J.B. Nethercutt was an intrepid car collector who decided to take over the business that his aunt founded, Merle Norman Cosmetics. Somehow car restoration and cosmetics went hand-in-hand (even selling nail polish in the same shade as some of his restored cars), and as the beauty business grew, so did his car collection. And not only cars, but also a curious collection of antique musical instruments.
Join me and the Los Angeles Obscura Society as we explore this rare collection of antique and vintage automobiles which includes 30 of the finest automobiles of the 1910s, 20s and 30s, as well as pristine Post-War examples like a lowrider with hydraulics, an early model electric car, and Delorean.
Continuing our time warp into a bygone era, we'll also visit the upstairs Music Room to peruse Nethercutt's collection of gramophones, music boxes, player pianos, nickelodeons, orchestrions, and other musical instruments that literally play themselves.
Amidst these automated mechanisms, we'll get to hear the largest Mighty Wurlitzer organ of its kind on the West Coast, fully equipped with strange Hollywood sound effects like doorbells, alarms, train whistles, and wind.
For those wanting to make a day of it, arrive early for a self-guided tour of the Nethercutt Museum (free!) to view the 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive and 1912 Pullman Private Car across the street! Both attractions close at 4:30 p.m.
Notes for this adventure:
- This is a Thursday day time event (1 pm to 3:30 pm).
- Allow for plenty of travel time: Sylmar is 30 miles north of LA metro and travel time can take up to an hour in traffic.
- Unfortunately we cannot wait for latecomers - we must start on time!
- Free parking is available in the large lot adjacent to the Nethercutt Museum across the street, or on the street.
- Only water is permitted on site. No food or beverages are sold on site.
- Photography is allowed in the Collection, but please – no touching!
- Sorry, no children under 12.
- Dress in layers: Sylmar can get very hot in the summer, but it will be cool inside the collections's building.
- Handicapped Accessible.
Photo Essay: The Cars of the Nethercutt Museum & Collection
Photo Essay: The Musical Instruments of the Nethercutt Collection