The Mechanized Wonder of the Nethercutt Collection
Earlier I shared the impressive Nethercutt Museum. While the museum is amazing, and free, visitors have the option to extend their visit and tour the Nethercutt Collection, a paid ($10 at the time of our visit) tour showcasing even more cars, unique mechanical musical instruments, and more.
Visitors enter the Collection via the basement, known as the Lower Salon, which features a wide range of cars, including ones from the early 1900s.
I was especially amused by the above car, a 1910 Royal Tourist Model M Roadster, which featured a seat within its spare tire. I can only imagine it would have been both fun and a nightmare to ride in.
On the floor above, you enter the Grand Salon, an opulent interpretation on the automotive showrooms of the 1920s and 30s, with marble floors and columns, as well as dazzling crystal chandeliers.
The crown jewel of the Nethercutt Collection is the 1933 Duesenberg Show Car that was made for “The Century of Progress” 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair. A stunning piece of automotive craftsmanship and design that is sure to wow even people who aren’t into cars.
Next is the Mezzanine, above the Grand Salon with views looking over it, where visitors see smaller mechanical wonders, such as automaton dolls, various phonographs, as well as yet another massive collection of hood ornaments.
The Mezzanine gives way to a spiral staircase that leads visitors up to the Music Room, where they are delighted by amazing antique orchestrions, nickelodeons, all of which play and enchant the listener. In the center of the room is an organ, the third largest pipe organ in the country, or was it the world? I can’t recall. Regardless, it’s impressive! As the tour goes on, the pipes, which are built into the walls, are revealed. There is also an oval room showcasing a Louis the XV style dining room, complete with an authentic chandelier from the 1700s. On either side of the room are mirrors, providing an enchanting infinity effect, that becomes haunting as the overhead lights dim to showcase how the chandelier may have looked during Louis the XV’s reign.
Our tour group was made up of an eclectic cross-section of people, including a Model T Club and a group that came specifically to see just the music room. I honestly can’t remember how I heard about the Nethercutt, but Huell Howser did visit at one point, and you can watch his visit here.
And there we have it, the incredible Nethercutt Collection. I was seriously at a loss for words when I visited, and I still am. The Collection is indeed odd, but upon closer inspection the theme of mechanics is there. It was a delight to see so many of these antique items function.
Take the tour of the Nethercutt Collection at 15151 Bledsoe Street in Sylmar, roughly 25 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Once again, the Nethercutt Museum is free to visit, while this portion, the Collection, is part of a paid, guided tour. Advance tickets are recommended, as the tour can fill up. Visit their website for further details.
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2 comments on “The Mechanized Wonder of the Nethercutt Collection”
If my jaw was any further on the ground, I’d be hitting the core of the earth. 😀
But seriously, I am all but speechless over these utterly magnificent vintage vehicles – and completely agree with you regarding the hair-raisingly exhilaration that must have come from sitting in a seat positioned inside of the spare tire (in a pre-seatbelt era, to boot!).
Really and truly, thank you so much for sharing incredible spots like this. For those who have little to nothing akin to it in their area and may never make it in person to the locations you profile, posts like this are an armchair traveller’s best friend.
Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life
Aw, thank you!! That is truly what I want to do, both inspire people to travel to places, but also satisfy those who may not!