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Riley Johnson Jr.

A Collection grows in South Los Angeles

by Calvin Jones

     Educator,  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 Fords. 

     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 grandchildren.

      “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”. 

“I recently acquired a 1948 limo that I truly enjoy”






Date Last Updated: March 25, 2020
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