Jim Brown (left) and Dean Everson stand by the recently-uncovered 1922 Packard.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.
by Oscar Roloff
Years ago, Fred and Ruth Lott had a side-by-side business going on the Eastside that was called Lottsville. His was "Eastside Batteries" and Ruth's was a grocery store at the complex. The faded Lottsville sign is still there.
Today people in their 30s and 40s can recall when, as kids, they'd go into the store and Mrs. Lott would give them candies. They have fond memories of her. A friendly lady.
The Lotts lived next door to the businesses. One day, Fred decided he wanted to hide his 1922 Packard, lest it be stolen. He knocked a hole in the basement wall, drove the car inside, and turned off the motor.
I was fortunate then to know of the car and the hideout, but said nothing. In fact, when Fred died and Ruth sat alone in her home, I used to visit her frequently. One day, she reminded me that she was nearly blind and didn't want anyone coming in to see the car.
Just as Fred did, his wife reminded me not to mention anything about the car or its location. I agreed. They were good people and loved by all (especially the candy gatherers).
Then their daughter, Grace Everson, took over the home, and I'd visit her, too. "Please, don't tell anyone about the car," she said.
Soon, grandson Dean Everson took over. And he reminded me of my promise.
From time to time, I'd visit the Everson family. I knew that someday I'd get the scoop on the hidden car. Over the years, I'd walk down the basement steps and look at that beauty. I waited, waited.
Finally, the other day, something told me the time was right for the release of the Lott Packard. So I swung by their place. Though I hadn't seen the couple for 10 years, they saw me coming and smiled a "Hello, Oscar."
When I mentioned my intuition, they said they'd just knocked a hole in the basement wall and pulled out the car. They were moving and had sold the house.
Dean said, "A doctor offered us $10,000 for the car and we agreed to the price."
Backhoe operator Jim Brown pulled the Packard out and is getting the engine ready to run again. The buyer will then take over and restore her to her original beauty.
I asked Jim about the oldie, and he said, "When I get her running, the doctor will take her away and restore her."
I will probably spend the rest of my life looking for, but will never see, another 1922 Packard. To date, this is the only one I've ever heard of. Most of the restoration can and will be done by the doctor. There is litle body rust in the 6-cylinder touring car. She's a real beauty.