Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post a photo or link to an eBay listing and let the community weigh in on whether it's a true vintage tee.
jimmyj
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Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by jimmyj » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:29 pm

This t-shirt was brought to my attention and I was asked if it was genuine.

Before I ramble on I'm interested to hear what do you guys think?

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-T-SHIRT-HAR ... 35ac456355
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by Frank » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:28 pm

FAX usually means "facsmilie", right?

This just doesn't look right. Champion ringers like this one were commonly sold as blank. I don't think I've ever seen a Harley shirt with ringers like that, but I'm no expert.
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by CRAZYBUBBA » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:42 pm

I've seen a ringer style Harley #1 shirt at work with a dealer customization on the back, so I definitely wouldn't rule out the shirt because it's a ringer. However, on my monitor there appears to be inconsistency in the stitching where the label is and errors in the print, both bad signs. You need a specific type of sewing machine to do over lock stitching and it's possible that it was resewn with a normal machine, or this piece slipped by quality control. Again, I can't really tell by the pic, but I've never seen another Champion shirt with shoddy stitching at the collar.
Last edited by CRAZYBUBBA on Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by Frank » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:40 pm

"I've never seen another Champion shirt with shoddy stitching at the collar."

Very good point.
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by jimmyj » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:12 pm

Here's some photos of the piece in question. Wanted to add them here because the listing will eventually fall off the system.

Also, the description...which contains something pretty odd:

A

VINTAGE HARLEY DAVIDSON T-SHIRT.

IT IS USED

IN GOOD CONDITION NO HOLE NO STAINS

(PLEASE SEE PICTURES)

WHITE WITH PRINT ON BACK AND FRONT

AND IS FROM A SMOKE FREE/PET FREE HOME.

AND MEASURES APPROXIMATELY

22" FROM ARMPIT TO ARMPIT

AND 26" FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.


The last photo in the series is taken from Wyco's listing of the same shirt.

http://cgi.ebay.com/VTG-HARLEY-DAVIDSON ... 3cb0733f8f
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champ4.jpg
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champ5.jpg
champ5.jpg (171.4 KiB) Viewed 10031 times
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by CRAZYBUBBA » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:24 pm

Wow, it's night and day. The shirt has some novelty value but $266 must be a record for a repro. I propose a new segment for the Defunkd blog "repro report", it'd help us identify and (more importantly) not purchase fakes.

I don't get what's off about the description. Any clue?
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by jimmyj » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:12 pm

Ok here's my spiel. When I first looked at it I thought, this has to be real, it's far to intricate to fake. But if you were going to go through the trouble, this sought after print would definitely be a candidate for a return on the investment of time.

For this to be fake it means that a shirt has been assembled from scratch using a fabric with this Harley print screened on it. Putting together a t-shirt from scratch is no easy task especially since the ringers would provide an extra challenge. Plus, the arm fabric/printing is an issue, so a pro seamstress must have been involved.

First point of interest was the print, like you said, it's way off. At first glance I thought, that's just because it's old and has lost print quality - but that's not true. In this case the ink is actually much thicker indicative of the poor resolution that comes from copying from an existing print. There's also a thin white area between the border and its contents that isn't on an original. And this is screen printed, it's not a t-shirt machine job, or an ink stamp - given the ink doesn't bleed through to the back of the shirt.

The shoddy seams you brought up is also a good point.

The tag - it's way off center...a bad job was done in sewing it on. More importantly the tag also indicates a size L...so let's compare its measurements to

WYCO'S CHAMPION XL - PIT TO PIT: 20 in.

FAKE'S CHAMPION L - 22" FROM ARMPIT TO ARMPIT

Why would a Champion L be 2" larger than an XL? This is compounded when we factor in Wyco's is deadstock and hasn't been washed and the other one has. Are there any vintage XL's from the 70s that are 22"?

Wyco weighed in and said he has never seen a 100% cotton version of this shirt either. But admittedly they are also rare, so he's only seen a handful of them.

It also seems to me like these shirts would all be manufactured the same way. But the torso side seam is on different sides, Wyco's is on the left of the body when worn, the other version is on the right.
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back.jpg
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front.jpg
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by FreshBaby » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:49 pm

I agree, no way a vintage large from the 70's is 22" from pit to pit. Even NOS I don't think would be more than 21"
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by CRAZYBUBBA » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:59 pm

True! I hadn't considered the sizing at all! I guess I'm just excited to see any vintage shirt in a size that I can wear :S
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Re: Case Study: Harley Davidson Champion Shirt

Post by hermosavtg » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:30 pm

Other circumstantial knocks against the authenticity of this t-shirt:

-Seller location: southern california, home to more than a few known vintage counterfeiting scoundrels.

-Check out his other items:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0507222969
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0491312742
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0493399244 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0501711012 (seen this one in person and it seemed very fishy)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... gory=15687
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