The closing of the Sears store reminded Pete Reinthaler of Peshastin that Sears was involved in more than retail business historically.
They made Sears houses. And autos, twice. Reinthaler shared an article he wrote for a car club about them: “Sears cars from 1908 to 1912 were produced by the Lincoln Motor Car Works, which bears no relationship with the company founded by Henry Leland that was sold to Henry Ford in 1922.”
He has owned several old Sears models, and still has one, a 1910 Model K Runabout driven by a two cylinder engine under the seat, and steered by a tiller.
The second entry of Sears into the auto business came after World War II when Henry Kaiser sold his “Henry J” to Sears as the Allstate.
“Allstate automobile was only sold in small towns where Kaiser had no dealerships, so that the Allstate and Henry J were never direct competitors in the same town. The Allstate was a Henry J equipped with Sears tires, batteries and accessories, and what must have been the world’s ugliest plastic upholstery,” Reinthaler writes. “I got mine down in south Texas as part of a deal where I had to acquire four cars (a Kaiser, a Henry J, a Willys sedan, and the Allstate) and only after I got all the cars home, did I discover that the Allstate was equipped with a brand-new engine!”