LOST WORLDS COLLECTION
ORIGINAL TROJAN "NIGHT RIDER" BLACK HORSEHIDE MOTORCYCLE JACKET
A beautiful example of a completely
original 1950s Two-Tone
Trojan Motorcycle Jacket. This may be a (custom) variant on the so-called
"Night Rider" configuration, dispensing with the kidney-shaped left chest
pocket for a biased one. The distribution of the Black and Cream panels is
fascinatingly done as well. Two-tone original motorcycle jackets are highly
sought after and Trojan is an elite maker of very small production as opposed to
Buco and even Beck. This gem was also ordered without the snap-on Mouton Collar,
possibly confirming custom order. Despite the company label claim to be largest
leather factory in California, Trojans are scarce, although the firm may have
done private label contract work or possibly been connected with California
Leatherwear of Ventura, whose heavy horsehide police jackets show certain
resemblances to Trojans and are fairly common. Consequently variations between
Trojans may reflect, just as is the case with similar small companies like LOST
WORLDS, that jackets were made when ordered and customers specified detailing,
as opposed to an off-the-rack inventory item.
This jacket shows very little use. There's no lining wear at all, which supports abbreviated use as original nylon linings can wear quickly. The original belt shows moderate aging, typical for this kind of belting cowhide, and very demonstrative of the differences between dry-stored horsehide and cowhide as well as chrome and vegetable tanning.
The lining is star- (or beached porpoise!) pattern quilted nylon and all zippers are brass Talons. Curiously the left lower pocket chain pull has the squared diamond shape while the other front two are circular, but the jacket shows no indication of repair anywhere and the zipper tape colors and aging of all match. Almost certainly the operator absentmindedly installed the squared example without thinking or ran out of the round ones. Vintage motorcycle jacket manufacturers are cheerfully inconsistent with zipper matching and many, if not most, will show a nickel or pot metal alloy frontal zipper with brass or copper sleeve and pocket examples. Another of our original Trojans uses a #9 Crown for the frontal and squared pull chain brass Talons everywhere else. No problem!
The label indicates the Inglewood, Cal. Trojan location, which is where the company moved from its presumed 1940s downtown LA storefront (momentarily visible in the 1948 film noir classic The Street With No Name).
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