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.
See old cars like the 1929 Oakland Roadster…
…or the 1934 coupe.
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.
You’ll see shiny big cars…
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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