The magic of Neil Young – rock star, car collector and model-train hobbyist – made itself known Saturday when Julien’s Auctions sold off some of his cars, musical instruments and memorabilia, and a “vast” collection of Lionel electric-train items, on Saturday in Los Angeles.
The sale totaled $2 million, including auction fees.
The top seller was a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark convertible, the first one off the assembly line and with a steering-wheel hub that says “Customized for Neil Young,” that went for an impressive $400,000, way above the pre-auction estimated value. All sale results include auction fees.
The next-highest result was for “over 230 pieces of Young’s beloved and magnificent model trains from his lifelong collection of Lionel trains,” according to an auction news release. That sold for a total of $300,000.
Two other automobiles were included in the sale. A rare 1941 Chrysler Series 28 Windsor Highlander coupe, which Young says was once owned by Steve McQueen, sold for $35,200, about twice the estimated value, while a 1948 Buick Roadmaster Hearse, identical to the one that Young and his early band, the Squires, used to haul equipment, and which inspired his classic song “Long May You Run,” sold for $31,250, more than three times the high estimate.
Young’s guitars and recording equipment fetched some monumental prices, such as the group of 16 Universal Audio 610 preamp console modules in black that sold for $68,750, more than six times the estimated value; a 1977 Martin D-19 acoustic guitar for $43,750 against its original estimate of $2,000-$3,000; a white Gretsch Falcon guitar for $43,750; and a 1957 Gretsch Country Club guitar sunburst for $37,500.
The 72-year-old Young, a legendary singer/songwriter who helped drive the folk-rock movement of the 1960s and ’70s, has performed regularly until this year, and says he will be begin again in 2018.
The Neil Young auction ends Julien’s Auctions series for 2017. For information about future sale, visit the auction website.