Thursday, April 26, 2018

Allstate, the Badge-Engineered Henry J

A nice example of 1950s American badge engineering is the 1952-53 Allstate.  As the link indicates, Kaiser wished to increase sales of its slow-selling compact Henry J brand by offering a faintly facelifted version for sale at the (in those days) dominant Sears-Roebuck department store chain.  What this means was that in a number of larger Sears stores there would be a small section with an Allstate car on display along with a sales desk.  By the way, for non-USA readers, the name "Allstate" is the name Sears uses for its insurance sales arm -- it was borrowed for naming the car.

Below are comparison images for Allstate and its host Henry J brand.


You might want to click on this Allstate advertisement to enlarge it so that the smudgy text is faintly readable.

Publicity photo of a 1951 Henry J, the car's initial model year.  This design was carried over into 1952, but soon supplemented, as shown below.

Publicity photo of a 1952 Allstate.

This is a 2015 photo of mine of an Allstate taken at the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) in Reno.  That's a 1937 Cord 812 Beverly Sedan in the background.

Allstate grille.  Compare to the grille on the 1953 Henry J Corsair below.

"For sale" photo of a 1953 Henry J Corsair.  The Corsair model with the same grille design was introduced during the 1952 model year.  It has a cleaner, bolder design than that of the Allstate in the pervious photo.  Badge-engineering economy measures included the shared grille opening and the positioning of the turn-signal lights.

Bonus view: Allstate interior.


emjayay said...

Other than on this one there is a Lahore Whore message on every post below. Please find a way to get rid of this kind of crap. I guess you have to concede some points for rewriting the comment each time. I kind of doubt that it is effective advertising though.

Donald Pittenger said...

emjayay -- Thanks for calling this to my attention. On my flight from London to Seattle on the 20th, the man in the seat behind me coughed to entire trip. So I was doomed to catch what is a severe cold and was too wiped out to check the comment roll on the blog software or do much of anything at all.

Those comments have been zapped. However, I'll be on the road in Germany next week and beyond, so am unlikely to keep track during that period, and a few more comments might seep in then.