Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1952 Allstate

Eager to increase the production of its Henry J, Kaiser-Frazer has concluded an agreement with Sears-Roebuck in order to sell a slightly modified version of its car through some of the latter’s department stores. It is known there as the Allstate, logically enough for this is the brand Sears traditionally uses for its line of automotive parts and tools. In order to limit the competition to Kaiser-Frazer’s own network of dealerships, only large, selected outlets throughout the South of the United States are able to offer the vehicle to their customers. Furthermore, and contrary to some rumours, the Allstate is not available through Sears’ catalogue’s mail order.

Interestingly, this is not Sears’ first attempt at distributing an automobile, as a two-cylinder highwheeler as been proposed no less than forty years ago - this time through its catalogue. Sears also presently distributes other types of vehicles in its stores, in the form of motor scooters, rebadged Vespas in particular.

Allstate A230 and A240
Close to the Henry J, the Allstate nonetheless receives its very own grille, designed by Alex Tremulis of Tucker fame. It sports Allstate badges and as many Allstate parts as possible - tyres, batteries or spark plugs for instance are all Allstate items provided by Sears itself. The company also offers a comprehensive “Triple guarantee”.
● Introduction: Early 1950 as the original Henry J, December 1951 as the Allstate. Construction: body on separate chassis. Engine: water-cooled inline four, 2.2-litre, 68 hp, mounted at the front (A230). Optional engine: inline six, 2.6-litre, 80 hp (A240). Six-cylinder engine unavailable with “Standard” trim. Transmission: to the rear wheels through a three-speed manual gearbox. Suspension: independent at the front, rigid axle at the rear. Brakes: hydraulic, to drums on all four wheels. Length: 449 cm. Top speed: n/a. Range: two-door “Basic” sedan, two-door “Standard” sedan, two-door “Deluxe” sedan.

Any mistake you’ve just spotted? A detail to add? A suggestion? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

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