In the late 1940's, Theodore V. Houser sat on the board of Kaiser-Frazer. He was also the vice-president of Sears, Roebuck, the well-known American chain of stores.
In 1912, Sears had sold large-wheeled cars through their catalogue and Houser was keen to resurrect the idea, especially when Kaiser introduced the compact, simple and inexpensive Henry J. sedan in 1951. It fitted the bill exactly.
When Kaiser-Frazer put the idea forward to their dealers, they found that they had no worries about competition from a chain store and the idea went ahead.
The Henry J was rebadged ALLSTATE, the Sears well established name and in-line with Sears policy of improving on proprietary products it was given a major overhaul.
Although it was unmistakeably a Henry J, designer Alex Tremulis gave it a new grille unique to Sears and most ALLSTATES, unlike the Henry J's, had bootlids, and dashboard gloveboxes. But only the DeLuxe six had armrests and horn rings. Kaiser-Frazer interior specialist Carleton Spencer re-styled the interior in quilted saran plastic and a hard-wearing material used on the transatlantic telephone cable. Parts and accessories such as batteries, spark plugs and tyres carried the Sears ALLSTATE name and all had their respective guarantees. The car had a 90 day/4000 mile guarantee.
There was a choice of two L-head Willys engines, a four cylinder or a six cylinder and the price of the four cylinder ALLSTATE was slightly less than the standard Henry J.
Sears originally offered a five car range, but in 1953 it was reduced to two four cylinder models and one six cylinder model.
It was clear by that time that the idea had failed and Sears cancelled its plans for future models.
Series A2304 four cylinder:
Model 110 Basic sedan
Model 111 Standard sedan
Model 113 Deluxe sedan
Series A2404 six cylinder:
- Basic sedan
Model 115 Deluxe sedan
Series A3304 four cylinder:
Model 210 Standard sedan
Model 213 Deluxe sedan
Series A3404 six cylinder
Model 215 Deluxe sedan
Source: Reg J. Prosser