HomePick of the Day1953 Allstate Henry J Corsair Deluxe

1953 Allstate Henry J Corsair Deluxe


The Allstate Henry J was built by Kaiser and sold through Sears department stores
The Allstate Henry J was built by Kaiser and sold through Sears department stores

The Pick of the Day is a genuine rarity for two reasons: 1) They only made 8,100 of them and few have survived, and 2) Many of them were built into hot-rod dragsters back in the day.

But this 1953 Allstate Henry J Corsair Deluxe has not only survived, it is apparently in good, low-mileage condition just as it might have been driven when new, including a funky period-authentic sun visor above the windshield.

These small cars – the wheelbase was just 100 inches – were built by Kaiser-Frazer, which was renamed Kaiser Motors in 1952, and they were sold by Sears Roebuck under the department-store chain’s Allstate brand. Advertised by Sears at the time as the lowest-priced family sedan in the U.S., the Allstate Henry J was actually somewhat upscale compared with Kaiser’s own version of the Henry J, with more features and better trim. The joint venture lasted only a few years.

Pert tailfins are a signature styling feature of the little Henry J
Pert tailfins are a signature styling feature of the little Henry J

In the 1950s and ’60s, Henry Js were commonly used as the basis for lightweight drag-racing machines, often seen at the strip with huge supercharged V8s packed under their hoods. This car not only escaped that fate, it is presented by the Bonner Springs, Kansas, classic car dealer as a well-equipped survivor that retains its desirable Allstate upgrades. There is no mention in the ad as to whether the car has been repainted or restored.

“This is the Corsair Deluxe model which features front fender scripts, chrome windshield framing, chrome wheel covers and instrument panel crash pads,” the dealer says in the listing on ClassicCars.com. “Power comes from an 80hp Super Sonic 6-cylinder engine and features a 3-speed manual overdrive transmission, radio, heater and sun visor.”

The Henry J looks clean and original in the photos, although there are no under-hood shots, and the mileage on the odometer reads 42,611. The 80-horse flathead six, which was the bigger engine offered, should be plenty to motivate this small car, and it would be a fun and eye-catching entry for a classic car rally.

While the asking price for the Henry J seems strong at $29,900, any potential buyer could reasonably justify the expense for two reasons: 1) Its condition appears to be excellent, and 2) Try and find another.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
  1. It’s either a Henry J or an Allstate. It can’t be both. I suspect it’s a Henry J because that’s what the trunk emblem says and Corsair was a submodel of Henry J. An Allstate would not have Henry J scripts, but would have an Allstate emblem on it, in the shape of the USA. You need to do your research before you write these half-cocked articles.
    Pete Phillips
    Leonard, Texas

  2. You are right Pete, it is a Henry J and not an Allstate. I have noticed that the old car writers are referring to Henry J’s as Kaisers. That is not correct either. The titles say just Henry J.

  3. I caught the name thing too, but let’s not be picky. Of course at 77 I remember when they were new. And at 77 I make more inadvertent goofs than I did back in the day. Would be an an interesting car. I wonder who owned the Squire, one of just 7 or 8 built in the 1930s, I saw parked on the street in Chatham, Mass, late one night driving home from a summer job in a gas station. In ’57, ’58 or ’59.

  4. Hea Pete, you may be right but I think you are a little full of yourself. Your comment about ‘half-cocked” was out of line and certainly not appropriate with the Hemmings group

    • I am an historian, so I don’t believe in passing on incorrect information just to be a nice guy. Don’t call a Canadian Beaumont a Chevy, or Canadian Parisienne a Pontiac, because they are not, or a Monarch a Mercury, because it is not etc.
      Also, did you ever notice that the Parisienne does not have the wide track feature that Pontiac had in the U.S.

      • Hmmm. Back in the summers of 1957-59 I worked in a gas station on Cape Cod. Lot’s of Canadians – who always wanted me to give them change based on the banking exchange rate – who drove “Pontiac Pariesians.”

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