John Wick’s Brown Leather Jacket and Ford Mustang

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, standing inside the door of his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in John Wick (2014).

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, standing inside the door of his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in John Wick (2014).

Vitals

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, retired assassin and devoted puppy owner

New Jersey to New York City, Spring 2014

Film: John Wick
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Director: Chad Stehelski
Costume Designer: Luca Mosca

Background

In honor of tomorrow’s über-American holiday of Flag Day (which also happens to be my mom’s birthday), this installment of Car Week will begin with an examination of John Wick’s casual leather jacketed outfit and – of course – his ’69 Ford Mustang Mach 1, which is mistaken for a Boss 429 during Wick’s fateful gas station fill-up.

What’d He Wear?

John Wick’s brown leather jacket is one of the most frequently replicated cinematic garments I’ve seen available online, all to varying degrees of accuracy and dubious reliability given most of their sub-$200 prices. There’s the American Leather Jacket version, the Film Jackets/fjacket.com replica, the offering from Film Star Look, and a version by New American Jackets that appears to be the least accurate of the bunch.

It’s impressive that Wick’s minimalist outfit has garnered so much attention from aspiring sartorial lookalikes and certainly a testament to the timeless “tough guy” look of a dark leather jacket, t-shirt, and jeans.

Any "tough guy" look is improved by driving a muscle car.

Any “tough guy” look is improved by driving a muscle car.

The brown lambskin leather jacket is waist-length with a shirt-style collar. The zip front has a silver-toned pull tab and has a 1″-wide stitched placket on each side of the zipper.

Wick's hinted military background is channeled by the decorative epaulettes sewn onto the shoulders of his jacket.

Wick’s hinted military background is channeled by the decorative epaulettes sewn onto the shoulders of his jacket.

The jacket’s stitching adds plenty to its rugged appearance and structure. Faux-epaulettes that point toward the neck are stitched on each shoulder. A single vertical stitch seam splits each of the two front panels just in front of the welted hand pocket. A single horizontal seam cuts across the front of the waist to just below the center of each pocket. On the back, a horizontal yoke stretches across the shoulders.

A horizontal rear yoke stretches across the upper back and shoulders. The waistband and plain cuffs are each finished with a “dotted line” broken stitch about 1.5″ up from their respective edges.

John Wick tosses one back with Aurelio.

John Wick tosses one back with Aurelio (John Leguizamo). Leguizamo stated in interviews that Aurelio’s wardrobe helped him get into the “slick” character’s mindset.

Our all-American hero also wears the quintessential American casual pants: a pair of bootcut denim jeans with a standard five-pocket layout, colored in a rich dark blue wash.

JohnWickJkt-CL2-Jeans

When going out and about – either to visit his wife or gas up his car – Wick wears a gray crew neck short-sleeve T-shirt.

Wick tests the limits of his Mustang.

Wick tests the limits of his Mustang.

After the bad guys awaken him in the middle of the night, Wick goes to confront them while wearing his white cotton v-neck undershirt, which he then wears with his leather jacket and jeans when he stops into Aurelio’s chop shop.

The stark effect would have been much lessened if Wick had been wearing a red undershirt.

The stark effect would have been much lessened if Wick had been wearing a red undershirt.

Wick’s boots are charcoal suede desert boots with tan crepe soles. They remind me of the Johnston & Murphy “Copeland Chukka” with natural latex crepe soles and uppers finished in a dark gray suede that almost looks brown.

Wick wears some nice shoes for a pretty dirty situation.

Wick wears some nice shoes for a pretty dirty situation.

Other than the silver indented wedding band on the third finger of his left hand, John Wick’s only jewelry or accessory is his stainless Carl F. Bucherer Manero AutoDate wristwatch on a black alligator strap. The watch’s white dial (with its 3:00 date window) and silver-toned luminescent hands are protected under a scratch resistant, anti-reflective sapphire crystal… as well as Wick’s military-esque habit of wearing it on the inside of his left wrist.

Wick wears his wedding ring and wristwatch while plotting his revenge.

Wick wears his wedding ring and wristwatch while plotting his revenge.

JohnWickJkt-cropHow to Get the Look

Although his sharp dark suit from Luca Mosca received plenty of deserved attention, John Wick also shows a stylishly minimalist casual side when not in Badass Hitman mode.

  • Brown lambskin leather waistlength jacket with shirt-style collar, zip front, vertical welted hand pockets, and decorative stitching throughout
  • Gray crew neck short-sleeve T-shirt
  • Dark blue denim bootcut jeans
  • Charcoal suede 2-eyelet desert/chukka boots with tan crepe soles
  • Light blue cotton boxer undershorts with elastic waistband
  • Silver indented wedding band, worn on left ring finger
  • Carl F. Bucherer Manero AutoDate with stainless 42mm case, white dial (with date), and black alligator leather strap, worn on inside of left wrist

A white v-neck t-shirt would also be very John Wick-ian to wear with the brown leather jacket and dark jeans, although for hygienic purposes and a generally wise sartorial rule of thumb, it’s best to wear one devoid of blood – whether it’s yours or some thug’s.

The Car

Mustang. Boss 429.

… an impressed Iosef notes as John Wick finishes gassing up his ride. “’69,” Wick corrects after Iosef guesses 1970. Although Iosef is correct that it is indeed “a beautiful car,” his Boss 429 guess has been taken apart by several astute viewers who believe John Wick’s car to actually be a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. Though it may have been equipped with a similar 7.0L Ford V8 engine, Wick’s car lacks the accurate hood scoop and markings that would be found on a true Boss 429. (It also lacks the side decals that would denote it as either a Boss or a Mach 1, so that adds some fuel to the fire.)

There’s still some debate though, and I’m not expert enough to weigh in more than some of the others have. All I truly feel comfortable pointing out is that both John Wick and Iosef are pumping their own petrol in a New Jersey gas station… a state that bans self-serve stations. Wick and especially Iosef aren’t men who particularly care about obeying the law at all times, but this would be a silly crime for at least Wick to break while he’s laying low in his post-assassin life.

John Wick proudly shows off his '69 Mustang at the gas station, a decision that would come back to haunt both him and his puppy.

John Wick proudly shows off his ’69 Mustang at the gas station, a decision that would come back to haunt both him and his puppy.

After four years as an all-star on American roadways, the Ford Mustang finally upped the ante for its hard-driving motorists with the introduction of its Boss 302, Boss 429, and Mach 1 performance packages for the 1969 model year in addition to the currently available GT options offered by Ford and Shelby. The Mach 1, available only in the new “SportsRoof” fastback body style, immediately eclipsed GT sales to the point where Ford discontinued the GT badge until the early ’80s Fox platform Mustangs.

A stock Mach 1 consisted of a V8-powered “SportsRoof” model with performance-oriented cosmetic enhancements from the front-pinned matte black hood and “SportSlats” rear window louvres to chrome-tipped exhaust and gas cap. Mach 1 wheels were fitted to Goodyear Polyglas tires and some owners opted for the “Shaker” hood scoop (which collected fresh air and was named for the way it would shake over the engine) or chin spoiler, although a rear deck spoiler was standard.

The standard option for 1969 was a 351 cubic inch Windsor “H-Code” V8, offering 250 bhp, with a 2-barrel carburetor and a 3-speed manual transmission. A 4-barrel carb “M-Code” 351 was also optional, upping the power to 290 bhp. True gearheads could also get their ’69 Mach 1 with a 390 S-code or the 428 Cobra Jet or Super Cobra Jet high performance engine with a rated output of 335 bhp.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 (misidentified as Boss 429)

JohnWickJkt-CAR3-Mustang

Body Style: 2-door fastback “SportsRoof” coupe

Layout: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive (RWD)

Engine: 428 ci (7.0 L) Ford “Cobra Jet” V8 with 4-barrel Holley carburetor

Power: 335 bhp (250 kW; 340 PS) @ 5200 rpm

Torque: 440 lb·ft (597 N·m) @ 3400 rpm

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 108 inches (2743 mm)

Length: 187.5 inches (4762 mm)

Width: 71.7 inches (1821 mm)

Height: 50.5 inches (1283 mm)

Wick’s Mustang has New Jersey license plates #XAB-235. In addition to the cosmetic changes that seem to indicate that Wick drives a Mach 1 rather than the much more powerful (but also much rarer) Boss 429, the Boss 429 was only offered with a 4-speed manual while Wick’s car appears to have an automatic transmission.

A commentor on IMCDB stated that a Top Gear episode description called this “a ‘rare’ Boss 429 7.0 V8,” but I took the safer route of describing the stock 428 Cobra Jet engine that would still be found in some 1969 Mach 1 models. Although one may see a 428 Mach 1 and a Boss 429 and assume that only one cubic inch of displacement isn’t much of a difference, the Mach 1 was powered by variants in the Ford FE engine family while the Boss 429 used the big block Ford 385 series, developed the year before for the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental.

(I’m definitely willing to hear some discussion about whether or not Wick is driving a Mach 1, a Boss 429, or a Mustang that was never originally badged as either. Just because dialogue alludes to it possibly being a “Boss 429” certainly doesn’t mean it really is!)

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie.

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