Starting 1953 with an Allstate Engine Under the Hood and Allstate Gas in the Tank

The name “Allstate” likely makes you think of the insurance company that was founded in 1931 by Sears, Roebuck and Co., but Sears also applied the brand to a wide variety of car parts and accessories. The ubiquitous Allstate brand was even applied to rebuilt engines as seen in this 1953 advertisement with advice for starting the new year . . .

. . . . as well as gasoline as seen in this 1952 advertisement:

The Allstate brand came into existence in 1925 as the result of a name-finding contest that generated a massive response from the public. The name being sought was for a new Sears tire, and nearly one million entrants provided over two million suggestions. An army of mail openers was required to process the mountain of mail that flowed in from every state in the union and around the world, written in 25 different languages. Twenty-year-old Hans Simonson of Bismark, North Dakota, dreamed up the winning name of “Allstate,” and was rewarded with the first prize of $5,000. The clipping below shows Simonson on the right above a photo of the mail sorters sifting through the contest entries.

In addition to the many Allstate parts and accessories, Sears slapped the Allstate brand on an entire automobile in 1952. Manufactured by Kaiser-Fraser, the Allstate was a revamped Henry J and was offered in two lines with the same 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines that also powered the Henry J. The Allstate’s grille was somewhat different and featured two horizontal bars as seen in the photo below. Notice also the Allstate badge on this survivor on display at Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska:

Despite being the lowest-priced full-size sedan in the country and going 30-35 miles per gallon, the Allstate was not popular with the car-buying public and was only produced in 1952 and 1953. The insurance company, no longer owned by Sears, is all that remains of the Allstate brand.

1952 Allstate