One definition of folk art might be
a marriage of craft and personality. Folk art communicates the
individual, the idiosyncratic, the homespun. Frequently classic motorcycle jackets were
lavishly and imaginatively adorned with a wide assortment of studs,
rhinestones, geometric shapes, domes, etc. The Joseph Buegeleisen
Company sold decorative
hardware under the Buco brand name as part of its extensive motorcycle
accessory line to retailers. Collectors revere surviving
original Golden Age motorcycle jackets that have been so personalized. (The
second Tanaka book has fantastic examples.) Authentic owner-customized
always fairly rare but factory-rendered Custom order extravaganzas, as the Buco seems to
have been in 1953-56, rarer. Several elaborate, stunning examples
of jeweled, studded Buco J24 Horsehide Motorcycle Jackets exist. We had one
twenty five years
ago but condition was so poor we let it go. That one had a plaid cotton
lining as well as, ugh, replacement YKK zipper.
As both technical and artistic
challenge, LOST WORLDS wanted to do this
J23 variant for years,
but it took time to source and manufacture the correct hardware. For
example, originals use plastic rhinestones, ours genuine Swarovski. All
fittings on originals were stampings. We use die cast parts wherever
possible. Despite the qualitative refinement the look and aura of
original Custom J24 fittings are fully preserved. Enhanced. Just look at
The result a different kind
of marriage: peerless, awesome LOST WORLDS artisan-grade build quality and materials wedded faithfully to the
classic Buco J24
design. Taken to a certain extreme, a beautiful, artistic one, OUR
There's wonderful balance in the way Buco (we think it was Buco) customized.
Detailed but not gaudy. Understatedly overstated. The stones 'n' studs are
symmetrical accents, nothing too much. Our version ups the ante significantly. It takes a full work day
for our craftsman to measure, eyeball and install the fittings before any
sewing takes place. Most are installed during pre-production, others during.
What emerges is a kind of folk
art. Artisanship with a fantastic, heady whiff of self-invention, the 1950s man of the road as himself mechanical component, man and machine united.
There's whimsy too, but not camp or kitsch, rather dash,
masculine confidence (where has essence been subverted to?). And sometimes,
rarely, more is
less. Like here. We're used to hearing the opposite. You judge a jacket, for
example, by its presence and lack of silliness. A jacket has to speak and
the customer have ears. Most jackets we see these days work by
an awful ventriloquism -- someone telling you, for his own reasons,
commercial or ego (blog queens), what's
good, what's authentic, etc., about some jacket, but the jacket's mute,
limply, flimsily propped up there, like something beached. Sadly, most
ill-equipped to appreciate true Americana like the Buco, forget the
price. One needs an eye for what's real. Most people couldn't know
real if you put it in their cup holders. Of course what's real about
something like the Custom Buco J24 is that it communicates the mythic. Myth and dream,
whereby this jacket achieves iconic status.
"The J24 looks so
awesome on me. Simply great"
"I received the jacket.
Absolutely dazzling. Thank you"
Long Beach Wa.