Corvette People Helping Corvette People - 7/31/23
By Norman Spurlock
We left Story City at 7:30 AM (3 cars) Wednesday morning in light rain which turned into a
driving rain for most of our way across the state of Iowa on Hwy 20 enroute to South Dakota for
the Black Hills Corvette Classic. This was my 6 th convention which I look forward to all year.
The first stop was at Jerry’s Chevrolet in Sioux Falls where our group of three cars became four.
The next morning our caravan of four cars headed for Spearfish on I90. We entered a
construction zone west of Rapid City. In the transition from the old road to the new, I hit a
sharp bump. It was very aggressive to say the least. When we got to Spearfish I checked into
the hotel and then headed for the car wash as is my tradition. As I was washing my car, I
worked my way around to the passenger side and was shocked to see on the front tire a piece
of the side wall protruding between the tire and wheel. NOW WHAT to do? I dried off the car
and called Paul Smith who was traveling in our caravan. Paul had worked in the retail tire
business for several years and has a wealth of knowledge about tires. He confirmed my fear
that my tire needed to be replaced. The tires that are on the Corvette are Michelin 285/30/19
Run Flats and are not common tires to any extent of the imagination.
The next morning began my quest to find a tire. Without a replacement I was stranded,
however, Spearfish is a nice place to be stranded LOL. I started with the Chevrolet dealer and
was told they don’t deal with Corvette tires and was directed to a tire store. At the tire store
they did find a tire for me--one in Denver and two in Colorado Springs. Then the question arose,
with the UPS strike pending, when could I get the tire? When I returned to the host hotel, I
found Paul and updated him on my tire quest and to see if he had any suggestions. He was
meeting with Mike Skiles about the tours which Paul would be leading. Mike overheard my
problem and offered his assistance and within minutes found a tire for me in nearby Rapid City.
I confirmed that Pomp’s Tire Service had the tire I needed. I was shocked and overjoyed. I
immediately headed to Rapid City with one eye on the road and one on the tire pressure.
When I arrived, the treatment I received at the tire store was amazing. The management is a
second-generation Corvette family and Todd shared family Corvette stories. Todd had a
technician familiar with Run Flat tires work on my car. I was back on the road in 30 minutes. I
might add the tire and mounting was very reasonable. As I began my article: Corvette People
Helping Corvette People--there is none better. A special thank you to Mike Skiles, Todd with
Pomp’s Tire, Paul Smith and kind words from Sally and Jim Carlisle.
Despite my tire issue, it was a great trip! The escorted tours hosted by Paul (co-pilot Gina)
Smith were great. I was able to meet-up in Deadwood for the second half of the first day’s
tours. The second day was outstanding as well as we went to Devil’s Tower among other places.
The ‘road less traveled’ dining experiences, both in the Black Hills and enroute home, were fun.
I think we all enjoyed the eclectic experience. I’m already looking forward to 2024!!!!
This year’s attendees were Sally and Jim Carlisle, Steven Jordison and Paul Swofford, Paul and
Gina Smith, and myself.