Pontiac Oakland Museum, Pontiac Illinois: Auto Nostalgia along Route 66

What do you do with a collection of 20 restored Pontiacs and Oaklands and more memorabilia than you have room to store?  Open a museum, of course.  And what better place to open the Pontiac Oakland Museum than Pontiac, Illinois, a popular stop along the historic Route 66?  That’s exactly what Tim Dye did when he and his wife Penny pulled up roots from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and moved their collection to Illinois.

In less than a year from Tim Dye’s first visit to Pontiac, he opened the museum. Since the 2011 opening, more than 33,000 people, from all over the world, have visited the Pontiac Oakland Museum.

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Besides Dye’s personal collection, ten cars and other memorabilia have been donated to the museum. Cars are on loan to the museum, too, which means ever changing displays.

From Buggies to Racecars

The first model of Pontiac ever made was actually a buggy. Dating back to the 1890s the buggy is original, right down to the upholstery.  The fully restored “Old Jim” pulls the buggy. Old Jim at the Maple Brothers Harness & Horse Goods Store in nearby Fairbury from 1890 until 1950.

The first Pontiac ever made was a buggy

See old cars like the 1929 Oakland Roadster…

1929 Oakland Roadster in the Pontiac Oakland Museum

…or the 1934 coupe.

1934 coupe in the Pontiac Oakland Museum

Some of the cars are set up in scenes, like the 1948 Pontiac convertible in a service garage, where 1,450 oil cans are also displayed, about half of Dye’s collection.  Even the garage door is authentic; it’s the door from a former Pontiac dealership.

Garage display in the Pontiac Oakland Museum

You’ll see shiny big cars…

Bonneville

…flashy racing cars…Pennzoil_Grand_Prix…and a 1931 Oakland Sport Coupe, the last year that model was made.

1931 Oakland sport coupe

There is even a library with volumes upon volumes of manuals, magazines, maps and drawings.library

If you go to the Pontiac Oakland Museum

Admission is free at the Pontiac Oakland Museum, located at 20 N Mill Street in Pontiac, Illinois. Check the website for hours.

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