STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- The Michigan man who gained nationwide fame for his grueling commute to work now has a new story to tell. The latest chapter in James Robertson’s story is one about the compassion of strangers. Robertson spent years taking the bus then walking 21-miles a day to get to and from his manufacturing job.
His walking days ended on Friday.
He entered Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights without knowing a brand new 2015 Taurus belonged to him.
"James... he pretty much started crying in the car and I was like, ‘James, you can't do that. You'll make me cry, too,’" said David Fischer Jr. of the dealership.
The 21-miles a day commute on foot began 10-years ago when his old car broke down. Still, Robertson never missed a day of work. WDIV reporter Robert Weber asked Robertson what it’ll be like to drive to work every day.
"That's a good question. Whenever I step into it, it reminds me of where I've been and where I'm going," Robertson said.
The Taurus donation is on top of $311,000 given to Robertson through GoFundMe. Wayne State University student Evan Leedy started it.
"James asked for advice with handling the money and putting it in a trust fund. And that's in the works for next week," Leedy said.
The GoFundMe campaign closes on Sunday. Robertson has given a great gift in return, a story of resilience and dependability a story to lift us all.
"Anybody who has been on a roller coaster knows it goes up and down. It's been mostly up, up, up, up, up, up!” Roberston exclaimed.
Blake Pollack helped spring Friday’s surprise. He's the man who first spotted Robertson walking and shared the story with Bill Laitner of the Detroit Free Press.
“I don't think he wants a changed life. He likes where he lives and the people at his work and wants to do his thing and get to work easier," Pollack said.
Robertson is all set with insurance and a driver's license, and has long admired the Taurus because like him, it's strong on the inside.