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March 06, 2015

A classic film studio portrait of Marlon Brando in character.
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The inspiration behind our One-77 Wax Canvas motorcycle jacket comes from the late-night double feature showings of American classics such as The Wild One and Frankenstein, Rebel Without A Cause and The Day The Earth Stood Still. Johnny, the Black Rebel MC leader would wear a One-Star leather for the duration of the film in The Wild One. It became their uniform to riot in. The young rebel actor James Dean wore his leather to emulate Johnny while riding his Triumph on the streets of Hollywood. These black and white 1950s images and their angst were imprinted into our souls, and would rise again in the late 1970s during the shock punk rock movement. The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones would all champion the black leather motorcycle jacket while assaulting their audience.  It would again symbolize anarchy and rebellion. No other item of clothing shouts so much about it's wearer. It is the ultimate statement piece and is again the jacket of the moment.
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Based on the iconic One Star jackets worn by Brando, Dean and The Clash from 1977, our One-77 jacket is slim fit with tight sleeves and brass Talon zips. Made of very heavy shower-proof 13 oz duck waxed cotton canvas. A jacket to live in. This jacket will absorb your journeys, aging to perfection in a short time looking like you've owned it a lifetime. Start now.
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A pensive Brando preparing for a scene.
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Taking a break on the Columbia Pictures back lot, while filming The Wild One.
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James Dean in the parking lot of Schwab's Drug Store.
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Dean wearing his copy of a One-Star leather jacket, on his Triumph TR5 that he had customized to look like Brando's ride from The Wild One.
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Paul Simonon, the archetypal punk rocker in his favorite One-Star leather.
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The Clash go through a military checkpoint in Northern Ireland.
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Simonon's anger personified by his leather motorcycle jacket.
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The Clash in Belfast, Ireland. October 1977.
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McQueen on the Solar Le Mans set

February 11, 2015

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February 11, 2015

In the summer of 1970, Steve McQueen's film company Solar Productions set up camp in Le Mans to film an action movie based on the 24 hour endurance race.

Much has already been written about the shambles that was to be McQueen's race epic. Halts in production, threats of cancellation of backing and even changes of the director. We'll let others tell those stories.

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What follows is a set of never before seen photographs from the proof sheets of the earliest days of filming, from the Johnson Motors photo archive. We've chosen to purposefully use the grainy proof sheets rather than prints.

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McQueen coming in from the Solar Village, passing the movie cars (and the infamous Porsche 917).
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Steve's choice for pit bikes was (unusually) two 90cc Kawasaki GA 1SS models. McQueen was known to have no affection for Japanese motorcycles- regifting a Suzuki production race bike he was given on the set of Papillion on his return to the US.
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Joe Siffert and Mcqueen arrive to check on the Porsche 917s.
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Siffert, McQueen and Haig Alltounian (Steve's close friend) who now restores Vincent motorcycles in Santa Monica, CA.
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This appears to be a practice day, as McQueen is wearing his race shoes.
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With the prices of any motorcycle or car attached to McQueen, it's interesting that these two Kawasakis are lost, considering so many great racing drivers rode and raced them in fun against each other on the great Le Mans track during the making of this film.
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Where are they now?
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McQueen and Siffert head back out on to the track. Even though McQueen was a great motorcyclist and racer, our money's on Siffert!
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Sorry Steve.
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1962 Land Speed Record

January 15, 2015