Riley Johnson Jr.
A Collection grows in South Los Angeles
by Calvin Jones
consultant, Ph.D., commercial pilot, entrepreneur and classic car collector,
Riley Johnson Jr. is a modern day renaissance man that has a passion for
collecting cars and an absolute passion for Cadillac automobiles!
“Mr. Riley”, as I
affectionately call him, has been collecting cars since 1981. He’s
accumulated more that 85 cars. Mr. Riley’s eclectic collection consists of
Cadillacs, pre- and post war; Austin Healeys, Chevrolets, Buicks and even
Riley Johnson Jr.
was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. He graduated from Texas
College with a B.A. in Physical Education and Biology in 1956.
Riley moved to Los Angeles along with his
new bride where he began his teaching career in the Los Angeles Unified
School District after serving 27 months in the U.S. Army. Riley received his
Masters Degree from USC and later secured his doctorate in Education from
Claremont Graduate College in 1974.
Along the way Riley
received a commercial pilot’s license and was well known for flying and
storing his private plane, a 300 Super Viking, at the Compton municipal
airport. Currently, Riley is heavily involved in real estate with his two
children and enjoying the rewards of being a grandfather to his four
“I have always
loved cars and I started seriously collecting in 1981 when I saw many
pre-war cars such as Cadillacs and Buicks being sought by the Japanese and
other foreign buyers”. Many of Riley’s cars were acquired from friends and
relatives who started restoring cars, but later became disinterested.
Riley is the proud
owner of (2) 1939 Sixty Special Sedans. “I really like the black 39 Sixty
Special because that car was owned by Carol Lombard (wife of Hollywood
legend Clarke Gable) and I could only imagine her driving the car around old
Los Angeles with her long hair blowing”.
acquired a 1948 limo that I truly enjoy”