For many rural Americans in the early 1900s, the mail order catalog was their lifeline to the outside world. With this in mind, Sears, Roebuck & Company marketed this car by special catalog from 1909-1912. Buyers could pick it up in Chicago or have it delivered by train to the closest depot. All they had to do was uncrate the car, do some minor assembly, add oil (included in the shipment) and gasoline and drive it home.
Rural residents were not automobile fans at first. Wealthy drivers roared through the countryside in their “devil wagons,” raising dust and spooking horses. But many rural minds were changed when “high-wheelers” like the Sears Surrey came along. It had an antiquated design for the time, but its high body and puncture-proof hard rubber tires could easily travel over the badly rutted roads of the day.