Route 66 News

Pontiac museum may come to Pontiac, naturally

In this story Friday in the New York Times about the dying Pontiac vehicle brand, which officially ends tomorrow, I stumbled on this intriguing passage:

“You hate to see them go, but they were floundering and couldn’t find their place in the market,” said Tim Dye, who owns 21 Pontiacs from various eras and a huge collection of Pontiac memorabilia — started with a bottle of GTO cologne from his uncle — that he had assembled over more than 30 years.

Mr. Dye’s home in Oklahoma, along with two buildings on his property, are filled with thousands of items from Pontiac’s past, including showroom brochures, advertising posters, model cars, pencils, ashtrays and matchbooks. Now that Pontiac is gone, Mr. Dye plans to turn his collection into a museum in Pontiac, Ill., a city on Route 66.

“I can’t think of anything better to do than just visit with people about Pontiac every day,” he said.

It turns out that Dye lives in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow, Okla. And, in an e-mail, Dye said he plans to move his Pontiac collection to Pontiac fairly quickly:

The folks in Pontiac are helping us very much and are very excited about the museum. The mayor and city administrator spent last weekend here looking at our collection and getting a handle on the whole project. They can see it will be their largest attraction and a big boost for their tourism. If all goes according to plan we will probably start packing in January, it will take months to move everything. They would like to have a grand opening of phase 1 in June or July, it will probably take several steps to get everything set up and going.

Dye isn’t an ordinary memorabilia collector, either. Going to his website, you can see he’s written a book, and here’s his brochure (Acrobat file) about his Pontiac Vintage Press & Library.

12/7/2010 UPDATE: The Bloomington Pantagraph published a story today about Dye’s upcoming move to Pontiac.

12/14/2010 UPDATE: The Pantagraph reported that the city of Pontiac is still looking for a suitable location for Dye’s museum. The mayor spoke to the city council about the benefits of landing the museum, in tandem with the Route 66 museum, Walldog Museum, and Livingston County War Museum.