Harley Cycle Champ 1

Sold on eBay: Harley Davidson Cycle Champ Jacket in Horsehide for $2,500

This great Harley jacket sold on eBay way back on April 7th. It’s rare to see a Cycle Champ in this sizing and the final sale price confirms that. From the listing:

“Selling an early 40s Harley Davidson Cycle Champ D pocket jacket that I got from the original owners family. It was given to him by harley with the purchase of his knucklehead in the 40s. The jacket is in INCREDIBLE condition for its age with original tag, lining and even leather tassels on the zippers!

The jacket actually fits unlike most tiny d pockets from back then!

All zippers and buttons function perfectly.

The sergeant strap on the shoulder has a couple stitches that have fallen out and the owner also replaced the belt loops when the others failed. The jacket measures roughly 18″ shoulder to shoulder, 22.5″ under the arm pits and 25″ arm length.

Its a jacket I will probably regret selling!”

Here are the auction details: 


Seller: infernal6majesty / Santa Monica, CA
Price : $2,500
Label : Harley Davidson
Condition : “used” but great vintage condition
Harley Cycle Champ 1
Harley Cycle Champ 2
Harely Cycle Champ 3
Harely Cycle Champ 4
Harely Cycle Champ 8
Harely Cycle Champ 5
Harely Cycle Champ 7
Harely Cycle Champ 9
Harely Cycle Champ 6


IMG_1545 (3)

Buco Leather Jacket model J-22 in Horsehide from the early 1950’s.

One of the greatest and most collectible jackets in the vintage industry is the Buco leather jacket model J-22 in horsehide. This one had the plaid interior liner and the original mouton collar – perfect for the fall riding season! As far as I know the mouton collars were considered “after market” parts of the jacket and were purchased as accessories to these jackets. This one comes to you from the wearekoalas archive – I believe it passed through my online store back in 2011. It appeared that everything on the jacket was all original except for the Scovill main zipper – you can see there’s some extra thread in the stitching around the main zip. I don’t remember these ever having Scovill zippers as original zips. I’ve seen them mostly with the Talon main zippers. If it was replaced, it was done quite a number of years ago.  Beyond that, the jacket was in excellent shape – the horsehide leather was showing a terrific patina, the wool interior liner was immaculate and showed no signs of piling or real wear.  The belt had obviously been used a lot and was showing some great wear but still completely functional.

The retail price of the J-22 Buco leather jacket in 1953 was $32.75 without the additional mouton collar which would set you back an additional $4-5. Now days, they sell for much, much more…

Have a look at some photos of this gorgeous jacket:


IMG_1545 (3)

IMG_1548 (2)


IMG_1554 (2)

IMG_1555 (2)

IMG_1556 (2)

IMG_1558 (2)


IMG_1551 (2)




IMG_1562 (2)

IMG_1561 (2)

IMG_1560 (2)

IMG_1559 (2)

Horsehide Leather Coat 1

Sold on eBay: Vintage 1930’s Horsehide Leather Coat for $1,275

This Horsehide Leather Coat sold on eBay late last week. The leather appears to be in really great condition for its age. In fact, from the photos, I don’t see too many issues with it at all. No holes, no stitching issues, just perfectly patina’d leather that has grown beautiful with age. The only real issue is the missing buttons near the bottom of the coat. With just some minor holes in the interior liner this coat is in really great condition!

These horsehide leather coats were very popular before WWII and were developed and used by motorcyclists, aviator pilots and hunters before the motorcycle jackets of the 1940’s and 50’s revolutionized the jacket concept. Almost all of these jackets were constructed from top quality horsehide leather and some were produced with the mouton collars. Almost all of them also included the wool interior liners. The buttons found on these coats were not enough to protect the motorcycle rider and aviator pilots from the cold wind. In the late 1920’s the government was looking for a solution to the problem and discovered Talon’s zipper design.

I’ve seen these horsehide leather coats come and go and am a little bit surprised this jacket didn’t pull a number higher than $1,500. The missing buttons were certainly an issue and must have contributed to the lower selling price.

One of the best.

Here’s the auction information:


Vintage Horsehide Leather Motorcycle Jacket 30s Harley Indian Button Front Belt

Seller: williegoat / Rittman, Ohio

Price: $1,275

Label: Genuine Front Quarter Horsehide

Condition: As found in estate sale attic, good leather condition, missing the bottom 2 buttons.


Horsehide Leather Coat 1

 The original belt is still with the coat!


Horsehide 30's Car 3

Horsehide 30's Car 7

Missing the bottom 2 buttons.


Horsehide 30's Car 2

Horsehide 30's Car 4

Plaid wool interior liner in good shape.


Horsehide 30's Car 5

The simple dress collar.


Horsehide 30's Car 6

Excellent old Horsehide Label still intact.




Beck Northeaster Jacket in Horsehide from the 1940’s.

One of the classic D Pocketed jackets of the vintage era was the Beck Northeaster jacket. The Northeaster Flying Togs label is still a favorite of collectors. It features that zooming motorcycle rider and the plane flying over head – a whimsical take on freedom. Beck started as a motorcycle and automobile parts distributor in the the early 1910’s and in the late 1920’s started ordering motorcycle jackets from Schott Bros. in New York. They disappeared from the motorcycle industry in the mid 70’s but these beautiful pieces of motorcycle history live on.

This particular jacket was constructed of top quality horsehide in the late 1940’s or early 50’s. It still possessed the half belt and the additional mouton collar. Both were in great shape for their age. It featured the chin strap and all zippers were original and operated properly. The Beck Northeaster D pocket pull tab was always a unique addition. The plaid interior liner was in great shape with just a few minor holes from wear near the bottom.

This Beck Northeaster jacket is a fine example of a classic American made motorcycle jacket.











Vintage 1930’s Hercules Leather Jacket

The old Hercules leather jacket is becoming more and more rare – especially ones of this age. I picked up this piece several months back and was happy to have found it.

This is a late 30’s or early 40’s Hercules leather jacket in the Aviator style. It was made of horsehide and possesses that great back yoke design – certainly not seen very often these days. While it did have some seam issues, the leather was in great shape with an amazing color patina. The aging that had occurred on this jacket had left the leather super soft and pliable.  The color was equally gorgeous.  The interior is a dark cotton material and was in pretty good shape for its age. The main zipper was the art deco Talon and still operated smoothly and effectively. I love that old art deco Talon logo on the zipper stop! The chin strap still existed along with the button on the opposite side – notice that corduroy under the collar.

This Hercules leather jacket is an excellent piece of  American made vintage history.





Excellent Western Yoke on back.







Chin strap still in good shape along with the button. Notice the corduroy under the collar.



Love that Art Deco Talon logo zipper stop!




1930’s and early 40’s Hercules Label






Vintage 1940’s Harley Davidson Cycle Champ Jacket

One of my all-time favorites is the Harley Davidson Cycle Champ Jacket.

Harley launched this jacket just after World War 2, around 1947.  They continued this design through the the AMF period but, without a doubt, the best ones are from the 1940’s and 50’s. The slim black “mark of quality” Harley label was used from about 1947 through the early 50’s when they switched to their classic “High Quality, Fine Workmanship” square label. This Harley Davidson Cycle Champ Jacket was made of horsehide and was decorated with the bright “nickeled chain spots” on the shoulder epaulets. The D Pocket and “cigarette pocket” each contain their own spot working as well. This particular jacket still had it’s original Harley Davidson embossed leather belt. It possessed just the right amount of wear. All the original zippers existed and operated as they should. The main zip was a “Hershey Bar” Talon and still had it’s leather pull tab with the original spot working.

From the first Cycle Champ advertisement in the 1947 Harley Davidson’s Accessory Catalog:
“An all around good looking, long wearing, genuine black horsehide leather jacket.”

Original Price: $29.75

The spot work was gorgeous, the design was brilliant and the leather has never been bested by Harley.




Embossed Harley Davidson Belt



Red plaid interior liner



Excellent Leather Patina



D-Pocket spot working




Excellent nickel chain spot working




Harley Davidson “The Mark of Quality” rectangular label. (1940’s)




Buco Leather Jacket model J-82

I don’t remember where I found this Buco leather jacket. It was a Buco model J-82 and it’s a classic American made leather jacket. It’s also a great example of the level of quality coming out of Detroit in the 1950’s. …do you remember Detroit in it’s hay day?

This piece still proudly displays it’s silver bar spot work throughout the jacket, all zippers were original and functioned properly. The condition was amazing. It was certainly well cared for. The label is Buco’s third “steer hide” label and it was produced sometime in the late 1950’s. The main zipper was the “Hershey Bar” Talon. All pocket and sleeve zippers were Talons as well – all but one still possessed it’s attached leather pull. In the 1940’s and 50’s the Joseph Buegeleisen Co. was producing pieces made to last a lifetime. In 1957, this jacket retailed for $29.95 and came in sizes 34 to 48.

“Buco Steer-hide jacket. For the World’s Smartest Riders!”