Yes, a non-political, positive post from Larry. The Nethercutt Museum

Yes, it’s true. I can and have written a “few” posts that were not about Measure M taxes, “eminent domain” Prop’s 90 and 98, or Mission Viejo politics.

A group from our church took a field trip yesterday to visit the Nethercutt Collection located in Sylmar, CA. Their “free admission” collection is housed in two buildings just above where the 405 and Interstate 5 come together north of Burbank.

This non-profit Museum was founded and continues being maintained by Merle Norman cosmetics. “In 1931, Merle Norman opened her first Studio in Santa Monica, California. Her nephew, J.B. Nethercutt, soon joined her in developing and manufacturing the products she sold.” We were told that JB was the auto buff.
Their Foundation continues to purchase and restore unique vehicles that are rotated in their Sylmar display rooms so that you can visit often and see other vehicles each time.

Let me not overlook their musical instruments that include an organ with over 5,000 pipes that take up several rooms. We did listen to several songs being played before departing. Our tour guide told us that their pipe organ collection is 30 percent larger than the one at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

On a scale of one to ten I would rate visiting this combined collection a huge ten!

Reading from their brochure:

“The Nethercutt Collection is the life’s work and passion of the late J.B. and Dorothy Nethercutt. Today this world class treasure-trove of prize-winning automobiles, mechanical musical instruments and many rare collectibles in housed in two beautifully appointed exhibit facilities just north of Los Angeles.”

“The Nethercutt Museum showcases more than 100 vehicles, six of which have won the top award at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance an unprecedented six times.”
While you can tour one building housing most of the auto display and walk through the Pullman Railroad car designed for Lucky Baldwin’s family, you do need to make a reservation to be taken on a tour across the street that is “an opulent re-creation of an automotive Grand Salon” with its huge chandeliers and imported marble floor on which some one of a kind cars are on display.

In addition to racing cars when I was a bit younger, I do have an appreciation for many different antique and classic automobiles. As we entered the main building it was hard to decide which aisle to go down first. I did take photos of several cars starting with a ’31 Bugatti and an ’33 Pierce Arrow at the front entrance. Walking down the first aisle I stopped at a burgendy 1913 Winton as we headed toward a rear door to board the train and it’s locomotive that you can also enter.

Other vehicles in this first building included a 1915 Model T, ’37 Cord, ’30 Rolls Royce, ’07 Pierce, ’11 Olds whose tires are around four feet in diameter. Moving along we passed a  ’36 Duesenbrerg, a ’51 Bentley ordered by Onassis for his bride, a powder blue ’28 Nash, a ’29 Kissel and a ’37 Talbot Lago.

And folks. These are the “least valuable” cars on display. Across the street is where the real treasures can be found. Every one of these cars has gas in the tank and the keys in the ignition. However they also have guards with “cannons in their holsters” just to keep the cars form leaving the building.
However, for auto buffs, I have already wet your appetite enough if you enjoy vintage cars.  Our guide almost ruined my day when she mentioned the Rose Parade. She pointed to their vintage car that was driven by the Grand Marshall in the parade. Somehow we simply can’t get away from the blogs.

The Nethercutt Museum, 15151 Bledsoe Street, Sylmar, CA 91342 818.367.2251
“Guided tours require two hours to complete and are available by reservation Tuesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.. Call or email for reservations.

When the photos are developed I may post a few if this story is not on page four by the time I upload them.

About Larry Gilbert