Car Boot B3
Back in the spring of 2012 we brought a very sad USAAF B3 jacket at a car boot sale. The seller proudly told us it had lived under the bench in his shed for at least 10 years & been the home to generations of moggies. Which may or may not have been true. To describe the state of it as "poor" would be an understatement. The cuffs were missing, most of the surface had gone, the plastic zip had been fitted by an unemployed road sweeper using string and an old nail. The waist straps were missing & the neck straps in a very fragile state. The neck strap buckles were badly rusted and one of them broke on handling. This gave us something of a problem. We have always shied away from "restoring" this kind of garment, but this was really beyond the kind of repair we do. So the pictures below should be seen as a first attempt at a whole-garment restoration. We have probably gone a bit further than most customers would want. The zip is a NOS Conmar. The straps are in saddle shoulder and the buckles are as fitted to British wartime "Irvin" jackets. We would describe this as a reasonable "in-theatre" modification. I suspect that many people would disagree, but we had what we had and we have done what we have done. And we are happy with the result. We can't give any details on the jacket as the label was missing but would take a guess and describe this as a 1942 pattern, and if you asked for a maker we would guess at Werber Sportswear. The surface treatment we have used is an experimental process that I would not use on a wearable wartime jacket. We don't know how robust it will be in the long term & such extensive alteration will seriously decrease the value of an historic garment. But as this one needed virtually rebuilding from the ground up...
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