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Never thought I'd see the day-I bought an Avirex.

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
Yes, you read it right, I am now the proud owner of an Avirex A-2. I have, like most of us, had a laugh at Avirex and their preposterous 'nose art' , escape map linings, handwarmer pockets and gigantic mall-jacket fit. I had read, however, that back in the distant past before they started catering to the fashion crowd, they once produced a half-reasonable A-2. Thus when Aero had a clear-out of their basement and Ken put this up for sale, an obviously very old Avirex A-2, for fifty quid, I decided to take a punt at it. I sold my last A-2 a few years ago, and have kind of missed having one, but a decent repro was beyond the budget at present. I didn't really have high hopes - for starters it was advertised as a size 46. I am usually a fairly large 42, although I have got away with bigger sizes in the past, and as we all know manufacturers' sizes can vary. I also did not really expect to be blown away by its accuracy, but it was a spur of the moment purchase, and I guess I was hoping for the best. I reckoned that for fifty quid it was worth a go. I was, however, already planning to see if I could come to some arrangement with Aero if it didn't work out, I've been fancying one of their Harris Tweed caps for a long time, for instance.
Well the box arrived, with some trepidation I opened it, and was immediately pleasantly surprised. For a start, the hide is fantastic. Colour is a kind of caramel russet. Impossible to tell for sure, I know, but I would be surprised if it's not horse. It has the thin, supple but tough feel of horse, with the close grain and smooth feel. I don't think it's steer, and if it's lamb it's the toughest lamb I've ever seen. It's also got fantastic patina. It's had a hard life, as the paint marks on the back testify, and it's obviously a pretty old example - several of the metal fittings have verdigris on them like you see on originals. I reckon your average man in the street would struggle to tell it from a WWII jacket. It also appears to be all original, no knits or zip appear to have been replaced. It has a one-piece back, construction seems to be reasonably authentic, with a decent collar hook and ring snaps like you see on some originals. Snaps at the collar are not covered with the (mustard-coloured, nylon) lining. The hanger is a proper WWII style strip, not a loop poking out of the collar seam. Zip is an interesting old YKK, of a type I haven't seen before, of correct size and in real brass and not the horrible 'antique' stuff, which is a pet hate of mine. Knits are a bit hairy and probably not 100% wool, but they're in reasonable nick. My biggest gripe is the pockets, the corners of which are too curved, as you often see on civilian A-2's.
I can tell you one thing, it sure isn't a 46, despite what the label says. It fits my size 42 frame pretty darn well - my first impression was that it was too short, but it sits below my belt and, although I would prefer a smidge more length, when zipped up it's perfectly OK.
So it's staying. It's nice to have an A-2 back in my arsenal. OK it's no Goodwear, but for fifty quid I'm not complaining. Ken reckons the paint will come off, but I think I need a bit more of a tutorial before I attempt it, although I'd like to.
So there you go, they said Avirex once produced decent A-2's, and they were right.
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Attachments

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
ya got that right. once upon a time avirex was the only repro game in town,, and you got it, they made a decent hh a-2. yeah,, they were not perfect in detail, but they did have the look and feel right. had one myself purchased in the early 80s from the original 7th floor show room-factory on lower broadway in nyc. a family operation at the time, kinda like........
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Yes, you read it right, I am now the proud owner of an Avirex A-2. I have, like most of us, had a laugh at Avirex and their preposterous 'nose art' , escape map linings, handwarmer pockets and gigantic mall-jacket fit. I had read, however, that back in the distant past before they started catering to the fashion crowd, they once produced a half-reasonable A-2. Thus when Aero had a clear-out of their basement and Ken put this up for sale, an obviously very old Avirex A-2, for fifty quid, I decided to take a punt at it. I sold my last A-2 a few years ago, and have kind of missed having one, but a decent repro was beyond the budget at present. I didn't really have high hopes - for starters it was advertised as a size 46. I am usually a fairly large 42, although I have got away with bigger sizes in the past, and as we all know manufacturers' sizes can vary. I also did not really expect to be blown away by its accuracy, but it was a spur of the moment purchase, and I guess I was hoping for the best. I reckoned that for fifty quid it was worth a go. I was, however, already planning to see if I could come to some arrangement with Aero if it didn't work out, I've been fancying one of their Harris Tweed caps for a long time, for instance.
Well the box arrived, with some trepidation I opened it, and was immediately pleasantly surprised. For a start, the hide is fantastic. Colour is a kind of caramel russet. Impossible to tell for sure, I know, but I would be surprised if it's not horse. It has the thin, supple but tough feel of horse, with the close grain and smooth feel. I don't think it's steer, and if it's lamb it's the toughest lamb I've ever seen. It's also got fantastic patina. It's had a hard life, as the paint marks on the back testify, and it's obviously a pretty old example - several of the metal fittings have verdigris on them like you see on originals. I reckon your average man in the street would struggle to tell it from a WWII jacket. It also appears to be all original, no knits or zip appear to have been replaced. It has a one-piece back, construction seems to be reasonably authentic, with a decent collar hook and ring snaps like you see on some originals. Snaps at the collar are not covered with the (mustard-coloured, nylon) lining. The hanger is a proper WWII style strip, not a loop poking out of the collar seam. Zip is an interesting old YKK, of a type I haven't seen before, of correct size and in real brass and not the horrible 'antique' stuff, which is a pet hate of mine. Knits are a bit hairy and probably not 100% wool, but they're in reasonable nick. My biggest gripe is the pockets, the corners of which are too curved, as you often see on civilian A-2's.
I can tell you one thing, it sure isn't a 46, despite what the label says. It fits my size 42 frame pretty darn well - my first impression was that it was too short, but it sits below my belt and, although I would prefer a smidge more length, when zipped up it's perfectly OK.
So it's staying. It's nice to have an A-2 back in my arsenal. OK it's no Goodwear, but for fifty quid I'm not complaining. Ken reckons the paint will come off, but I think I need a bit more of a tutorial before I attempt it, although I'd like to.
So there you go, they said Avirex once produced decent A-2's, and they were right.
View attachment 15368
View attachment 15369
Damn Mikey
Great looking jacket !!
Nice find , fits great.
That first picture looks like you’re about to kick somebodies ass!!
Cool!!

Would you mind showing us the label ?
I understand the early Avirexs had a small label and if you can find one with that small label then it’s an early model like yours.
 
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Smithy

Well-Known Member
That's none too shabby Mikey and the fit looks pretty damn good. You should get a lot of wear out of that mate. 50 quid well spent (at least it didn't go down the plumbing in the gents at the local!).

The mo is looking good too.
 
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MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
Damn Mikey
That first picture looks like you’re about to kick somebodies ass!!
Cool!!

Would you mind showing us the label ?
I understand the early Avirexs had a small label and if you can find one with that small label then it’s an early model like yours.
Was too hung over after my birthday yesterday to go to karate tonight, so no ass-kicking! Here's the label.
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Smithy

Well-Known Member
From the pic with the collar and label the leather looks to have a lot of character.

Happy Birthday too by the way!
 

CBI

Well-Known Member
its so fun to be so happy with an inexpensive jacket/great buy. It DOES happen from time to time!!!! I'll bet you will have about as much fun wearing vs. a super hight-end one. That is what is happening to me. I'm not saying its a GW or ELC but from an enjoyment standpoint, if you like it, who really cares if its an Avirex or Buzz Rickson! and for the price.................!
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Great looking Avirex, Mikey! I say leave the paint on it - looks period correct to me.
 
I bought my Avirex A-2 in the early 1980s and it's a great jacket, best repro available anywhere at the time.

Avirex became a joke later on, but in the early days the produced a great jacket

Yours looks fantastic good find

Tom Bowers
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Mikey, well done for breaking away from some of the awful jacket snobbery that exists.
It’s a cracking jacket, fits you great and, most importantly, you are happy with it. Enjoy it guilt-free !
 
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