"The Jacket was purchased by the Italian Fashion House in Venice the same company that purchased Belstaff several years ago. They are coming out with a fashion line based on the Trialmaster Jacket called the Steve McQueen Line. I was the North American Distributor for Belstaff and we have taken over the production of the line under a new name "British Motorcycle Gear" see www.BritishMotorcycleGear.com . The jacket pictured on Steve McQueen is a Barbour International Jacket which is also available on our web site, you can tell straight off by the heavy slant of the left pocket, designed for quick draw of a pistol since this jacket was also used by submarine Captains in World War II...."
"...We will be at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in Glendale Arizona next October. We do the following Shows around the USA every year. All 13 Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows, Daytona 200, Laguna Seca GP race, Lake George Rally, Honda Hoot, Street Vibrations in Reno and BMW national Rally. We have all the gear at each of these shows if any of your readers want to check out the classics or the new lines.
Interesting story behind the Barbour becoming a Sub Commanders Jacket. When the Ursula was leaving port in Liverpool (first generation Submarine) during World War 2 the Queen was there to Christen her. It was pouring with rain and the second in command, a dirt bike racer, lent the Skipper his International Jacket to wear on the Bridge. The Queen thought he looked so dashing in it she decreed the jacket as the new Sub Commanders Coat."
Excellent story (Thanks, Paul!) about the Barbour jacket but I'm slightly sad to see the McQeen jacket wind up at a "fashion house." Still, Steve McQueen has lots of fans in Europe and as the old saying goes "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I'd be happy as a clam to imitate him on a Triumph Scrambler. I remain hopeful.
Your's Truly returning from the road. 1971
On second thought, I'll take the Gold Wing or the Aprilia. I'm not as tough as I used to be. Touring on a 550cc three cylinder two-stroke bike has lost it's appeal. I don't have that much hair now, either. Sigh.