5 Cars Owned By Neil Young That Prove He Has Great Taste

Neil Young is one of the most beloved songwriters alive today. Young has been active since the 1960s and has penned 43 studio albums of his own, while also participating as a core member of a number of bands and collaborations. Neil Young has become nearly as famous for his environmental activism as he is for his voice and six-string. Some of the cars that the Canadian folk legend has owned (or still owns) provide further credence to his down-to-earth lifestyle and his legendary tastes.

Neil Young isn't a collector of flashy rides or built-up muscle cars. His style is somewhat eclectic for a modern musical legend that has sold 85 million total records (across both his solo work and artistry with peers). However, each automotive piece of his collection fits neatly into the persona and lifestyle of the man himself. 

Young has loved cars and the process of driving for most of his life, and one of his songs — "Long May You Run" — was even written about his original 1948 Buick Roadmaster Hearse. In an interview he gave in 2014, Young noted that he called the car "Mort Hearseberg," saying: "I used to carry my band equipment around [in it]. I had rollers in the back, and the amplifiers would slide in and out very easily," according to GQ.

A converted biodiesel Hummer

One of the strangest choices for such an environmentally conscious musician is Neil Young's Hummer. His vehicle is a converted model, however: The Hummer no longer guzzles gas like others built to emulate the Humvee that military personnel travel in. Instead, Young's runs on biodiesel, and is covered in environmentalist slogans.

He reimagined the Hummer through his biodiesel conversion company, LincVolt. It was established as a means to retool a Lincoln Continental that's also part of Young's stable of automobiles. Through this pursuit, a number of other vehicles have been outfitted with these conversions. 

It's only fitting that Neil Young would target one of the biggest gas users on the roadways as a means of showcasing the potential for this type of change. It should also not be lost on casual observers that Young's chosen exterior stylings further drive home the point that electric automotive power is a necessary change for a brighter future.

1947 Buick Roadmaster sedan

An icon to say the least, one of Young's most prominent collector pieces is a 1947 Buick Roadmaster sedan. When asked what attracted him to specific car makes, Young told NPR in 2014, "Soul, design, culture, expression — the one that is probably the most beautiful is a '47 Buick Roadmaster sedan." He noted that he calls his Roadmaster "Fastback," and fondly adds that the '47 Roadmaster is a "classic" American design. 

Young has always gravitated toward automobiles with this kind of inherent spirit, and firmly believes in the concept of a great vehicle's living contribution and soul. In his 2014 book "Special Deluxe," Young tells of his cars truly living in his custom-built barn that was designed to house his most prized automotive possessions.

Indeed, Young is spot on when speaking of the '47 Roadmaster, as this particular model incorporated Buick's most popular body style. The car is rounded across the top, with flared front bumpers that stretch across the front axle and wheels at each side. Along the back edge of the vehicle's passenger compartment, the body rounds down toward a pair of bubbles that might resemble saddlebags on a classic Harley-Davidson. These spiral around the back corners of the vehicle to complete the iconic and genuinely aerodynamic vintage auto. 

Under the hood, the classic setup was a 320.2 cubic inch, OHV straight-eight engine that adds dramatically to the allure of this stylish vessel for cruising around town or along the highway.

1959 Lincoln Continental (LincVolt)

One of Neil Young's most visible automobiles is his 1959 Lincoln Continental. The white-cream convertible sports all the classical body stylings of a 1950s daily driver. However, there's one significant change to the vehicle that Young has personally overseen.

Neil Young once told The New York Times that this style of larger-than-life automotive design was a personal favorite — particularly the Lincoln offerings. "With all this talk about gas, people are saying we should go to small cars. But I love big American cars with power, why give up on that?" he said in 2008. Still, American muscle cars seemingly fly in the face of Young's passionate defense of the planet, so he devised a plan to merge these two worlds.

Neil Young's Continental has been dubbed the LincVolt, because he teamed up with an automotive genius in Jonathan Goodwin, swapping out the stock V8 engine with an electric motor that can still perform at high output. Goodwin noted to The Times that Young was like a teenager when it came to working on the vehicle.

"There have been times where Neil will get out of a concert at midnight or 1 a.m., charter a $60,000 flight and come here to work on the project." The passion for hands-on automotive work and the environmentally-friendly refit blend together to perfectly encapsulate Neil Young's style and personality. There may be no better car in the man's garage to capture the essence of who he is at his core.

1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe

Neil Young's Plymouth Special Deluxe is another fine piece of auto design. His tastes aren't like that of the average superstar, and his selection of favorite vehicles often involves a personal story and connection to the cars themselves. With his 1950 Plymouth, this is no different.

He purchased the car in 1974, virtually on a spur of the moment decision. He was in a local bar near his ranch in California and heard the vehicle was for sale. He snapped it up at just $1,800, and it quickly became a favorite for Young. In his autobiography, he talks about how his dog Elvis — a Tennessee Bluetick hound — spent many fabulous times sitting in the back seat as Young spirited them both around town in the pale yellow convertible.

That book was aptly titled "Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars," and sells for what can only be a symbolic $18.00 price tag. The car itself holds a deluge of memories, and the book that takes its namesake from his extra-special ride details not only time spent with his dog, but also how the vehicle provided a means to rebuild a bond with his estranged father. The Special Deluxe that Young purchased on a lark is certainly a special addition to his collection, and one that often features prominently in his life.

1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark Convertible

Neil Young's Buick Roadmaster Skylark is a convertible soft top adorned in a fiery red paint. Buick rolled out the Skylark as a celebration of the brand's 50th anniversary, and unsurprisingly, Young's vehicle is the first of Buick's production — totaling just 1,690 cars built in that year. His build included a steering wheel addition that read: "Customized for Neil Young." Young sold the car in 2017 for $400,000, but the beautiful piece of automotive engineering remained a part of his collection for many years.

The Skylark utilized a "Fireball" nailhead V8 measuring 322 cubic inches and harnessing 188 horsepower. Each piston in the engine was custom fitted to the cylinder, translating into a long-lasting lifespan and efficient, quiet mechanical functionality while driving. 

Suspension was another major improvement in the vehicle, meaning any owner of the Skylark was sure to experience a smooth ride over a variety of driving conditions. Buick equipped the Skylark with coil springs at each corner of the vehicle and hydraulic shock absorbers. In addition, the front end of the vehicle included an independent, anti-roll bar to minimize tilt in the car's body from front to back.