A 1917 Oakland motor car was displayed outside the Wisconsin Capitol during the 100th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 8.
The car was built in 1917, in Pontiac, Michigan, and cost $875. The Capitol was completed in 1917 and cost $7.25 million.
The 1917 Oakland Model 34 or “Sensible Six” Touring Car was selected to illustrate Wisconsin’s transportation history, a subject that is also depicted in murals inside the state Capitol building. The car had recently been driven over the 409-mile Wisconsin section of The Yellowstone Trail to help support the Lions Club Camp for Blind and Disabled Children in Rosholt. This trip has raised approximately $7,000 so far.
Automotive historian John Gunnell, of Iola, owns the Oakland, which is an example of the predecessor make of the Pontiac automobile.
Dave Sarna, the former mayor of Manawa, and a retired automotive technology instructor at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, prepped, drove and maintained the car.
Sponsors of the Yellowstone Trail trip included the Iola Car Show, Old Cars Weekly, the Appleton Old Car Show, Madison Classics, Greg’s Speed Shop of Waupaca, Wisconsin, Northern Battery Co. of La Crosse, The Yellowstone Trail Association and WPAK 109.6 Radio of Waupaca.
State Rep. Kevin Petersen, of Waupaca, helped make the arrangements to have the Oakland on display.
Gunnell and Sarna brought the car to Madison at their own expense and attended the Wisconsin Capitol 100th Anniversary Gala.
Sarna explained that Lions International also celebrated 100 years of operation in 2017, which inspired him to get involved with the Yellowstone Trail and the state Capitol’s 100th anniversary.
Since the Lions Club’s first 12 months spanned two calendar years (1917-’18), he’ll keep fund raising activities going until mid-2018 at car shows and events.
For more information or to make a donation visit Century for Sight on Facebook.