Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Big O Tire Store at 85 Placerville Drive in Placerville was a restaurant called Max’s Jumbo. From there, teenagers would cruise to the Bell Tower. Before the advent of Highway 50, tourists would travel Forni Road to downtown, then go on to Tahoe.
In 1966, Don Turney made the historical diner into a Big O Tire Store.
Its showroom still has vestiges of its former restauranthood, with a horseshoe counter where waitresses picked up their orders.
“My office is where the kitchen used to be,” said Mike Hurd, proud of the historic location and history of the business he and wife Sharlaine purchased in 1997.
“When the big box stores opened, people went there once. They found that time is more valuable than money, and they appreciated the service and knowledge here … so they came back” Hurd said.
Not only that, Big O tires are simply the best.
“I sell more Big Os than anything else. It is one of the few tires still built in the USA, made by Cooper Tire in Tennessee. They also have the best warranty in the business,” said Hurd.
Since the true meaning of the holidays entails reindeer and sleighs, what do tires have to do with the season?
The holidays is a time for families, and to most people, safety is a part of keeping their families healthy and happy. Currently Big O Tires has a great special going on. Just in time for the season, this package guarantees safety all year long.
They also have a gift card, thereby giving the gift of great auto service, be it tires, front end work, alignment or brakes. The gift card is a thoughtful present, readily useable for car care needs.
One can’t underestimate the importance of tires, along with the precision with which they are installed. Poor tires can affect gas mileage and can jeopardize one’s safety on the road. Hurd recommends checking tire pressure once a month.
In the foothills, Hurd said, it is ideal to rotate tires every 3-4,000 miles, which they will do free of charge at Big O Tires, as long as the tires still have “legal tread.”
“Our roads are hard on tires; in the flatlands you can go longer between tire rotations,” Hurd said.
With every tire purchase and mechanical service, Hurd stresses the follow-up care and educating the customer.
All kinds of tires
Big O Tires doesn’t just carry automobile and truck tires. They have snow tires, ATV and wheelbarrow tires as well as trailer tires. The other thing they sell are tire chains, and everyone, he said, should be equipped with proper tire chains.
“It is recommended by the DOT that you carry chains all the time, even if you have 4-wheel drive. It’s real important now to make sure you have chains with you. Last winter was proof that you never know when you will need them,” Hurd said.
He and his wife live near Coloma, and even with 4-wheel drive, he nearly had to put on chains. “The oak trees and pine trees weren’t used to having so much snow, so they were falling down all over the place, and I had to make “S” turns every hundred yards or so to get to work.“
During the holidays, many people try to give presents that are needed, if not wanted. With a gift card from Big O Tires, people can obtain great service, safety and the other benefits of a well-maintained car.
When Santa makes his list this holiday season, Big O tires is bound to be on the “nice” list. With great customer service, a family-owned and operated local business with products made in the USA, places like Big O Tires are part of El Dorado County’s heritage and good old American values.
Santa probably wouldn’t mind a Max’s Jumbo, either, but with good wheels, he could cruise around to find a perfect burger.