1950’s Durable Leather Biker Jacket (a.k.a. The Brando Connection)

This is an original Durable brand leather jacket from the 1950’s made with Front Quarter Horse Hide.

This jacket is about 60 years old and it has characteristics that one would expect with a jacket of this age. It needs a really good cleaning from a professional leather cleaner!

The jacket is black with a beautiful natural patina and the red quilted lining is in excellent condition, but may have been replaced. The interior sleeve lining appears to be heavy black cotton. Along the bottom of the body lining and by the collar, there are black corduroy accents that give the jacket a classy look.

All stitching is in decent shape except as noted in the text below and as I tried to indicate in images. The leather itself is in good condition with no rips, but there are a few thin spots with the worst being on the left elbow (see image).

The jacket has a tag in the lower left exterior pocket that states “Code 33, Size 14” but there are no indications that this is a jacket sized for women. As most vintage biker jackets, this one is short-waisted.

The original stars are still present on the epaulets from the 1950s! The main zipper is a CROWN wire pull. The left sleeve zipper has a vintage Serval brand zipper with rectangular pull and and the right has the original Talon zipper with the bell-shaped pull. All snaps are functioning and all zippers are in working condition. The remaining 3 ring-pull zippers are from an unknown manufacturer, but you can see that they were from a US manufacturer as the letters USA are stamped into the reverse side of the zipper.

Most of the exterior pockets have the original off-white flannel lining, but the change pocket may have had the lining replaced as it feels like heavy cotton. There are no rips in any of the pocket linings.

THE BAD

  • The right side of the belt has been cut off by the previous owner and there is loose stitching where this had occurred. I hate when people cut the belts as it really ruins an otherwise beautiful jacket.
  • The lining stitching inside the sleeve cuff is starting to come undone.
  • The stitching has torn under the right arm, but the leather is intact and it just needs to be resewn.
  • The right exterior pocket zipper is missing the chain pull.
  • The original belt buckle is missing, but I had some buckles manufactured and have aged the face of the buckle so it fits the general look of the rest of the jacket.

THE WILD ONE CONNECTION

If you are specifically looking at this Durable brand jacket you probably already know this.

Many people believe the jacket worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild One was a Durable jacket and not a Schott as widely reported. To date, there has not been a Schott jacket from that time period that has all of the details of Brando’s jacket. Most of the Durable jackets that I have seen (and I have others) share most of the details of The Wild One jacket including underarm gussets and sleeve zipper size and placement. The snaps on the collar tips are not to fasten the jacket to the body, but to fasten an optional fur-lined collar to the jacket.

 

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