Tom Johnson, the man who’s restoring Williamston’s heritage

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By Matt Miller
Williamston Post Staff writer

Tom Johnson has had no problems keeping busy in the town of Williamston. From the community to restoring the glory of old cars, there is plenty to do.

Johnson finalJohnson had been restoring cars since he was in the Air Force. He has to two current projects One is a red 1953 Studebaker Star Rider. Johnson is working on its engine and interior.

Though the bodywork of the car looks great, Johnson says he still has a lot of work to do before he is able to take the Studebaker out for a spin.

Johnson prides himself on being a restorian, a word he jokes about inventing. He has helped restore a number of projects around Williamston.

Johnson’s neighbor, Scott Crilly, says that Johnson collects orphan cars. Orphan car’s manufactures, such as Studebaker, are no longer producing cars.

Some of Johnson’s jobs include the one-room schoolhouse, the Depot Museum, a gazebo that stood in Williamston before cars, and his own house. Crilly said that he and Johnson often work on their houses together.

Crilly and Johnson both says that people who restore vehicles tend to restore cars from their high school era. of the cars Johnson restores are ‘50s models.

“He’s incredible for his age,” said Jane Johnson, his wife. She mentioned that her husband had creative talent and the ability to visualize projects very well. Jane Johnson currently is president of the Williamston Depot Museum, and said her husband has been a great help in restoring the depot.

John Johnson is currently very active in the community. Johnson also serves as the Chairman of the township historical community and the chairmen of the Board of Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Association.

And, if that is not enough, Johnson has a car ready for Williamston’s celebrations. “We always provide a convertible for the parades in town,” Johnson said with pride.

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