Fillauer Packard was World of Wheels ‘First in Class’
by Special to the Banner
Jan 19, 2014 | 916 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed Photo
A 1927 PACKARD once owned by the late John B. Fillauer was named “First in Class” at the popular World of Wheels Auto Show in Chattanooga. Pictured with the Packard is former owner Phil Newman.
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One of Cleveland’s most historic automobiles received special recognition at the recent World of Wheels Custom Auto Show.

A 1927 Packard once owned by the late John B. Fillauer was named “First in Class” at the popular show in Chattanooga, which featured appearances from celebrities including Justin Martin of “Duck Dynasty” and “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader.

The 1927 model was originally purchased new by Fillauer, an entrepreneur whose father helped organize Merchants Bank in 1902 and served as the bank’s first president.

Fillauer died in 1959 and had no children. The Packard was then acquired by his nephew, W.K. “Bill” Fillauer, the Cleveland mayor from 1959 to 1966.

Bill Fillauer eventually sold the Packard to Cleveland resident Phil Newman in the late 1960s.

The Allan Jones Foundation had the car completely restored in 2012 so that it could appear in the Cleveland Christmas parade.

The Packard, an American luxury car, was built in Detroit by the Packard Motor Car Company. The first Packard appeared in 1899 and the last was manufactured in 1958.

“When the Fillauer Packard was built, the Packard company was regarded as the elite producer of luxury cars in America,” said Toby Pendergrass, director of the Jones Foundation.

Pendergrass promised that those who missed seeing the Packard at the World of Wheels event needn’t worry. The car is scheduled to make another appearance in the 2014 Cleveland Christmas parade.

“The people of Cleveland asked us to bring the Packard back for another year and we were thrilled to oblige,” said Pendergrass. “This Packard is a living part of history. Everyone should get a chance to see it once.”