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Rocker Neil Young’s collection of cars, guitars and Lionel trains to be auctioned


A 1948 Buick Roadmaster funeral hearse, a vast collection of model-railroad trains and gear, plus guitars, recording equipment and memorabilia from a lifetime as a legendary rock n’ roller highlights an auction of the collection of singer/songwriter Neil Young, scheduled for Saturday, December 9, at Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Los Angeles.

The 72-year-old Toronto-born rock star, who had been performing in concert regularly until this year and has promised to be back on the road in 2018, wrote some of the greatest songs of the folk/rock movement of the 1960s and ’70s.

Neil Young collection of cars, guitars and Lionel trains to be auctioned
Young’s early band transported equipment in an identical hearse

Another part of Young’s life, of which most of his many fans are probably unaware, was as an avid Lionel model-train hobbyist, even to the extent of inventing some of the controls and accessories for electric trains produced by the iconic model-railroad company.

Young also collects vintage cars, and the three cars to be auctioned include a Buick hearse that is identical to the one that Young and his band, The Squires, used to haul equipment to their gigs in the early 1960s. That car was the inspiration for one of Young’s many popular songs: “Long May You Run.”

While the original hearse is long gone, Young later obtained the current one for his collection. The auction company values it at $8,000 to $10,000.

Neil Young collection of cars, guitars and Lionel trains to be auctioned
The Chrysler is said to have been owned by Steve McQueen

Maybe not as meaningful but far more valuable is Young’s first-in-production 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark convertible, a 50th anniversary special-edition model with a steering-wheel hub that says “Customized for Neil Young.” The Skylark’s estimated value is $200,000 to $300,000.

The third car, a 1941 Chrysler Series 28 Windsor three-passenger coupe, has double celebrity provenance; according to Young, the car was once owned by none other than the late actor Steve McQueen. Julien’s values it at $15,000 to $20,000, unless of course, Steve McQueen fever takes over the bidding as it has on other auction occasions. In that case, the sky’s the limit.

Young is undoubtedly one of the towering greats of the rock era, touring and recording with his band Crazy Horse, performing along with Steven Stills in Buffalo Springfield, and again with Stills in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. He has written literally dozens of rock anthems, including such hits as “Cinnamon Girl,” “Heart of Gold” and “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Neil Young collection of cars, guitars and Lionel trains to be auctioned
A Lionel train memorializing the HORDE music Festival

More than 230 pieces from his Lionel train collection will be offered at the auction, including some unique items, as well as several of his electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers and a hurdy gurdy used on Young’s recording of “Red Sun.” Also at auction will be several pieces of clothing worn by Young on stage or at events, including a red-and-blue plaid flannel shirt worn in a performance with Paul McCartney at a benefit concert for the Bridge School, with an estimated value of $1,000-$2,000.

For information on the Neil Young sale, visit Julien’s Auctions website.




Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Mr. Hypocritical is selling off some of his fossil fuel burning possessions. This is the man that doesn’t think that there is any need or requirement to mine the oil sands in Northern Alberta. What is he now going to collect electric cars?

    • The man owns (3) antique vehicles, (1) of which is a copy of the model he used to tour with his band in, and you want to: a. Compare that to the Alberta Oil Sands project, and b. Label him a "HYPOCRITE".

      Well, Kim, long may you run – AWAY.

      • Are you kidding me? Obviously you don’t live in Alberta. Did I forget to mention by his own admission, that he fly’s in a jet that typically burns 750 gallons of fuel per hour. Speaking of running away?

        • @ Kim – well, I guess you better make sure YOU don’t ever take a trip by commercial airline – or else the political correctness police will be talking about YOU online. No I don’t live in Alberta, but I can’t disagree with him – unless you are speaking strictly about the local Alberta economy. Besides – maybe that’s why he sold the cars – ever think of that? You haters never stop wearing your ignorance like some kind of badge of pride – who are YOU to JUDGE?

          • Hey Rex……your train is off the track. It’s hard to have a meaningful discussion with someone when they just don’t get the point.

  2. Just turned seventy and have been a Neil Young fan since the Buffalo Springfield band.
    I’m also a classic car collector but had no idea that Neil was to. AWESOME.

  3. Can you tell me how to register for the year Neil Young auction? I can be reached on my personal cell number (716)908-9286. Thank you

  4. In the end he,s just a singer……….nothing more nothing less…….people need to be careful how they pick their heroes………I personally love his music, I just don’t lose track of what’s important in my life…..it’s not Neil Young, or any other celebrities for that matter……most of them end up corrupted by the very system they strive so hard to join.


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