View Full Version : Neil Young Builds Electric Continental

June 1st, 2008, 08:44 PM
Talk about a hotrod Lincon! Check out Neil Young's New 'Rod


Neil Young feels driven to work on electric car

Jun 1st, 2008 | WICHITA, Kan. -- Neil Young, the rocker who provided some of the soundtrack to Vietnam-era protests, is trying to change the world again — with his car.

Young has teamed up with Johnathan Goodwin, a Wichita mechanic who has developed a national reputation for re-engineering the power units of big cars to get more horsepower but use less fuel.

The two are looking to convert Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible to operate on an electric battery. Ultimately, they said, they want the Continental to provide a model for the world's first affordable mass-produced electric-powered automobile.

"Johnathan and this car are going to make history," Young told The Wichita Eagle. "We're going to change the world; we're going to create a car that will allow us to stop giving our wealth to other countries for petroleum."

Young has poured about $120,000 so far into the project, Goodwin said.

What's more, the prototype power system worked during a 12-mile test drive of the car last week — albeit with a few glitches.

"She was awesome," Young said of the battery-operated car. "Her acceleration was incredible, she moved with hardly a sound; it was so quiet we could hear the wind through the tags of other cars."

The drive almost ended in disaster when Goodwin, who controls acceleration with a knob in the back seat, twisted it the wrong way while approaching an entrance ramp and the vehicle lurched toward the rear of another car. Young, in the passenger seat, was able to hit the brakes in time.

"Still needs work," said Goodwin, 37.

Young, 62, said he came across taped interviews of Goodwin eight months ago on the Internet, including a segment for the MTV show "Pimp My Ride." Goodwin's clientele includes California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had Goodwin work on his Hummer.

Young said he set out wanting his car to be able to use biodiesel, but later asked Goodwin whether they could instead power it with batteries and use it as a template to make electric cars more mainstream.

"The technology to make a practical and affordable electric car has been around for a long time," Goodwin said. "There are all sorts of ways of doing it and all sorts of ways to work out how to make it work on a national scale."

For Young, the project may finally complete a mission he set for himself with his music.

"You know, I thought long ago you could change the world by writing songs," he said. "But you can't change the world by writing songs. Oh, you can inspire a few people, get some of them to change their thinking about something. But you can't change the world by writing songs.

"But we could change it with this car."

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June 3rd, 2008, 03:59 PM
Neil, you rock.

June 3rd, 2008, 06:21 PM
(One might also add that Neil Percival Young is a Torontonian by birth, and son to a sportswriter father and a novelist mother.)

I confess, that if I had seen this article first, I would have placed it into "Alternative Cars/Vehicles"! :)

June 3rd, 2008, 07:51 PM
Neil has been cool for way long ...

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: Neil Young’s Classic Hybrid

inhabitat (http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/04/transportation-tuesday-neil-youngs-classic-hybrid/)
by Jorge Chapa


Classic cars are beautiful, extremely well-designed works of engineering, but, unfortunately, are also often gas guzzlers and heavy greenhouse-gas emitters because of their antiquated engines. But Neil Young of “Heart of Gold” fame has decided to transform his classic 1960s Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible from a regular vehicle to a fabulously efficient hybrid vehicle (http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/11/20/green.hummers/).

Neil Young’s move may shock some car collectors, but the eco-challenges facing the planet require new ways of looking at the old. In fact, Neil Young is filming a documentary to showcase the process and hopes to raise awareness of the available technology and performance of hybrids in mainstream America. After all, what could be more American than turning something classic into something new? Jonathan Goodwin of H-Line Conversions will perform the Lincoln Mark IV’s transformation. The electric-biodiesel vehicle is expected to achieve around 100 miles per gallon.


June 3rd, 2008, 10:47 PM
@ Zephyr:

In retrospect you are probably right about placing the post in the alternative vehicle section. I guess I got kinda caught up in the Rock and Roll theme. It can certainly be moved if the mods think it should be.

I have been a Neil Young fan for forever. And yes, e is Toronto's best export ;).

I am also a HUGE fan of Stephen Stills who alas is an import from Louisiana. ;)

Notwithstanding that the theme of the article is clearly electric cars, reading though it I could not help but recall the wise words of Commander Cody who was once overheard offering up the following quote from his father:

My pappy said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin'
If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln"

June 3rd, 2008, 11:46 PM
I have almost every album from Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen covering a slew of years starting many moons ago (http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/commander_cody_and_his_lost_planet_airmen/lost_in_the_ozone/).

Alas, I no longer have a turntable on which to play them :(

June 3rd, 2008, 11:51 PM
wow. now that's cruel irony.

June 3rd, 2008, 11:59 PM
It's OK ... I can hear them in my mind :cool:

Something about fingering an album jacket that brings it all back.

June 4th, 2008, 08:07 AM
Just a few lines from Sweet Home Alabama..

Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow


June 4th, 2008, 09:09 AM
Yes, yes ... we know about all that.

A refrain that will never sully this legend. :cool:

June 4th, 2008, 04:08 PM
Sweet Home Alabma was of course Skynard's response to Neil Young's Southern Man from the "After The Gold Rush" LP. Some also think it was a response to the song Alabama from Harvest. Perhaps it was both as Sweet Home was released a few years later.

Neil in kind responded with Walk On from the On The Beach Album ( A personal eddhead fave)

I hear some people been talkin' me down,
Bring up my name, pass it 'round.
They don't mention happy times
They do their thing, I'll do mine

Actually Neil Young and Ronnie Van Zandt are rumored to have been friendly. Van Zandt would sometimes even go as far to wear Neil Young tee-shirts in concert. And in the Live Rust movie, one of Young's band members is wearing a Skynard shirt. Go figure.