I sure hope we can eventually see some good pics of that gun. I will also note that I have never seen or heard of any Johnsons being chrome or nickel plated. My feeling is that that rifle was originally a prototype, but someone (who???) worked it over to make a sporter.
I once said that sporterizing was taking a $1000 rifle, making a $200 rifle out of it, and paying $800 for the job. If I am right, this was a case of taking a $50,000 rifle and making a piece of cr*p out of it.
@Jim I can't wait to see some better pictures of this rifle. As for sporterizing destroying the value of a rifle; it all depends on if it is a factory job or not. What I mean is if the rifle was actually built as a sporter at the Johnson factory; instead of as a custom job by an independent gun smith. It could in fact increase the value of the rifle because it can be that much more of a rarity. I have seen one off factory custom rifles that were made as a custom one off by known high quality rifle makers go for a decent amount more than as a stock rifle. But as with all rare items it all depends on the rarity, and how much a collector is willing to pay for it.