I’ve had some interesting stops between Springfield, MN and Pontiac, IL, but I’ll get to those later. This afternoon I made it to Illinois and a museum that is a little special to me.
But before I actually got there I had to stop and check out what this guy was doing:
I was just making my turn and I saw that someone had a bunch of classic cars parked on what was once a service station. I talked to a guy who had just parked there and he told me that he and his father were starting a museum and these cars were their starting point.
And here is the centerpiece:
They have all the parts to complete a restoration on it – almost. The only thing they are missing is the front windshield glass. Not bad. It will be a lot of work, but having all the parts is a BIG deal.
You don’t often get a chance to see a car museum’s start, but here it is. It will be fun and a lot of work.
So with that experience behind me I headed just a few blocks to the Pontiac, IL, Pontiac/Oakland Museum. It is only a couple of years old, but has some impressive cars on display.
My own family had an Oakland car dealership. After General Motors bought it they combined it with Pontiac and the Oakland name disappeared. Decades later Pontiac would disappear as well.
Inside there were several Oakland cars on display. This is very rare. Most of the museums I’ve gone to have zero Oakland cars on display.
The Oakland was a beautiful and sporty car of its time.
The one above is a Pontiac.
Above is another Pontiac. A 1934 Sports Coupe. By 1929 Pontiac cars were outselling the Oaklands and in 1931 the Oakland brand was discontinued.
The Pontiac brand continued and over the decades produced some memorable cars. The 1964 GTO kicked off the muscle car era.
The Firebird was brought out to compete in the pony car segment.
The Fiero was a unique platform that had a great deal of potential that was never realized.
The last blast was the Solstice. A two-seater platform that also could have gone somewhere great.
By 2010 GM had built its last Pontiac.
Pontiac often used their Tri-Power option in their muscle cars. Three, two-barreled Rochester carbs. The center one did all the duty to feed the engine until you punched the accelerator. Then all the carbs opened up feeding monster power.
Pontiac, Illinois hasn’t forgotten the cars that it once was the home for and this weekend is a big Pontiac celebration.