A 1917 Oakland motor car was displayed outside the entrance to the Wisconsin Capitol 100th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 8, 2017. The car was built in 1917, in Pontiac, Michigan and cost $875. The Capitol was completed in 1917 at a cost of $7.25 million.
The Gala was planned by the100th Anniversary State Capitol Commemorative Commission “It is with great honor that we have opened the doors and the history of the Capitol this evening to celebrate a shining star of architectural design and the blood, sweat and tears that brought it to life 100 years ago,” said an official announcement.
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, Wisconsin. This trip raised approximately $7,000 so far.
Automotive historian John Gunnell, of Iola, Wisconsin owns the Oakland, which is an example of the predecessor make of the Pontiac automobile. Dave Sarna, the former Mayor of Manawa, Wis. and a retired automotive technology instructor at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, prepped, drove and maintained the car.