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.

Silvery green front of a 1937 Graham Cavalier Series 95 Sedan, which features a sloping chrome grill.

The tall and odd looking 19054 Cameron Model J Experimental Light Touring, features gold fringe along its roof, very open sides, tall narrow wheels, gold lanterns as headlights, and small whicker baskets on the side.

Close-up of a gold lantern style headlamp on the green 1905 Franklin Mode E Gentleman's Roadster.

The unique and odd rear seat of a 1910 Royal Tourist, Model M Roadster. The seat, upholstered in black sit within the opening of the spare tire.

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.

Overall view of the Gran Salon with its rose marble columns and collection of cars.

The Grand Salon, various cars parked on green marble floors, rosey tan marble columns reach toward a painted ceiling with multiple crystal chandeliers hanging from.

Looking over the various Duesenberg cars.

The front of a lipstick red 1934 Packard Model 1108 Twelve Sport Phaeton. A convertible, with a long hood and swooping fenders and white wall tires.

The green and gold 109 Gobron-Brillie Model 70/90 Tourer, an open car with tall and skinny white wall tires.

A beautiful two tone blue 1931 Packard 845 Deluxe Eight Sport Sedan.

Close-up of the unique fish scale grill of a 1928 Isotta-Fraschini Model 8A All-Weather Landaulet Cabriolet.

A collection of 1930s cars sit in a row.

View looking toward the Mezzanine, which overlooks the Grand Salon. The detailed ceilings feature crystal chandeliers, the mezzanine has opened archways just past the open staircase.

Looking at the Grand Salon from the Mezzanine.

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.

Overall of the dramatic 1933 silver Duesenberg Show Car.

Close-up of the intake on the hood of the 1933 Duesenberg.

Close-up of the grill and headlight of the silver 193 Duesenberg Show Car. A dramatic silver and chrome beauty with a long hood and short cab.

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 unique fan style speaker of the Victor Disc Phonograph.

Close-up of a hood ornament of a man in a tux, top hat, and monocle.

Close-up of a gold Puss In Boots hood ornament.

A spiral staircase climbs upward, with music notes painted on the wall all the wall up. To the right is a display case full 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.

An organ sits in the middle of the Music Room, which is lined with various Orchestrions and curtains.

The Hupfeld "Excelsior Pan" Orchestrion which features the figure of a woman wearing a gold outfit. Behind her a small arched mirror. Small sconces flank her.

A large black grand piano with brass details on the side.

Close-up of the sheet music holder of the grand piano, which features a small lyre and etched designs.

A Hupfeld Orchestrion that features multiple violins that are played by a rotating ring and small buttons.

A female figure sits in front of a mirror above a Popper "Gladiator" Orchestrion.

The rainbow lit pipes of the organ.

Overall view of a 18th century French Louie XV style dining set within a room of the same style. A large 18th century chandelier hangs from the ceiling.

On the edge of the 18th century style room features a fireplace with a mirror above.

Close-up of an authentic 18th century chandelier, although it has been electrified.

The overhead lights dim to showcase how the chandelier would have looking during the 1700s, and it is magically multiplied with an infinity effect thanks to the mirrors that flank both sides of the room.

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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