June 28, 2014 at 1:00 am

GM reunites 'Vette lover with old ride

Talley didn't lose his Corvette in a sinkhole, but recovering it took decades. )

“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

Sometimes when I share a feel good story with my morning show listeners, an amazing thing happens.

The story gets even better.

File this under, “The amazing power of WJR Radio” and, “You never know who’s listening.”

The story was about a fellow Detroiter who had the good fortune of owning a beautiful 1979 silver-gray Corvette.

“The ladies liked it” he told me.

So did a thief.

In July of 1981, the car disappeared from its parking spot on Jefferson Ave.

George Talley reported the theft to the police, and then he waited.

And waited.

And waited.

This past week, some 33 years later, George, who long ago gave up hope of ever seeing his beloved Vette again, got the surprise of a lifetime.

Someone claiming to be with the AAA in Hattiesburg, Miss., called him and said, “We have your 1979 Corvette, what would you like us to do with it?”

George thought this was a joke, they had to be kidding.

It was 33 years since he filed his claim (which was never paid), which means George was/is still the owner of the car.

This is where I came in with my story on the air about the incredible luck a guy had getting his car back 33 years after it was stolen.

I mentioned George was 71 and retired, and he didn’t know how he was going to get his car back home from Mississippi.

Unbeknownst to both of us, GM’s executive vice president (and fellow Corvette lover) Mark Reuss was listening to my show and called in to say, “We just have to do something to help; we will get his car back to him.”

When we got George on the line and gave him the newest good news, we all (including Mark Reuss) learned for the first time that George used to work at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds, with all kinds of good stories to tell.

None as good as the one about the Corvette he never thought he’d see again.

Some 33 years later, on its way back home.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.