Musician Neil Young to sell cars, trains, guitars

Neil Young is to sell his classic cars, model trains and instruments at auction in Los Angeles – and the items will be on free public display before the sale

Musician Neil Young is selling more than 500 items from his personal collections of classic cars, model trains, guitars, recording gear and clothing at a sale by Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles on December 9.

Alongside his stellar music career, Young has also found success as a producer, director, screenwriter, entrepreneur and even inventor – particularly of model train equipment.

The majority of the items for sale are musical instruments and model trains. However, there are three notable classic cars that Young, known for his love of motoring – he's currently producing a film about converting his 1950 Lincoln 'LincVolt' to electric power – is selling from his collection.

The three cars he's selling are a Chrysler coupe, a Buick Roadmaster hearse, and a Buick Roadmaster convertible.

1941 Chrysler Series 28 Windsor Highlander

The Windsor Highlander was the most expensive and prestigious model that Chrysler had to offer at the time, and this example is thought to have been previously owned by Steve McQueen, according to Neil Young. It has a 241.5ci 'Spitfire' inline L-head six-cylinder engine producing 108bhp, and a Vacamatic semi-automatic transmission. It features Highlander plaid upholstery, hydraulic brakes, steel disc wheels and bumper guards. It's estimated that it will sell for $15,000-20,000.

1948 Buick Roadmaster Hearse by Flxible

This Buick hearse is identical to the one used by Neil and his band, The Squires, to carry their equipment in the early 1960s. It's the theme of his song Long May You Run on the album of the same name with Stephen Stills in 1976, and is also mentioned in his book Waging Heavy Peace. It has a 320ci inline L-head eight-cylinder engine with 144bhp, two-speed Dynalow automatic transmission and a two-barrel carburettor. Just 435 of these cars were built.

The hearse features several personal touches such as the Pine Knob Music Theater backstage pass sticker marked 'Stills', a 'Shit Happens' bumper sticker and a permanently affixed plaque reading: 'William Randolph in Memory of Taylor Phelps' (Taylor Phelps, the former manager of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, who passed away on October 14, 1995). It's estimated at $8000-10,000.

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible

Neil Young’s rare, Buick’s 50th anniversary special edition, code 76X Skylark convertible, of which just 1690 were made, is powered by a 188bhp 322ci engine, with four-barrel Carter carburettor. It has a Twin Turbine Dynaflow automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering, hydraulically-controlled antenna, windows, front seat and top. The wheels are 40-spoke Kelsey Hayes wires. On the steering wheel hub is a note saying that the car was 'Customized for Neil Young'. This one is expected to sell for $200,000-300,000.

Classic cars for sale now

Model trains

Alongside all his other achievements, Neil Young invented the CAB-1, the first user-friendly remote control in the toy train industry, and the Train Master Command Control, which allows multiple trains to be run at the same time), as well as RailSounds, which provides realistic railroad audio. He's renowned in the model train community for these inventions, and for his magnificent model layouts. 

The auction will present over 230 items from Young's collection of Lionel trains including prototypes for Lionel production locomotives and rolling stock, many of them from the fabled Lionel Archives. Many of these items have been run on his monumental Broken Arrow Ranch model train layout that he built with his son, Ben. He designed train control devices for Ben, who has cerebral palsy, and others with disabilities so they can enjoy model trains.

Highlights include the Lionel Hudson Factory Prototype locomotive (estimated at $10,000-20,000), the Lionel Western Pacific '1954' Blue Feather Boxcar Factory Prototype ($5000-10,000); the Lionel Santa Fe 'Clear Shell' F-3 locomotive ($3000-5000); the HORDE Tour Psychedelic Vanderbilt Hudson locomotive ($12,000-15,000) that ran in a layout Young brought to the Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere music festival.

Musical instruments

Several of Young’s guitars, recording equipment and instruments will be offered including two Studer A800 Mark III Master recorders known as 'The Twins' ($10,000-12,000); four Marshall Full Stack Amplifiers ($3000-6000); a 1935 Martin F-7 acoustic guitar ($6000-8000); a 1965 Gibson ES-345 left-handed electric guitar, with a Varitone, original tailpiece, original pickguard, a strap and a handwritten chord chart ($4000-6000); and a hurdy gurdy used on Young's song Red Sun from his album Silver and Gold ($400-600).

Young’s clothing worn on stage and at events will also make an appearance including an Abercrombie & Fitch red and blue plaid flannel shirt worn in a performance with Paul McCartney at a benefit concert for the Bridge School ($1000-2000); a tan and cream striped seersucker J Crew jacket, worn in a performance at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida ($1000-2000) as well as bolo ties and designer jackets.

'Collecting all of these items have been my great joy. They have provided a source of inspiration, fun and creativity throughout my life,' said Neil Young. 'Now it is time to share them with others in the world whom I hope will enjoy and love them as much as I have.'

The items will be displayed at the auction house, free to the public, from 10am to 5pm daily from Monday 4 December to Saturday 9 December at Julien’s Auctions Gallery, 805 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90069. The auction takes place on Saturday 9 December.

For more information view the Julien's Auctions website.

Classic Cars for Sale