Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

When did you first...

John G

New in Town
Messages
3
Location
London
I've been hanging around on the sidelines over here for a while and really enjoy the Lounge.
Over the years, I've built up a nice collection of replica civilian and military leather jackets (mostly Aero with an Eastman or two) and recently I begun to wonder when the rest of you guys got interested in quality leather.
I have been a fan of classic films since I was a kid and I can trace the genesis of my interest back to two or three key incidents: seeing Don Murray's uber cool B-3 in Bus Stop; Fran Kubelik's brother's jacket towards the end of The Apartment and a book on rockers I bought from a second hand shop when I was about 10. It was full of old Lewis Leather's ads.
I remember too the first time I actually saw a quality jacket in the flesh, so to speak. Until the late 90s there was a little shop on Neal Street in Covent Garden that sold Aero gear. I first went in there in about '91 and had an epiphany.
 

H.Johnson

One Too Many
Messages
1,562
Location
Midlands, UK
Welcome. I first wanted a leather jacket in 1957 when my cousin Frank came home with a brand new Norton Dominator 99 and a Lewis Leathers jacket to go with it. He still has both, wears one and rides the other. I was in my early teens and my dad souldn't let me go around looking like a 'coffee bar cowboy'. Cousin Frank took pity on me and gave me his old leather jacket. It was too big, but I wore it anyway until I grew into it.

John G said:
I've been hanging around on the sidelines over here for a while and really enjoy the Lounge.
Over the years, I've built up a nice collection of replica civilian and military leather jackets (mostly Aero with an Eastman or two) and recently I begun to wonder when the rest of you guys got interested in quality leather.
I have been a fan of classic films since I was a kid and I can trace the genesis of my interest back to two or three key incidents: seeing Don Murray's uber cool B-3 in Bus Stop; Fran Kubelik's brother's jacket towards the end of The Apartment and a book on rockers I bought from a second hand shop when I was about 10. It was full of old Lewis Leather's ads.
I remember too the first time I actually saw a quality jacket in the flesh, so to speak. Until the late 90s there was a little shop on Neal Street in Covent Garden that sold Aero gear. I first went in there in about '91 and had an epiphany.
 

Tomasso

Incurably Addicted
Messages
13,719
Location
USA
John G said:
When did you first....
Marlon-Brando---The-Wild-One-Photograph-C10102035.jpeg
 

feltfan

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,191
Location
Oakland, CA, USA
H.Johnson said:
I was in my early teens and my dad souldn't let me go around looking like a 'coffee bar cowboy'.
Apologies for the tangent, but I have never heard the phrase
"Coffee Bar Cowboy". I take it this is English slang for what we call
in the US a "biker" with all the rough connotations. But what is the
derivation of the term. Coffee bar?

To answer the question... unfortunately quality leather came
later than leather. I had to see friends wearing Johnson Leathers
(of SF) jackets to see the difference. It was many years after
that before I encountered Aero and the A-2/A-1, etc style jackets,
here on this site. Still never, to my knowledge, seen an Aero jacket
in person. I am headed to London for the holidays, but I don't think
anyone keeps them in stock anymore?
 

Longshanks

New in Town
Messages
39
Location
New York, NY
Only a year ago

Summer of 2007, an infestation of carpet beetles chewed their way through every decent wool coat I had (the more Italian the better; cashmere a delicacy), I started wondering if I could get a custom made leather coat that would fit in the same way that my wool coats fit (basically, size 44 long).

Via Google I found the Lost Worlds website and I was hooked. I've since lost hope that I can get a new Lost Worlds jacket that will fit properly, but I have several fairly nice jackets from Magnoli, Tunstall, CDP, and a DB German ex-polizei coat that seems impervious to weather.

I don't think I've ever seen an aero in the flesh either, as far as I know. It would be great if one weekend a year they rented a storefront in some major city and had samples and fittings.
 

Rufus

Practically Family
Messages
518
Location
London
I think I got my first jacket aged 12.. a hand me down Lewis Leathers Lightning, with no lining... from my cousin Mark, an older, cooler punk.

I cut the arms off (It was too big), and painted Gabba Gabba Hey on the back in Humbrol paint.

Straight from the start, I was fixated with jackets, and at this point, it was relatively cheap to pick them up (and err..'customize' them..sorry vintage collectors)

In my teens I butchered, painted, and studded dozens of Highway man and LL jackets..many I did just to sell to mates/acquantainces...as I was the 'artistic' one. I was particularly fond of the 'Bronx' model, with the square map pocket.

I first came across a Buco and Hercules MC jacket in a vintage shop on a trip to LA.. and was hooked on 50s US jackets from there on in.

On a recent trip to Tokyo I was amused to see many jackets similar to which we 'personalised' jackets in the 80s, in high end 'Vintage ' shops in Aoyama.

My Dad had my Grandad's Irvin (for riding on his BSA), but left it in a shed, and it rotted. Genius.
 

Dixon Cannon

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,157
Location
Sonoran Desert Hideaway
1965

As a kid I was addicted to the television program of
"Twelve O'Clock High". I knew right then at age
11 that I had to have a "bomber jacket". It took a
few years to the first one now I have several and am
contemplating yet another.

twelve2.jpg


All that led to the reenacting and I have several USAAF
get-ups now and often strut around the house spouting
TOCH dialogue to the Robert Lansing photos on the wall!

-dixon 'savage' cannon
 

Eyemo

Practically Family
Messages
766
Location
Wales
Loved P51s P47s P38s B17s B24s B25s etc since I was 6 or seven..couldn't afford one of them, so I started collecting flying gear...which I now have a rather a lot off..:eusa_doh:
 

Eyemo

Practically Family
Messages
766
Location
Wales
Hey Dixon...I have an officers Service Cap almost identical in shape to the one in the picture..
 

SamReu

One of the Regulars
Messages
192
Location
Red Clay USA
Spokes Man

I bought a Golden Bear A-2 knockoff in 1980-81, somewhere around there. It cost a staggering $200! I wore that coat all over the country -- overseas, too. I discovered that its pockets were the perfect size to nestle 12-ounce beers. The steerhide was impervious to just about everything but gunfire.
I still have that jacket, which still fits (but not as well as it did when I was a flat-bellied 22-year-old).
A few years ago, I semi-retired that coat, hoping my sons would adopt it, and moved on to an Eastman A-2. Then I came across a US Authentic A-2, perfect for yard work. Then I had the good fortune to snap up an old G-1 at a thrift store for $15.
You can see what happened. I was on the slippery slope. I recently sold that Eastman A-2 to help clear the closet.
 

H.Johnson

One Too Many
Messages
1,562
Location
Midlands, UK
Apologies for the use of period slang. A 'coffee bar' is a cafe.

'Coffee bar cowboy' was what 'the older generation' called young motorcyclists who gathered in the evenings at places (usually situated on 'ring roads' and 'bypasses' where they could 'do the ton') such as the Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road in north-west London. The analogy with the term 'biker' in the US is not complete (in Britain they were later called 'rockers') but if you think of The Wild One (which was banned in Britain for almost twenty years) and the scene in the cafe ('What are you rebelling against, Johnny?') you get the idea. Many coffee bar cowboys were relatively middle class and not a few were 'men of the cloth' - as in case of the 59 Club and a number of other church-based motorcycle clubs throughout the land.

As well as motorcycles ('featherbed' Nortons, of course) and black leather (Lewis Leathers, of course) it was the era of juke-boxes and expresso coffee. You downed your expresso, put a Chuck Berry number of the 'box and tried to race under the railway bridges to the roundabout and back before the song finished. If you were lucky you came back alive. The novel 'Up the Junction', although set rather later than the period under discussion, gives an idea of the milieu. It seems like a different world, now.

I hope this helps.

H.Johnson said:
I was in my early teens and my dad wouldn't let me go around looking like a 'coffee bar cowboy'.
Apologies for the tangent, but I have never heard the phrase "Coffee Bar Cowboy". I take it this is English slang for what we call
in the US a "biker" with all the rough connotations. But what is the derivation of the term. Coffee bar?
 

Treetopflyer

Practically Family
Messages
673
Location
Patuxent River, MD
I feel the need....

It sounds kind of cheesy, but back in 86 when Top Gun came out. I thought Tom Cruise was cool in his G-1. So I rushed out and bought a cheap knock off. Ten years later I joined the Navy and had one issued to me. Sans all the patches. Now when I see that movie I can't believe that I thought that was cool.
 

miles_archer

Familiar Face
Messages
56
Location
Huntsville Alabama
The seed was planted wearing my Dad's high school (50's era) bomber jacket (shearling and steerhide with a mouton collar) around the house. My fondness for bomber jackets grew with my fascinaiton for WWII aviation, particularly in movies like 'Memphis Bell' I got an LL Bean shearling Flying Tiger jacket in college and am currently counting the days until my custom Aero B-3comes in. By the way my Dad still has the jacket mentioned above, are vintage 50's bomber jackets worth anything now or should he donate it to good will?
 

Burnsie

Registered User
Messages
267
Location
Virginia
All through High School I coveted my Dad's G-1...he was very protective of it and I wasn't allowed to wear it. Now that it's mine I'M the one that's protective of it!
IMG_0562.jpg
 

Dixon Cannon

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,157
Location
Sonoran Desert Hideaway
Eyemo said:
Hey Dixon...I have an officers Service Cap almost identical in shape to the one in the picture..[/QUOTE]

Let me ask then, Oh Master - Savage wore an A2 with a left arm ciggie pocket. This has been controversial to say the least (in a world with stitch counters lurking around every vertical stabilizer!!!!). Would a B/Gen have access to an A2 style with a patch pocket on the sleeve? The world wants to know!

-dixon cannon
 

eClairvaux

One of the Regulars
Messages
257
Location
Monaco di Baviera
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was 16 and away from home in Paris (without my parents) to work during the summer and improve my french proficiency. With that first self-earned money I went to buy a leather flight jacket, like everybody wanted to have in the late eighties. I bought this freak which then gave me excellent service for about ten years and proved indistructible (apart from the frayed cuffs) all through adolescence. Believe me, this jacket has stood up to some serious challenges.
IMG_0241.jpg

Speaking of which. Can anyone tell me what this style of front pockets is called? I also think that this design has no military ancestors, but may be somebody here among the experts knows more?

best,

Daniel
 

icecold

One of the Regulars
Messages
103
Location
xvbnvb
Summer 2008 :) .
Finally, I decided that I want a leather jacket (I resisted the idea for some time just because of the ridiculous stereotype that after you turn 30 its not such a great idea).

so, once i got past that, being the OCD/perfectionist that i am, i wanted a "real" jacket. Fast forward a couple of months, and I finally know what that is. I'm currently wearing my first one - Aero 30's halfbelt, and that thing is a piece of art. I will probably not buy a crazy amount of jackets (because i don't have the money, duh), but wearking a "real" one is a great experience, cannot be compared with anything else at all that the garment industries have to offer. So now I will wear leather jackets until the day I die. Which probably will not be very soon, since one side effect of having cool leather jacket is that it really motivates you to stay in shape lol
 

Tomasso

Incurably Addicted
Messages
13,719
Location
USA
icecold said:
I resisted the idea for some time just because of the ridiculous stereotype that after you turn 30 its not such a great idea.
I've never heard of such a thing. Where are you from?
 

icecold

One of the Regulars
Messages
103
Location
xvbnvb
Tomasso said:
I've never heard of such a thing. Where are you from?

Originally from europe, currently in the Lone Star State.Just a stoopid stodgy or fashion magazine advice (or both), which I bought temporarily :eek: .
Basically, the stereotype is the same that applies to jeans etc. - if you're over 30, you "supposedly" have no reason (e.g. doing menial work - on a regular basis ) to justify posessing and wearing such ungentlemanly clothes :). Which is a little extreme (though my grandfather would have agreed, and perhaps would be inclined to slap me if he saw me scoping the hood in my leather jacket, may the good old guy rest in peace). I like to dress up, but I'm not going to put on a tweed suit and my wellies everytime I walk the dog :)

(But now I'll be making up for lost time and there's no stopping me lol )
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,407
Location
The Barbary Coast
I bought a Golden Bear A-2 knockoff in 1980-81, somewhere around there. It cost a staggering $200! I wore that coat all over the country -- overseas, too. I discovered that its pockets were the perfect size to nestle 12-ounce beers. The steerhide was impervious to just about everything but gunfire.
I still have that jacket, which still fits (but not as well as it did when I was a flat-bellied 22-year-old).

It seems that those 80's vintage Golden Bear jackets were great compared to what they sell today. In the mid 80's, I bought one from their factory with a single piece back that I wore until I grew out of it. I still have it. The leather and zipper are in great condition. It needs a new lining though. My shoulder holster and weapon have worn holes into it. Hopefully, I can find a youngster in the family who would be able to appreciate such an heirloom.
 
Top