For a few hours Tuesday afternoon, the Poage Chevrolet Buick dealership in Hannibal could lay claim to being the Corvette capital of at least Northeast Missouri, if not the Midwest.
For a few hours Tuesday afternoon, the Poage Chevrolet Buick dealership in Hannibal could lay claim to being the Corvette capital of at least Northeast Missouri, if not the Midwest. A total of 71 Corvettes, bound for the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., took a break from their excursion and stopped in America’s Hometown.
The opportunity to host the group was unexpected, according to Shannon Haycraft, sales manager of the dealership located near the intersection of U.S. 61 and Paris Gravel Road.
“About a month and a half ago I got a phone call out of the blue from the Corvette Club of Minnesota. They were heading to the 20th anniversary of the Corvette Museum down in Bowling Green, Ky.,” he said. “They checked two dealerships in this area which are somewhere close to the halfway point. We were the ones that welcomed them to come on in and said we’d make room for them to park.”
According to Paul Christopher of Minneapolis, the group of Corvettes he is leading south represents not only Minnesota, but also North and South Dakota, and Central Canada.
“We left Minneapolis this morning. We’re coming down through Iowa and Missouri, and will go into Illinois tomorrow, Indiana and down into Kentucky, to Bowling Green, Ky. We’ll be there tomorrow night,” he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon the trip had been uneventful.
“So far we’re having a lot of fun,” said Christopher. “We hit the traffic lights here, so we’re kind of scattered.
“I’m the lead car and on the way down I could see all the Corvettes behind me just for miles. It’s quite exciting to see.”
Lining up behind Christopher were an assortment of Corvettes.
“The oldest one I think is a ’58 Corvette. He has to fill up quite a bit with gas because it doesn’t get the gas mileage the new ones do,” he said with a chuckle. “The next one is a ’67 Corvette. Most of them are newer - ‘90s, 2000s, 2010s. We have a couple of brand new ones – 2014s. We have a whole mixture of colors and years of Corvettes.”
Among the most noticeable features for the northern visitors was the weather they encountered in Hannibal on Tuesday.
“It was 55 degrees this morning when we left so it was nice and cool for getting outside and chatting. It’s quite warm here,” said Christopher.
While the warm temperatures may not have been appreciated, the Corvette drivers did enjoy the “warm” hospitality they received from the Poage dealership.
“We’re glad to be here and having the dealership here sponsor us. We’re quite thankful for that,” said Christopher.