The Allstate is a badge engineered version of the Henry J automobile that was offered for sale through Sears, Roebuck, & Co. during the 1952 and 1953 model years.More
The Allstate is a badge engineered version of the Henry J automobile that was offered for sale through Sears, Roebuck, & Co. during the 1952 and 1953 model years.
The Sears retail chain marketed vehicles made by the Lincoln Motor Car Works under the name "Sears Motor Buggy" between 1908 and 1912. These horseless carriages were of the "high-wheeler" variety with large wagon-type wheels. Their high ground clearance was well-suited to muddy, wagon-rutted country roads. Customers were accustomed to mail-ordering through the Sears catalog, and the Sears Motor Buggy could be delivered to the nearest railroad siding.
The Allstate was the brainchild of Henry J. Kaiser, who saw Sears as another means to mass-market his slow-selling "Henry J" two-door sedan, introduced in 1950. The Allstate was essentially a Henry J, but with a number of differences that included Allstate badges on the hood and rear deck, a more upscale interior of Saran plaid or occasionally leather or smooth vinyl, special hubcaps/wheel covers, horn buttons and instrument bezels, a locking glove box and trunk lid, special engine color (blue), custom armrests and sunvisors, revised door locks and keys, and special parking & taillamp assemblies. Most notably, the Allstate featured a unique two-bar grille and jet-plane hood ornament designed by Alex Tremulis, who had come to Kaiser-Frazer from the Tucker Corporation.
Allstate automobiles were planned to be built on the senior Kaiser platforms, but following three years of negotiations between Kaiser-Frazer and Sears, the production Allstate was announced on November 20, 1951 by Sears merchandising vice president Theodore V. Houser and Kaiser-Frazer administrative vice-president Eugene Trefethen. The three-year delay was due in part to tension from existing Kaiser-Frazer dealerships fearing competition with Sears.
The Allstate was built by Kaiser-Frazer (Kaiser-Willys from 1953), in Willow Run, Michigan (Toledo, Ohio from 1953) and was based on Kaiser's compact Henry J. One body style was offered, a fastback two-door sedan in two lines, the Series 4 and the Series 6.
Unlike early Henry Js, which were built without trunk lids to reduce costs, Allstates offered opening trunk lids. Series 4 cars used a 134.2 cubic inch L-head four-cylinder 70 HP engine, and the Series 6 was powered by a 160 cubic inch L-head six 80 HP, both powerplants built by Willys. A three-speed manual transmission was standard with overdrive available for $104 extra.
One mechanical difference between Allstate and Henry J was Allstates were equipped with Allstate-brand tires, tubes, spark plugs, and batteries, all with their own Sears "Triple Guarantee" warranties.
Only 2,365 Allstates were sold in two model years before the marque was discontinued; 1,565 during 1952 and 800 in 1953. Kaiser soon discontinued the Henry J as well.
Sears at one time sold (automotive) parts under the 'Allstate' brand name. Sears still uses the Allstate brand today, it is the brand of insurance they offer.Less
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