ton up boys

Ton-Up Boys, a British biker subculture started in the 1950s, took their style from Marlon Brando's film The Wild One, and from Royal Air Force pilots of World War II.

Ton-Up Boys commonly wore: motorcycle jackets, Levi 501's and engineer boots or creepers. Jet helmets, often with aviator goggles for night riding. The look was accentuated with a silk scarfs and long wool socks pulled over the top of the boots, both of these looks were borrowed from the RAF.

Musicians who were popular among Ton-Up boys included: Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, and Elvis Presley. In the 1960s, the Ton-Up Boys evolved into the Rockers.

The main difference between Ton-Up Boys of the 1950s and the rockers of the 1960s were the heavily studded, patched and pinned leather jackets that rockers wore, whereas the Ton-Up Boys preferred their jackets clean or with painted motifs on the back, a look that was adopted from World War II pilots.

Next week ... rockers

A film that accurately portrays the motorbikes and styles of the original subculture was the 1964 movie The Leather Boys.

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