Famous D-Pocket motorcycle jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281606876377
This vintage jacket was made in Canada by “Famous”. It is strongly reminiscent of the also Canadian-produced Brimaco D-Pocket motorcycle jacket, which was in turn inspired by the Design of Harley Davidson’s “Cycle Champ” D-Pocket. So although this one was produced in the 1960s, the design and detailing go back to the 1940s. The jacket has a map pocket with sub cigarette pocket, mirrored by a larger patch pocket on the other side of the asymmetrical zipper. The jacket has zipped cuffs with 1930s-1940s style cuff detailing. It has a plaid lining, and a Canadian produced (left tracked) Acme zipper.

Chest (pit to pit):24″ (doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23″
Length (base of collar to hem): 22″

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Canadian D-Pocket Motorcycle Jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271351711041
This vintage leather jacket was made in Canada. It’s hard to say whether this was made by Brimaco or by Shields/Score Sportswear, as their patterns were so similar, and this one is missing the labels. Both manufacturers jackets were made as copies of the 1940s “Cycle Champ” jacket sold by Harley Davidson. While Harley retired the model, going with more of a Perfecto style, these Canadian manufacturers continued production with very little changes. It has a large patch D-pocket, with a smaller patch cigarette pocket. The other side of the jacket has a flapped square patch pocket. The ends of the pocket openings are all reinforced with domed bar studwork for that early motorcycle jacket flash. The back design, with kidney panel is more typical for the Score/Shields jackets, while Brimaco/British Cycle Leathers/British Sportswear jackets generally had three panels in a V shape. But you do see both designs coming from both makers, so it’s doesn’t clear it up that much. This has the smooth nylon lining more commonly seen on the cafe racers made by these companies, while the more old-fashioned plaid linings were generally put into the D-Pocket models. The main zip is a Lightning, the pocket zip is a Canadian Talon of the same design (same company).

Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″)
Waist: 29″ (doubled = 36″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26″
Length: 22″

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For reference, also see:

Score Sportswear blue leather cafe racer

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271307306053
This vintage leather jacket was made in Toronto by either Score Sporting Goods of by its successor, Shields Sportswear. Without the label, it’s hard to say which incarnation of Harry and Lorne Shields’s company made it. The jacket has the interesting collar of this maker- a short rounded stand collar with a single-snap chinstrap. Most makers made the snap tab as an extension of the collar stand, rather than a second piece. The separate chinstrap is more of a holdover from 1930s leather jacket design. Side adjuster belts are another early style holdover found on this design. The elbows are reinforced with a second layer of leather. There are zip sleeves to keep wind and dust out when riding. Zippers are mismatched, with Canadian made Acme and Lightning zips on the pockets and sleeves respectively. The front zipper is a replacement, with a YKK tape and a vintage Talon slider. The lining is long since missing. The blue leather of this jacket sets it apart in a sea of black and brown leather jackets, as if the distinctive and rugged design wasn’t enough.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length: 23-1/2″

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Silver D-Pocket Motorcycle Jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281095874481

This is a truly rare and unusual early D-Pocket motorcycle jacket. It is a Harley Davidson Cycle Champ style. The label is missing, but going by the Canadian made “Lightning” zips, it would appear this is an extremely early version of the pattern produced by the British Mfg. Co. It has early bell-shaped lightning zips, for the main and the sleeve zippers, with a Lightning chain zip on the D-pocket. The sleeves zip open, whereas on later Canadian-made versions of this jacket, they had gussets. There is a little snap belt at the end of the sleeve to further secure the cuff when zipped up, though one is missing. Studs on the pocket corners and on the epaulettes (though 3 of the 4 from the lapels are missing). These studs are the early rounded variety, where as later versions had ones which were more squared off. The epaulettes are of the early stitched down variety, whereas later examples had ones with snaps.
The most unusual feature is definitely the color. You don’t see a lot of silver leather jackets, and yes, that is the original color, it is not some kind of later re-spray. This was definitely a signature piece for some biker, and he wore it long and hard.

Heavy smoke smell which I have been unable to remove. Overall wear to leather. Wear through leather at collar. Damage and stitch separation to left cuff. Missing snap belt closure on right cuff. Missing one belt loop. Heavy damage to front belt leather. Separation to stitching on cigarette pocket. Wear to lining, worn through near cuffs.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″
Shoulder to Shoulder: 19″
Shoulder to cuff: 24″
Length (bottom of collar to hem): 22-1/2″
Waist: 18″

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Canadian D-Pocket Motorcycle Jackets

I recently bought these two Montreal made D-Pocket motorcycle jackets. Both were made by different iterations of the same company, British Sportswear and British Cycle Leathers, which would later become Brimaco. It’s always interesting having similar pieces of vintage clothing like this at the same time to be able to do direct comparisons of fit and details.

The black jacket is a later model of the earlier silver one, which in turn draws heavy inspiration from the Harley Davidson Cycle Champ jacket.On to the comparisons.

Leather color aside, while the two jackets follow the same pattern, there are a number of differences between them.  Some of these are due simply to the date of manufacture and the hardware which was readily available at that point.  Others are subtle, yet distinct, changes in the pattern.

The design of the d-pocket changed, growing in size, with less tapered ends.  The two pockets lost their clipped corners and single stitching replaced double. Hardware changed, with different patterns of Lightning zippers used from one to the next, and different belt buckles and studs, but that has more to do with availability than design.  The belt on the newer jacket is backed in cloth, while on the silver jacket it has a backing of black leather.  The belt buckles are inset in different ways from one to the next, with triangular reinforcement stitching on the black one. Epaulettes are false on the silver jacket, stitched to the shoulder.  They are more conventional and snap down on the black one. The silver jacket has open cuffs that zip closed and have a snap tab at the end of the cuff.  The black jacket also has zipped cuffs, but the leather of the sleeve is continuous and the zippers are there for adjustment of the sleeve diameter. The lining pattern is different one to the next, as is the collar shape

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Diagonal Zip Vintage Leather Jackets

The black leather jacket epitomized by the Schott Perfecto wasn’t always the motorcycle jacket default. Here is a small sample of diagonal zip leather jackets, ancestors of the style, which date from the 1930s-1960s. Top to bottom: Monarch, no label capeskin, Foster Sportswear, British Sportswear, no label Columbia. The silver British Sportswear jackets has exposed studs on the lapels, but none on the collar. The Columbia has concealed studs on both. The top three have none. They display a variety of pocket styles and placements, and of cuff styles.

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