1937 Packard has a colorful history and a hefty sticker price

Got an extra $70,000 lying around?

You can get a screaming deal on this car.

It’s that majestic lime-green machine in the glass gazebo in front of the Hyundai dealership on Evergreen Way in Everett.

It’s no Hyundai. It’s a 1937 Packard sedan with 350 LT1 engine, 700R4 transmission and storied past.

We’re talking bullet holes and bandits.

“The way the story goes is that in the late ’30s or early ’40s the car was involved in a bank robbery. I can’t substantiate it,” said dealership owner Gary Micallef. “Supposedly the car was left in this farmer’s field back east. The man who restored it found bullet holes throughout.”

The bank robbery gone wrong is depicted in tiny murals along the car’s running boards.

“The picture starts out at a bank in a city and then you see a police car chasing this Packard, bullets flying back-and-forth and money flying out of the car,” Micallef said. “Then you follow it forward and there’s a little sign with an arrow that says ‘Certain Doom’ and on the end there’s a cemetery. The car’s name is Certain Doom based on this story.”

The Packard hasn’t seen much action since Micallef bought it in 2007 at the Hot August Nights classic car show in Reno. It was a custom rebuild on the original frame and body with about 300 miles. He has put about 2,000 very carefully driven miles on it.

Micallef put the Packard in the gazebo last fall to store it. People stopped to look. After a price inquiry, he put a $69,995 tag on it. That got even more looks.

It’s not publicity stunt. It’s a bargain.

“The guy who did this car had well over $100,000 in it,” he said. “I got it for $80,000.”

What’s it like driving it?

“Want to go for a ride?” he asked.

As if that was even a question.

Vroom! We were off.

Man, this car has gusto.

“It’s a hot rod,” Micallef said. “It’s not a speed car, but it will go pretty darn fast. I’ve had it going down the freeway 80. I don’t really push it real hard. It’s more of a cruiser. You drive it around. People look at you, they wave at you. You got a stereo system that will just about knock you out, if you wanted it to.”

He cranked on the cruisin’ music. I could ride in this baby to Reno. Instead, I made do with tooling around Evergreen Way, looking out at the world through 1937 shaped windows and feeling special. This is a happy car, there’s certainly no doom about it anymore.

If Micallef was worried about rock chips or being rear-ended by a SUV, he didn’t show it.

“It’s got all the amenities,” he said. “Garage door openers. Bluetooth for your phone. Electronic door openers. Drink holders. LED lighting that glows underneath. It’s been all limo-ed out inside.”

I see why he fell in love with it that hot August night in Reno.

“It was so unique. I had never seen anything like this,” he said. “It’s my favorite car.”

He’s ready to part with the joy ride of his life.

“It’s time for another owner,” he said. “I don’t use it often. I have a ‘70 Chevelle, a ‘66 Mustang, ‘70 Chevy pickup.”

Those cars have been in the gazebo before.

“Sometimes I just put a Hyundai in there,” he said, “and actually try to sell one of those.”

Want to buy it?

Contact Micallef at Hyundai of Everett, 7800 Evergreen Way; 425-374-0180 or www.hyundaiofeverett.com.

Send What’s Up With That? suggestions to Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown. Read more What’s Up With That? at www.heraldnet.com/whatsup.

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