I sent an email to Mamiya hoping they would take the extra time out to answer an obscure question from an obscure customer, but no. At first I thought it was just fancied-up leather, but when I louped it...definitely snake. I would love to post a picture or two on here for everyone to see, but 1) I've no clue how to do that and 2) I dont have an image hoster.

One of my main goals right now is just to figure out the date of manufacture. I have been equally unsuccessful at finding information about "de-coding" mamiya serials -- anybody have a link or anything?