About Us

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 creation of the museum was aided by the hard work of many people. Special thanks to Tim and Penny Dye, Mayor Robert Russell, City of Pontiac Administrator, Bob Karls, Tourism Director, Ellie Alexander, Pontiac Building Supervisor, Milt Hanson, his crew and many more. Grand opening day took place on July 23, 2011, less than one year from the time Tim first visited Pontiac.

Tim Dye and Mayor Bob Russell discussing the floor plan of the museum.
Construction of library wall.
Budget trucks and trailers in Tim & Penny's back yard in Oklahoma loading. One of many trips.
Cars begin to arrive in Pontiac.
Cars begin to arrive in Pontiac.
Planning meeting for grand opening. One of several.
Front of museum, awnings removed and text added by Diaz Sign Art, front of building painted.
Cars being put in place.
Grand opening ceremony, Dee Whiteye Singingbird a descendent of Chief Pontiac speaking.
Arnie Beswick was one of our special guest for the grand opening, here are two of his famous race cars in front of the museum for the grand opening.