Original Bronco A-2 care and feeding questions

Morecowbell

New Member
Hi - new member here, just acquired an original Bronco A-2 and wanted some advice on how to care for and preserve it - I'm in love, so go easy on me!! I absolutely love the look of this jacket but as you can see it is worn and has a few issues. I'd like to be able to wear it without increasing the damage so have some questions:

First - is there anything I can or should do to the leather to condition/oil/moisturize it? Seems like it needs a long drink after all these years but don't want to do the wrong thing with it.

Second - is there any way to tell if its Horsehide or Goat?

Third - I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of having it gone over and "stabilized" by a professional. Maybe having it relined and re-cuffed in the correct materials, having the shoulder tear and the collar wear through repaired, etc. while keeping the character intact. Was wondering if there are recommendations of people who do this?

Fourth - I know fit is personal but I was wondering if there's any rule of thumb translation table for these sizes to modern day standards? I wear a 40 suit jacket and this is a 42 and I wouldn't want it any smaller. My wife thinks its small, but it definitely fits me in the shoulders and I think the sleeve length is good. The arms are a little tight and overall its certainly tighter rather than the typical loose fit of today, but as I wear it a little it seems to be loosening up a bit - anyway, I know the originals feel tight by today's standards so was just wondering.

A2 ft.jpg

A2 slves.jpg

A2 collar.jpg

A2 tear.jpg

A2 lbl.jpg


Thanks for any thoughts or advice!

Clay
 

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Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Hi,
The jacket looks like it was replaced zipper, knitwear and possibly liner partly .
The leather condition is more suitable for a museum display than for wearing every day for my taste.
It seems to me that even if the jacket will be conditioned, it will not change its appearance.
 

Bombing IP

Well-Known Member
It can be done but would it be worth it ,first off it would need to be dismantled then repaired as needed .Then re-dyed ,and given a top coat finish lacquer suitable for leather .Then the whole thing would have to be put back together . A lot of specialized work running into many hours .My advice sell it on eBay to be someone else's problem and put the money towards a better condition original in a size 44 that just need conditioning and does not suffer from Red Rot .

BIP
 
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Bombing IP

Well-Known Member
Its considered polite on this forum to introduce oneself to the members before jumping in with questions ? .

BIP
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
In agreement with what everyone has advised. The amount of money it would cost to restore this jacket would surely be more than you paid for it by a bunch . There’s probably much more rot in that hide that is visible in your photos and that’s a problem . Regarding weather it’s goat or horsehide ... there are volumes of photos around that should make it a little easier for you to see the difference in the two hides but we can help you with that if you take some close up photos of any areas that still retain the original coated finish . Regarding the sizing , WWII A2 jackets run about a size smaller that the marked size actually indicates . So if your jackets a 42, figure it’s a 40 in today’s sizing . Also these jackets have shrunk a bit after 80 years and being worn in all sorts of wet weather.
 

Morecowbell

New Member
Sorry – didn’t see anything about posting an intro!

I grew up in Philadelphia, so if you’re from Boston or Dallas we have issues… now I live outside of Indianapolis. The best Philly cheesesteak 40 years ago was Pats, the best play in the history of the Super Bowl was The Philly Special; became a hockey goalie because of Bernie Parent. Married with two kids who are on opposite coasts and are now off the payroll, well almost. Chemistry degree and MBA. One of my uncles was a B-24 captain in the pacific (Jolly Rogers) – his jacket didn’t make it but I remember playing with his escape maps as a kid. Let me know if you’re interested in old woodworking equipment, a ’62 VW bug ragtop (in pieces), or a Kolb Ultrastar factory kit (missing a few minor things like spars and engine, nothing important….)

And thanks for the thoughts so far.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Sorry – didn’t see anything about posting an intro!

I grew up in Philadelphia, so if you’re from Boston or Dallas we have issues… now I live outside of Indianapolis. The best Philly cheesesteak 40 years ago was Pats, the best play in the history of the Super Bowl was The Philly Special; became a hockey goalie because of Bernie Parent. Married with two kids who are on opposite coasts and are now off the payroll, well almost. Chemistry degree and MBA. One of my uncles was a B-24 captain in the pacific (Jolly Rogers) – his jacket didn’t make it but I remember playing with his escape maps as a kid. Let me know if you’re interested in old woodworking equipment, a ’62 VW bug ragtop (in pieces), or a Kolb Ultrastar factory kit (missing a few minor things like spars and engine, nothing important….)

And thanks for the thoughts so far.
You sir are correct about Pats
And the best Roast Beef sandwiches in South Philly are Nick’s Roast Beef at 20th and Jackson Street . From one Philly Boy to another. :)
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Greetings from the UK. If you go to the forum mani page you will see a members bio section near the bottom.

Agreed with the general consensus. Treat that A-2 as a display item and you won't be disappointed. Unless you have stabilisation, restoration and sewing skills the cost having that jacket 'restored' is going to make you wince. That said it's your money and jacket and rather than rehash info that's already on the forum you might like to use the search facility to research leather treatments etc. You might also like to investigate Red Rot too and take a close look at any frail areas of leather where the fibres are exposed. Hope this helps.
 

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Heres a random thought. You could send that to Shawn Ali at Fivestar. He has been copying the patterns and details off original A-2s.
He has a copy of a copy of a Bronco, but I think he can improve his version a great deal by inspecting an original of his own. Who knows, there may be a 'test jacket' in it for you.
Much better than wearing a beat up original, that as Dmitry says, really belongs in a museum.
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
‘I got a fever, and the only prescription......!’ :D
Welcome aboard. I gotta concur with everyone else-that hide is likely to have something called ‘red rot’, which is incurable. There is a product which will stabilise it and stop it getting worse, but nothing will reverse it. It’s already ripped once, and it’s likely to rip again if the jacket is worn. As others have said, it’s best kept as a display piece-I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, I understand you’re quite excited about it, but this isn’t one for wearing. Brett’s idea is a good one, Shawn may well be prepared to do a deal with you in order to have an original Bronco for reference.
Hard to tell from the pics, horse and steer are often hard to tell apart, but goat is usually recognisable by its ‘pebbled’ grain-the A-2 in 917_k’s ‘Fake Eastman’ thread is a good example of goatskin.
 
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