If you’re lucky enough to own an original race jacket you’re not only getting the jacket itself, but also its history and association with a particular team, rider or meeting. However this history comes at a price, and your particular favourite may never become available if it has been lost over the years or is already in someone’s personal collection. This is where owning a replica can help, so you can get the specific race jacket you want when you want it.
Since I’ve been making race jackets I’ve noticed that copies can vary in quality and design accuracy, how they are described and what they are called, which can be a bit confusing. I’ve therefore set out the following definitions to help clarify what each description means to me.
An original race jacket that was made and used in period. Includes race jackets that were used on track, those worn by meeting reserves but not used on track, and those made as a spare for damaged race jackets or guest riders. Good reference information is likely to be available from period photographs, books, magazines and endorsements from ex-riders.
A race jacket made some time after the originals, but using exactly the same design and materials as the originals. Most likely to have been made by the same company or individual who made the originals. This would be an exact copy of an original, but without the on track history or association with a particular rider.
A race jacket made some time after the originals using a design and materials that match as closely as possible to the originals. These are unlikely to have been made by the same company or individual who made the originals. The quality and accuracy of replicas can vary.
Note that the race jackets I make are Replicas and clearly sold as such, with a ‘Classic Race Jackets’ label discretely sewn into the inner hem of each race jacket.