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The story of Buco – a legend of the retro biker-culture, almost a century of heritage – is the story of two NY brothers, Joseph and Elias Buegeleisen (born from father of Russian/Polish origins and Californian mother), who around the mid-’10s founded the Strauss & Buegeleisen company to produce historic Resistal Aviator Goggles. An early version of ‘safety goggles’. They sell them to aviators, motorists and bikers especially – and it’s clear the goggles work well, given that those ones are crazy about ’em.

Then, apart from the diatribes regarding the exact date (’33? ’35 or ’37?), in Detroit they established the Joseph Buegeleisen Company, which in ’40 gets renamed Buco indeed and besides goggles – even before becoming a synonym with leather-jkt – back then the duo was already selling accessories like windshields, saddlebags, gloves etc to the Harley-Davidson and Indian bikers. And it’s no coincidence. The brand knows well its target, sharing its passions and needs, “protection through research” its motto…

It’s around the mid-’40s that Buco starts to draw attention thanks to its iconic leather-jackets, and goes really big in the ’50s (and timeless silhouettes such as the JH-1 and J-21, among the very first ones), in the wake of the ‘rebels’ of that unforgettable era. It goes without saying that for collectors the horsehide jackets of those years especially are some of the many must-have – just like several others.

While in ’66, at the peak of a quadrupled production compared to ’62, Buco is sold to American Safety Equipment Corporation – which outsources in Japan, Spain and England (while former employees started no less than Brooks Leather Jackets) – moreover the brand focuses more on helmets and less on biker-jkts, and according to what the legend tells its flame gradually vanishes, almost drowning into history.

Well, for sure not in the Rising Sun, if near and far Buco fans still have the chance to grab one of its pieces is due to Japanese labels of the likes of The Real McCoy’s and The Few; just them today faithfully reproduce styles like the J-24L and J-100 Horsehide Leather-Jacket, and so on. That way all the soul of a unique US retro biker-brand – and the endless ‘cursed charm’ born from it – can take Buco back on-the-road.