Prestige Flying Suit Wanted

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by Ken at Aero Leather, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    If any one has an original Prestige Flying Suit could we beg, steal or borrow it?

    Any condition, we'd buy it, hire it even a good set of detailed pics

    Anyone??????????????????
     
  2. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame the RAF reenactors forum at Network54 has gone pointy bits up as that would have been an excellent place to start. You could get in touch with one of the reenactment groups like Ops 39-45 and see if a member was willing to hire one out.

    Also be aware Ken that they were also made in the slightly more sensible yet not as flashy black (many think that they were only white) and the pattern is the same.
     
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  3. Lebensgefahr

    Lebensgefahr Member

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    The trouble with the repro`s that are out there at the moment is that they have numerous faults compared with an original and these are obvious to anyone who has an original, but a collector will not be willing (i imagine, i certainly wouldn't) to divulge these faults because then the repro`s will become more accurate and then as we all know, someone will try to pass them off as originals.
    The were several different makers but the most prolific was D Lewis, but there are S Lewis and Air Ministry versions which differ in several features. They were not only made in white and black but blue and khaki as well and they came in two weights of fabric, although i have never seen the heavier cheaper version (i do have an AM belt from one of these), all the ones i own and have seen are the lighter weight, more expensive version.
    While it may sound bizarre, there is a Czech version from the fifties or sixties which a lot of people have been taken in by and which can prove to be a very expensive mistake.
     
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  4. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    I can understand this but the label we use would make it obvious that our suit is a repro, (see below) we just want to make a far better suit than we have made in the past from a bunch of poor period pics.
    Prestige label-800.jpg
     
  5. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Correct Smithy, this cut & paste is from our website blurb on our old suit.........
    http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/product-detail.php?id=2231
    " these were always unlined, usually white, but tan, dark blue and black were worn, indeed three black suits can be seen in the original picture"
     
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  6. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Just one other thing Ken, only the white and black were stipulated by AM regulations (I'll dig out the AM Order for you if you like) as being permissible for RAF use. That's not to say that navy and brown weren't used but it's the reason why you'll nearly always see white and black examples - although telling the difference between black and navy on a well used, dirty example in a black and white photo isn't the easiest!
     
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  7. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    I'd really appreciate that, thanks Smithy, I owe you one
     
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  8. Lebensgefahr

    Lebensgefahr Member

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    It’s easier than you think to tell the difference in a photo, but you would have to be looking for it or it’s easy to miss. I have a period photo where all the pilots are wearing black (and possibly white, I can’t remember without looking) suits, but one pilot has a blue one on, you can tell from the different shade.
    While an original blue suit is probably less desirable than a black or white one, it is nonetheless far rarer, the one I have is the only one I have ever seen and it is Air Ministry marked.
     
  9. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    That's great Lebensgefahr, post some pics as it would be great to see it - maybe you can help Ken out with some detail photos too. AM stipulated regulation and what was actually put in the field always seems to have instances of exception and even "turning a blind eye" to things in an operational context. It's one of the things that make all of this so interesting. I often wonder if this sort of thing is a throwback in the service to the attitudes which governed flying kit towards the end of WWI (seeing as many from WWI were serving in staff and administrative positions during the interwar and early war period).
     
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  10. Lebensgefahr

    Lebensgefahr Member

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    Here's a picture just to prove i have it but i don`t want to give any specific details because i don`t agree with reproducing RAF kit and i don't want to get into posting any more pictures because I'm right off social media.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    I’m honestly not challenging your opinion and you certainly are entitled to feel the way you do about repros, but I’d like to ask, is your entire collection all original WWII Kit, no reproductions anywhere?
     
  12. Lebensgefahr

    Lebensgefahr Member

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    With the exception of repro hoses for some of the D mask’s, everything is original, I don’t collect repro items.
     
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  13. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    That’s commendable, you have you’re own personal standards and you hold to them.
    Of course anything less than that would have been a bit hypocritical.
     
  14. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    I can see his point, and I can relate to it from a motoring point of view.
    Last night I watched a documentary on Jaguar making the 6 lost chassis numbers of the 18 Ligthweight E-Type's planned, only 12 were made in the day.
    These "Made in the 21st Century" E's were going for 1 Million, an original goes for around 5 Million plus. Jaguar spend a huge amount of time on the six cars, they were so much better than the 12 made in the 60s. They new owners were p*ssed that they couldn't race these "new" cars in Historic races, like it or not they were repros, over engineered far beyond JC's A-2s. I had an early E-Type, a beautiful bitch, awful car to drive in dark when it rained, far from the car of the century. My vote would be for a Mini Cooper S

    A good while back I had an orginal 1962 AC Cobra, a rather dog eared LHD ex racer from Riverside that did have the odd minor mod over the years and which I did use for competative motorsport but also as an everyday runaround.
    I lost count of the number of "experts" who prowled around that car telling me what was wrong with my "repro" until I pointed out the "AC" on the road tax disc

    PS Forgot to add I've never had a repro car!!
     
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  15. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Word of warning for other members, complete off topic tangent.

    Was it one of the first Series 1s with the 3.8 and the Moss gearbox with no synchro on first Ken?

    I have a mate back home who had one of those, he used to be a Jag mechanic although by that stage he was doing landscape gardening and his wife was an architect. It was in the building boom there and they were raking it in, and he imported the car from California (one of the best places for rust free) and converted it to RHD himself and completely rebuilt the engine. Trouble was him and the missus got divorced and he hated driving the car as it reminded him of her, so rather luckily he gave it to me and the girlfriend (now my wife) to drive. I loved the thing, smelt of petrol, leather and oil, and there was always an edge of fear driving it. And I agree with you, could be absolutely terrifying in the wet. He offered it to me to buy it at mate's rates but we were moving back to Norway the second time we lived here and I said no, not because of the cash but the faffing around to organise where to put it right when we were about to fly out. I'm still kicking myself as I could have put it in storage at my sister's. Oh well you win some and you lose some, although I lost big bloody time with this... (only photos I have at hand of the old girl)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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  17. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Yup Burt, a guy who ran a tyre business snapped her up. It's my greatest regret in terms of missing out on buying something, and I could have bought it for a great price. She was/is an absolute beauty and I still kick myself enormously whenever I think about it.
     
  18. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Yes Moss Box, 1961 FHC Flat Floor no room in the footwell for the driver's feet if he wore over a UK8 , external bonnet hinges.
    Useless lights, even worse triple wipers
     
  19. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    The Cobra and The E Type were chalk and cheese, I don't think there was much between them, pricewise, when new

    I recall a story about Shelby challanging Jaguar to a standing mile between the two cars, to make it fair the Cobra would set off in top gear and not change gear at all during the race, the E type could be driven normally.
    The Cobra apparently caught The E just past half way.

    I could list loads of niggles with the E, having to heat the plugs on the Aga on a frosty morning so it would start .......for instance

    The Cobra?
    Apart from the fact it always seemed to want to tear it's self apart, the only flaw I found was that when it rained water poured in along the join of the windscreen and hood, the best way to stay dry in the rain was to remove the hood!
    Mad, or what?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  20. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Those were absolutely bloody hopeless and combined with the ridiculously small amount of rubber on the road it made for "exciting" driving in the wet with bugger all visibility.

    Never been in a Cobra but would love to. I've heard they can be a bit skittish in the corners without good rubber and the suspension not properly set up.

    For all the foibles I still love that Jag, it drove beautifully in the dry and when you got the speed up the whole car seemed to lighten up, she was a bitch and felt very heavy under 35mph. But for all that I wish I still had her.
     
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