PONTIAC -- Tim Dye lives along Route 66 and believes the time is approaching to move up the road a little bit. About 597 miles, actually.
Dye lives in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow, Okla., and owns 18 Pontiac vehicles in addition to a huge collection of Pontiac memorabilia. He loves Pontiacs so much, he intends to move to Pontiac, Ill., and turn his collection into a museum.
"I'm a sponge for history and love doing research and learning about things that are important to our country," Dye said.
As a youth, he collected coins and stamps. When he was 16, his attention turned to Pontiacs. His first was a wrecked 1968 GTO.
"Ever since then, I've been living and breathing Pontiacs," he said.
In addition to cars, he has showroom brochures, advertising posters, model cars, matchbooks, books, toys, plates, glasses and various promotional items.
"If we can get a museum like that in Pontiac, it would be huge," said City Administrator Bob Karls. "It would be a boost for tourism and getting our name out there."
In October, Karls and Mayor Bob Russell visited Dye's home to view the collection. "It was unbelievable and well-organized," Karls said.
Dye has visited Pontiac to scout locations and plans a return this month to visit with the city council and possibly finalize a site.
"I think we are getting pretty close to getting some things accomplished, but something like this takes time," Dye said. "We don't want to rush anything and we want to make sure all of the pieces are in place."
Dye, an author, publisher and historian, estimates it will take several months to move the collection from Broken Arrow to Pontiac. "I've been in the business a long time and have several friends who have pledged their help, and some of the car clubs in the Pontiac area have also offered to help," Dye said. "We will have to have some of it professionally moved, but I'm excited and looking forward to talking with people about Pontiac all day."