It may not be quite the same as having the E&N Dayliner back, but having one of Neil Young‘s train sets in your basement would certainly be a conversation-starter.
In a media release last Thursday, Young announced that he’s going to auction off many of the things he’s accumulated over the years, including his “personal collection of model trains, classic cars, guitars, recording gear, clothing, memorabilia, and more.”
The model trains up for grabs include the Lionel Western Pacific 1954 Blue Feather Boxcar Factory Prototype, with an estimated value of between $3,000 and $6,000. Cars include a custom made 1953 Buick Roadmaster – body number 1 of 1690 – with a steering wheel hub plaque reading “customized for Neil Young”, estimated to be worth $200,000 to $300,000. Or you could do some strumming on a 1965 Gibson ES-345 guitar for southpaws, which will set you back anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000.
Like Sir Rod Stewart, Young is as well known among model railroading fans as he his among music fans. Young is credited as the inventor of the CAB-1, the model train industry’s first truly user-friendly remote control. He was also instrumental in the development of the Trainmaster Command Control, which lets mini-engineers operate more than one train at a time. His passion for the hobby is demonstrated in his awe-inspiring layouts and his dedication to the famous Lionel company.
Chatting with David Letterman five years ago, Young related how his interest in model trains first came about: “It’s just relaxing. I was shopping once, Christmas shopping, back in 1977 or ’78, maybe ’76 … I was shopping for presents, and I found this huge Lionel thing, and it was like many thousands of dollars. I thought, my goodness, this is very expensive. Being a rich hippie, I bought it immediately.” And why is he auctioning off these prized possessions? “Collecting all of these items have been my great joy. They have provided a source of inspiration, fun and creativity throughout my life. 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.”
All of the items are available for public viewing at Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Los Angeles; the auction will be conducted at the gallery and online Saturday December 09. You can register here to take part in the auction, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit California’s Bridge School.