Once a “Gear Head” always a “Gear Head”. I realize I’ve been gone a lot this summer, and decided to revisit an earlier post (with updates) for my return. Early last year I wrote a piece on the legendary Pontiac GTO which can be found here: Turn It On, Wind It Up, Blow It Out, GTO.
To sum it up in a nutshell, I will once again quote Chicago Sun Times Automotive Editor Dan Jedlicka: "The legendary 1964 Pontiac GTO kicked off the wild 1960s muscle car market with a roar and made Detroit the world center for affordable high-performance cars.”
The Pontiac-Oakland Car Museum in, yes, Pontiac, IL celebrates all things Pontiac and should be on everyone’s “To Do List” if traveling on Route 66. A brief history of the Museum follows, detailed from their website.
“The history of the Pontiac-Oakland Museum & Resource Center in Pontiac, Illinois began August 1st, 2010 when Tim Dye was on his way back to his home in Oklahoma from a Pontiac show near Chicago. As he drove south on I-55, he noticed signs for the city of Pontiac. As Tim is curious about anything having to do with the Pontiac name, he pulled into town. As he explored the city, he visited the International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Museum and struck up a conversation with the museum's director, Kristen Arbogast. In the course of their talking, Tim showed her a copy of his recently published book on Pontiac-Oakland memorabilia and history, and mentioned his desire of finding a suitable place to exhibit his vast collection of artifacts. He ended the conversation by telling Kristen, "If you ever think about having a Pontiac car museum here in Pontiac, be sure to contact me." The next day, Kristen contacted Pontiac Mayor, Robert Russell and told him of Tim's visit. The Mayor contacted Tim by phone and the two men began to toss around ideas centered on creating the museum of Tim's dreams. In September 2010, Tim and his wife Penny were scheduled to be at an event in Aburn, Indiana and added a couple of days to their their trip to meet in Pontiac to discuss the museum. In October the Mayor and City Administrator, Bob Karls took a road trip to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to see the collection and further discuss the idea of a Pontiac museum in Pontiac, Illinois. After a long series of emails, phone calls, and personal visits the details necessary to begin the process of creating a new museum were worked out. The Pontiac City Council approved the museum's creation on January 3, 2011, and work began immediately on the remodeling of the museum's new space. Throughout the spring of 2011 trucks and trailers arrived with boxes of items destined for display at the museum. In May the first load of classic cars arrived in Pontiac, and in June the first of those cars was driven into the museum display space.”
The Museum rolled out the “new” 1964 GTO’s last fall in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the GTO. This is becoming a fine tradition, as last weekend, they opened the display of the 1965 GTO’s on their 50th Anniversary.
I look forward to the 50th Anniversary of each model in the years to follow. To honor this memorable time of the season, Pontiac played host to the GTO Association of America and the “All Pontiac Cruise and Show.”
Over 200 Pontiacs rolled into town last weekend, and a large percentage of them were GTO’s of all years, makes and options. I was in GTO Heaven. Saturday saw a few dozen of them cruise along Illinois Route 66 to some historical stops and landmarks, while Sunday was the actual Car Show. As most of you faithful readers already know, my photographs of cars are less conventional than most, as I try to “focus” (no pun intended) on the shapes and lines of them, giving them yet their own wonderful identity.
Here are just a few photos from last weekend.
Tim and Penny Dye are two of the most genuinely wonderful and knowledgeable people of “All Things Pontiac” you could ever hope to meet. Please say hello to them if you plan to visit, tell them “Boris” sent you. It’s an amazing collection they have on display, from a constantly rotating selection of vehicles, to a full library of books and shop manuals, multimedia presentations, memorabilia and Pontiac gift items for the Pontiac lover you either are, or may know. I stop in there regularly, and I always see something new each time, as there is so much to take in. Those were indeed the days.
Jim Wangers “Godfather of the GTO” discusses the1965 Pontiac GTO Royal Bobcat Package.
Once again, it’s good to be back, I know I have said that far too many times this year. Thanks to Marty for once again covering the open spaces and to the others who have filled in. I appreciate all of you.
The Pontiac-Oakland Museum Facebook page is here, with additional photos from the event(s) as well as some museum photos.
Don’t forget to check out, the "Secret Weapon,” “Boris'” radio show on Woody Radio where “Boris” plays some great tunes, some of which you’ve probably never heard. Listen to it right here: "Secret Weapon" on Woody Radio.
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