Saturday, September 5, 2009

Henry J. Allstate

A few weeks ago, Secondary Roads ran a series on the Sears, Roebuck and Company housing project. Chuck showed us a fine example of a house that was purchased from Sears once upon a time.

Do you remember when you could buy an automobile from Sears? You could stop at your local Kaiser-Frazer dealer and purchase a "Henry J", or you could go around the corner to Sears, Roebuck and order an "Allstate." Or you could use the catalogue. Albeit rebadged, but virtually unchanged in appearance, you would get the same vehicle.

Though I never owned one of these, I did drive a 1953 Kaiser Manhattan for several years.

(I would credit the photo, but I put it in my car collection long ago and don't know who took the picture.)


Andrea said...

When I was growing up, one of my grandmother's friends was said to have received her driving permit from sears and roebuck. I have always thought it was a tease/joke, but now I wonder if they were serious.
Blessings, andrea

Secondary Roads said...

My dad bought a Kaiser after WWII. (He couldn't get a Ford, which is what he wanted.) Almost every Saturday he took it in for repairs. Eventually he bought a different vehicle.

Anonymous said...

I guess these were very basic cars -- the kinds with sun visors and armrests as options.

vanilla said...

We used to use the line, Where did you get your license? At Sears and Roebuck? as an insult to those whose driving we thought was bad.

Yes, I think the "Allstate" was pretty basic, and wasn't on the market very long; though I do remember our local Sears store displaying one right on the floor next to the menswear department.