New addition to the Garage (pending inspection on Friday)

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by neothespian, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Well, I WAS liquidating some stuff in order to pay for the trip down to Phoeinx to finalize the move, but while bouncing around Craigslist I found this little gem. He was offering it for...get this...$375 OR TRADE FOR INTERESTING THINGS! I offered up my Verizon PDA/Touchscreen phone because I can't stand it and a Gibson Les Paul "Epoch". He liked, and he bit!!!

    It's a 1962 Sears-Allstate Sabre 50cc. It was made by Puch-Daimler of Austria (yes, THAT Daimler) and was a variant of the venerable 50 "tourer" that was somewhat popular in the Eastern Bloc countries during the era. Of course I've only seen two of these in person, and both were back home in Belfast. Didn't know Sears sold a version over here, but then again they did sell some kick-arse bikes back in the 50's and 60's from Europe. It runs a true 50cc (52.1 to be exact) air-cooled 2-stroke mill with a 4 speed manual gearbox and magneto generation. Not a speed demon, but with a re-port, polish, repack of the bearings, new tires and tune up I should be able to break 45mph on this.

    It needs work, but it does run!!! All parts are there aside from the air cleaner, and it does need a refinish on the seat, de-pitting of all chrome and repaint. All in all, not a difficult project


  2. sweet, and a great find!

  3. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    Ok All joes aside as I like the Big boy toys and Man type stuff that thing is sweet. Sorry bub But IMHO that thing spanks your vespa 3 ways from sunday.

    Not to mention the talent you display of scoot knowledge that thing will be running fine in no time.

    Makes me wonder what the collector value of this thing is.

    It looks like it is in amazing condition for what it is. Seems the kids didn't get to thrash this one.

    I say make the trade if possible and wait for the grand kids to inherit it. Yes your as young as me but some day.

    If the magneto craps out can you find a replacement????

    Well you may have a one up on that being from across the pond in all.

    Crazy cool find.
  4. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    This is a different beast than my Vespa GTS250ie. That scooter is a near-100mph, full auto, luxury scoot made for interstate touring and has all the "modern" conviences.

    This bike is the opposite spectrum: Raw, rattling, full manual all fun that can be fixed with a Multi-tool, 12mm wrench and prybar. It's going to be a blast to zip around the town in but will probably be a weekend machine or "cafe" runner.

    As far as the Magneto goes, that's an easy prospect since you CAN recharge a dead magneto, but it's not easy. Scooterworks Manufacturing, one of the oldest Vespa dealers and restorers in North America, has re-energized Magnetos for Vespas since '96 when the former NYPD cheif motorcycle/scooter motorpool mechanic retired and went to work for them. Also, if all else fails, I'm pretty sure I can modify a Vespa PK50 or Smallframe pre'66 Vespa Smallframe 50 Magneto for it IF I can get the amperage correct.

    The guy emailed me back and so far everything is on for Friday! He says he can even deliver the bike from Winslow AZ to Flagstaff for FREE since he has buisness up here. He says he wants it to go to someone who will restore it and ride it for what it is, not to some DUI-frat boy who lost his licence and just wants a beat around. He also said he didn't want it to become some emo kid's trendy ride for 4 months until a part breaks and he's too tragic to get his hands dirty and leaves it sitting in some yard somewhere. (his words)

    I like the guy already.
  5. Cool find. Let us have a look at it when you're done with it.
  6. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    That is just awesome.

    and I agree a weekend cafe run, Not a daily cruiser.

    And I am glad to hear you do have a way to repair or replace the magneto. they are getting Rare for lots of applications and some are even spendy. The rest yes an adjustable wrench screwdriver and a spot of JB weld.

    I hope you get this as I to have a fancy for _________. (I cannot spell or think of another word to put there.)

    Cool factor even if it is like bangin a fat chick and being caught by your friends. Ridin a scooter. LOL
  7. Cool find, dude!
  8. Looks like a good one to restore.

    My first street bike was an ancient Yamaha 185 with kick start only. I fondly remember that old thing, looked similar to what you are buying :)
  9. urotu

    urotu Member

    Dude, that is so sweet. I might be jealous, Sears made some really cool stuff. Congrats on that find man.
  10. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    The thing is that Sears never made any motorbikes. They were actually one of the first companies to 3rd party contract bikes from Europe to the US markets because the CEO during the 50's was a rather worldly fellow and traveled Europe alot in order to find new and unique products to introduce into his stores and mail-order buisness in order to one-up the competition. The bike is one of many they offered from Puch-Daimler, Piaggio and even Ducati. There were some differences between the European bikes and the Sears bikes that usually included a changing of names and badges and the removal of "accessories" in order to buy the bikes at the cheapest rate in order to maintain a profit after shipping and what not. For example: Many of the "Sears Allstate" Vespas didn't even have front brakes or shocks, and did not have electric starts or dual saddles, just singles. Even stripped down, they sold very well and were often the first experience most Americans had with motorbikes that were not Harleys.

    If anything, Sears was responsible for introducing fuel-efficient transport to the US market long before Honda got a decent foothold here, and actually had a very good parts and service support for the time (bettering the attempts by Piaggio themselves when they sold bikes the first time they were in the US market).

    Like I said: I've only seen this make of bike two other times, and that was in the UK and they were in pretty sorry shape (worse than this but running). The biggest trick is modifying parts to fit such as control cables and bearings. They stopped making parts for this in the late 60's, so I have a hill to climb rebuilding it that has been building for over 40 years.

    I love a challenge
  11. NICE. I like it.
  12. What a find! Looking forward to the end product. And please, NO STORIES about you "almost" get hurt on it!!!
  13. Neo, talk about a dazzling find bro! Great stuff.
  14. Space

    Space Member

    That's pretty cool. I had a Sears Puch back in the olden days. Think it was a 180cc ??

    Anyway, it had 2 pistons which shared a common cylinder head chamber. Pistons were slightly offset from each other so as to be at TDC as the combustion chamber burned across each piston. Pretty wild.
  15. urotu

    urotu Member

    Let me rephrase Neo, Sears had all kinds of great stuff like that. They were very good at carrying everything, even the kitchen sink, haha.

    Sears actually never really made a whole lot, but had others do it for them. My most recent purchase is an old Sears product. An old JC Higgens semi-auto .22lr. It's sweet, but not made by Sears, only for them.

    Another cool example would be the Sears Allstate, anyone know this one? It was a car that was sold by Sears, but not manufactured by them. It was actually, if I remember right (I know I do), a Henry J in Sears garb.

    Either way, that is a very cool old scooter dude, I'd love to have one of those. You should be able to find most of the stuff you'd need I would think, you'll just have to be creative in your sourcing. A good parts house would be have bulk cable, and bearings are generally pretty universal, especially on older vehicles like that.

    I commonly find oddball bearings for motorcycles at the car parts place, you just have to find a good parts guy, not a computer jockey, that can actually run part numbers and not just year, make, and model.

    What kind of parts do you need to make it run?
  16. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Well it already runs and holds 45mph! The concerns I have are the oddball size chain (It's about 1.5mm thinner than the average Sachs/Puch/Motobecane chain), the dried out cables and the equally oddball tire size. I think I have found an equivalent brake shoe size, and all the springs and hardware are standard stock stuff that Ace Hardware carries (STILL the hot rodder/restorer's best friend). I have already selected a PPG "Hammered" silicon-infused latex for the frame when I do get it in my hands, and rechroming the hardware shouldn't be tough except for the tank which has a thin layer of chrome over a primered surface.

    Being a 2 stroke the piston rings shouldn't be an issue to match up and most of the gaskets are a cinch to make myself. Already have a source on the Magneto if it does bite the dust, and the rest is just stragihtforward 6 volt hardware. I've even considered possibly upgrading the ligths to LED's since I won't be able to bring the bike to "Concourse" level restoration since there are enough parts missing to not be classified as a registry bike. That's why I'm going to remanufacture new side "toolbox" covers out of diamond-plate chrome steel instead of spending time and effort trying to repair the rust damage to the stock units, and I'm going with a silicon treated latex triple black textured paint instead of the either red, white, British Racing Green or blue laquer finish. This way I can get it classified as a "Custom Build" bike by the state and get a title for it instead of fighting the title research to get a "Concourse" title.

    I'll have pics of my possession and full inventory of what parts it does come with when I take delivery of the bike late Friday/Early Saturday, depending on when the guy has time to drive it up.
  17. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Oh, and for those who didn't know...THIS was the Henry J "Allstate" 2 door sedan spoken of before built by the Kaiser Frazer Corporation



    The story begins in the late '40s with Theodore V. Houser, then vice president of merchandising for Sears, but also on the board of Kaiser-Frazer, the upstart postwar automaker. In 1949, Houser broached the idea of marketing a K-F product under Sears' familiar Allstate name -- a complete car to be sold along with parts and accessories for it at the new auto shops Sears was then opening up next to its retail stores. A hookup with K-F was a natural. At the time, Houser was buying Homart enamelware from Kaiser Metals Company in which Sears held a 45-percent interest.

    The first thought was simply to put Allstate logos on Kaiser-Frazer's large 1949 models, but Sears was dubious. Then the compact Henry J came along for 1951, exactly the car Houser had been looking for: simple, inexpensive, and easy to service.

    Somehow, K-F president Edgar F. Kaiser managed to convince his dealers to accept a chain department store as a competitor, and the Allstate was announced that November. It was the only new American make for 1952, and the first car Sears had offered since its high-wheeler of 40 years earlier. In an apparent attempt to feel out the market, Sears initially concentrated promotion in the Southeast, though the Allstate was ostensibly available nationwide through the Sears catalog.

    Though obviously a Henry J, the Allstate sported a distinctive front end designed by Alex Tremulis (lately involved with the Tucker fiasco), plus a major interior upgrade in line with Sears' policy of improving on proprietary products. K-F interior specialist Carleton Spencer used quilted saran plastic combined with a coated-paper fiber encapsulated in vinyl, a material he'd discovered in use on the transatlantic telegraph cable. Seemingly impervious to normal wear, it was superior to the upholstery of most Henry Js.

    Not surprisingly, Sears specified its own Allstate batteries, spark plugs, and tube tires, each with the appropriate guarantee. The entire vehicle was covered for 90 days or 4000 miles, K-F's standard warranty. Allstate's Deluxe models had trunklids and dashboard gloveboxes, items found less often on Henry Js, though basic and standard Allstates lacked the opening trunk. The costlier Deluxe Six also had armrests and a horn ring that weren't available on lesser versions even at extra cost.

    Otherwise, everything else was the same. That meant K-F's pudgy-looking little two-door fastback sedan with a choice of two L-head Willys engines: a four and a six. Sears' marketing was more aggressive, though, with five Allstate models to four Henry Js. The cheapest '52 Allstate, the basic Four, was priced just below the standard Henry J.

    There was little change for '53. A full-width rubber-covered pad was added to the dash, taillights were relocated to the rear fenders, and models reduced to two Fours and the Six.

    But by then, it was clear the Allstate had failed. Whether it was because people didn't take to buying cars in department stores or because of the narrow marketing approach is difficult to determine. Both factors probably contributed. Only 1566 Allstates were built for 1952. The count was 797 when Sears canceled the project in early '53, leaving plans for future models stillborn. Among these was a pair of proposals for a two-door station wagon, one by industrial designer Brooks Stevens, the other by Gordon Tercey of K-F Styling.

    Allstates are extremely rare today, and thus more desired by collectors than comparable Henry Js. In 1971, Allstate Insurance purchased an Allstate car for historical purposes. In the '60s it would have been hard to convince the folks at Sears' parts counters that the car had ever existed.
  18. Ari

    Ari Guest

    I too think that is pretty cool bike!
  19. Fox

    Fox Member

    Re: New addition to the Garage (pending inspection on Friday

    Holy Crap :shock: I love and Ride motorcycles and want to get a few older ones just for fun.. if the Price is good.. and damn son....That is a Sweet Deal and a Neat little Bike.. Should be NP to work on.. Great find... WANT TO SELL IT?!!! :lol: