618s, one from late 50’s and one from early 60’s.

First is my late 50’s version.

Thick seams, square buckle (not the miter buckle), cloth on underside of belt, rounded epaulets that are double stitched, double stitch around shoulder (that continues onto the cactus label perfectos), vinyl on inside hem, loose leather sleeve gusset, double stitch around sleeve zip and french seams throughout and some amazing steerhide. Oh and most importantly it’s a completely different fit than the later early 60’s ribbon label Perfecto!

View attachment 590910 View attachment 590911 View attachment 590912 View attachment 590913 View attachment 590914 View attachment 590915 View attachment 590916 View attachment 590917

This is super interesting to me because I had thought the square buckle had only been on the detachable bridle belt until they switched the built-in belt to one in the 80s. The zipper on this is stunning.

I own a prototype of a Schott repro of this Perfecto, except with a miter belt buckle. I imagine that was a case of the "reality is unrealistic" phenomenon where people would expect a vintage styled model to have the miter buckle and would incorrectly assume (as I did) that the square buckle only came later.

"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."

Didn't all the early perfectos with double stitched shoulders come with french seams on the sleeves?

I think this is the case, but people including Ken from Aero, Stu from Lost Worlds, and others suggested the Beck jackets couldn't have been made by Schott due to the construction quality. I don't think they were being malicious with that; I would chalk it up to their having not seen those early Perfecto-branded versions of the Beck jackets.

I don't remember if I've mentioned this earlier, but a mouton collar made for a modern Perfecto fits perfectly to the 50s and 60s Beck/Schott models of corresponding size. A nice option if someone wants to add one.
 

jeo

One Too Many
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Philadelphia
This is super interesting to me because I had thought the square buckle had only been on the detachable bridle belt until they switched the built-in belt to one in the 80s. The zipper on this is stunning.

I’m not sure the one with the Ribbon label and detachable belt is a 618. That one is essentially the Beck 999 from the same time frame.

As for the buckles, I’ve seen my exact older model ribbon label with the miter buckle as well as with the square one. Who knows if there’s a standard or if one is older than another. The one shown in the book has a miter buckle. The older horsehide perfectos also have the miter buckles.

I think this is the case, but people including Ken from Aero, Stu from Lost Worlds, and others suggested the Beck jackets couldn't have been made by Schott due to the construction quality. I don't think they were being malicious with that; I would chalk it up to their having not seen those early Perfecto-branded versions of the Beck jackets.

The French seams on Perfectos end with the older version late 50’s Ribbon label.

My early 60’s ribbon label above, has the double stitch around the shoulder and no French seams.

The cactus label Perfectos also have the double stitch around the shoulders and no French seams.

The double stitch around the shoulders end after the cactus label. The 70’s Perfectos do not have that.

Stuart believes that the very early Becks were made by Leathertogs. I compared my Beck 333 and my Leathertogs and they have a lot of similarities for sure but no one can say for sure.

The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of very old Schotts that have French seams and plenty of very old Becks that also have a Schott label (so we know they were made by Schott) and have French seams.

Here’s a Schott from the 30’s and it has French seams. Look at those super cool Perfecto branded buttons!

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jeo

One Too Many
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Philadelphia
The Cactus label perfectos are mid-late 60’s and into the early 70’s. There are a few variations on these labels (and at least one size tag variation)

Here are my two Cactus label Perfectos.

My old one I’ve had for a few years.

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A mint one I bought this past year.

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There are smaller cactus labels.

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Bigger cactus labels.

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Then you have the size tag variation with the size number inside a circle.

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And the uber rare blue cactus label.

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Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,431
I’m not sure the one with the Ribbon label and detachable belt is a 618. That one is essentially the Beck 999 from the same time frame.

As for the buckles, I’ve seen my exact older model ribbon label with the miter buckle as well as with the square one. Who knows if there’s a standard or if one is older than another. The one shown in the book has a miter buckle. The older horsehide perfectos also have the miter buckles.

I meant your square buckle one seems to be an early 618. Good point about it not being clear which buckle came first.
 
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jeo

One Too Many
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I meant your square buckle one seems to be an early 618. Good point about it not being clear which buckle came first.
Ahh ok, I thought you said that you thought the square buckle was only on the detachable bridle belt and not on 618s w/ attached belt.

I actually think most of the 618s up until the late 70’s had the miter buckle. Schott was so weird though, so many little changes every year it seemed, especially once you hit the late 70’s and into the 80’s. Good luck trying to figure that out LOL!

Here’s an ad for the Beck 666 racing shirt and the square buckle belt you can buy for the Beck 999.

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Is yours the same?

These look very similar to the Buco belts as far as the shape of how it ends (rounded point) and those two lines on the top and bottom.

Here’s one of my original Buco belts.

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Aloysius

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3,431
Ahh ok, I thought you said that you thought the square buckle was only on the detachable bridle belt and not on 618s w/ attached belt.

I actually think most of the 618s up until the late 70’s had the miter buckle. Schott was so weird though, so many little changes every year it seemed, especially once you hit the late 70’s and into the 80’s. Good luck trying to figure that out LOL!

Here’s an ad for the Beck 666 racing shirt and the square buckle belt you can buy for the Beck 999.

View attachment 591657

Is yours the same?

These look very similar to the Buco belts as far as the shape of how it ends (rounded point) and those two lines on the top and bottom.

Here’s one of my original Buco belts.

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Our belts look identical, in both leather and construction, except mine lacks the Buco brand stamp (of course) and the studs.

I'm looking at it right now since it's near my computer, but I need to go to an event; will take pictures when I'm back.
 
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Aloysius

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Here you go! Sorry I ended up having to travel and forgot to get back to this.

I just saw your Schott video series get suggested on YouTube. Gonna give it a watch!
 
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unhatted

One of the Regulars
Messages
150
Location
UK
Here’s the fifth version. This is my Beck 999 from the 60’s.
How funny, I picked up a 999 yesterday and posted it to WJAYWT, not realising there was an active thread for these!

To my inexpert eye, mine appears to be the same as @jeo ’s 5th version but with the Beck Arnley label: Same seam construction, same vinyl gussets but leather inner hem etc.—the more educated may be able to spot some differences though? Since Arnley apparently acquired Beck in 1969 this would probably make it an early 70s jacket. The shape appears quite different to the 80s 125/115s I’ve been stalking on eBay (though photos can be deceiving), longer cut, slimmer around the shoulders and with less roomy arms.

Does anyone know when Schott stopped making jackets for (then) Beck Arnley? I’d be curious to know the window of time this could belong to.

Adding pictures of the zips, a talon and 2 unmarked. Let me know if there’s any other details that might be of interest!

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jeo

One Too Many
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Philadelphia
How funny, I picked up a 999 yesterday and posted it to WJAYWT, not realising there was an active thread for these!

To my inexpert eye, mine appears to be the same as @jeo ’s 5th version but with the Beck Arnley label: Same seam construction, same vinyl gussets but leather inner hem etc.—the more educated may be able to spot some differences though? Since Arnley apparently acquired Beck in 1969 this would probably make it an early 70s jacket. The shape appears quite different to the 80s 125/115s I’ve been stalking on eBay (though photos can be deceiving), longer cut, slimmer around the shoulders and with less roomy arms.

Does anyone know when Schott stopped making jackets for (then) Beck Arnley? I’d be curious to know the window of time this could belong to.

Adding pictures of the zips, a talon and 2 unmarked. Let me know if there’s any other details that might be of interest!

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Nice one!

Besides the belt loop thickness and placement they look identical.

Does yours have the inner pocket? Is there another size tag inside the coin pocket?

According to what I’ve read, Beck-Arnley got out of the motorcycle parts business in the late 70’s.
 

unhatted

One of the Regulars
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150
Location
UK
Does yours have the inner pocket? Is there another size tag inside the coin pocket?

Yes and yes. An unwelcome reappearance of the pleather on a vertical inside pocket (really Schott? How much money did using these 3 offcut-sized pieces of vinyl save?):

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And a very succinct pocket ticket—it was sold as a 36 but this explains why it’s so fitted!:

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Single-stitched pointed epaulettes (leather backed), but I think you know this.

The steerhide (I assume) is much thinner than my 90s 618 but also very different to the hide on the 80s 125W I bought the other day which has a much waxier vibe.

It’s also fun how the duck tail appears to get progressively squarer as the decades pass! If I ever manage to find find an affordable 80s 125/115 in my size I’ll post it for comparison…
 
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ChewingWax

One of the Regulars
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251
Location
Buffalo
Pony has nothing to do with age. It’s the size of the adult animal. Ponies are literally just small horses.
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?
 

jeo

One Too Many
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Philadelphia
Yes and yes. An unwelcome reappearance of the pleather on a vertical inside pocket (really Schott? How much money did using these 3 offcut-sized pieces of vinyl save?):

It’s funny because even the old horsehide Perfectos had vinyl on the inside hem.

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And it’s not like they were a budget option either. In 1956 a horsehide Perfecto cost $50 compared to $37.50 in 1956 for a steerhide Buco J-24L and $34.75 for a horsehide Buco J-24 in 1954.

I wonder what people thought of having to pay 30% more than Buco for one and having vinyl parts.
 

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