It may be hard to imagine in 2021, but there was a time when Sears sold practically everything. I’m not just talking about tools, appliances, clothing, and home goods. Architectural and design enthusiasts will tell you about the ongoing legacy of Sears Kit Homes, for example—but since this isn’t HouseApart, today we’re going to talk about Allstate Scooters.
That’s the name under which Sears marketed a variety of two-wheeled conveyances, and it has nothing to do with the insurance company. Of course, Sears didn’t actually manufacture those scooters—but it was more than happy to license designs from other scooter manufacturers, and then rebadge them. Who actually made these scooters for Sears? Cushman, Puch—and if you wanted to get extra fancy, Vespa.
In the 1950s, Vespa wasn’t yet selling its scooters in the U.S. on its own. After seeing how successful Sears was at marketing the Allstate Vespas to the American market, Piaggio changed its mind and began marketing Vespas on its own in the U.S. Since the Sears Catalog was the primary way for a lot of folks in remote areas to buy consumer goods, Allstate Vespas of the era are much easier to find in all corners of the country, according to Scooter Lounge.
Now that you know a little more about Allstate scooters, the rather lovely example here is a 1960 Allstate Cruisaire. It’s a later-model Allstate, which means it has a combined speedometer/odometer from Veglia as its sole instrumentation. Models prior to 1958 lacked speedometers from the factory, although they were available as an option. It’s a 125cc two-stroke scoot, with a solo saddle and a little rack on the back.
Iconic Motorbike Auctions restored it to running condition earlier in 2021, after it had sat as a non-runner in the owner’s condo for several years. It is currently registered in California on a non-op registration. As you can hear in the video, it purrs rather nicely, even after all this time.
Looking closely at some of the photos, there are some of the kind of blemishes you’d associate with honest age. I mean, the thing is over 60 years old, and it didn’t spend its lifetime in a hermetically-sealed case. The odometer shows 20,242 miles on the clock, although of course total mileage is unknown.
It’s a winning combination of black, with cream accents, Continental whitewall tires (including the spare), and chrome. What more could you ask for? I would personally want to ride it if I owned it, but that’s me, and I don’t make the rules for anyone else.
The current Iconic Motorbike Auctions bid as of August 13, 2021 is up to $1,600, with the auction scheduled to end on August 18, 2021. The reserve price has not yet been met, but you’re welcome to try if you’re interested.