The Nethercutt Museum on Halloween 2018 in Sylmar, California

She’s a beauty!!


The Nethercutt Museum showcases more than 130 of the world’s greatest antique, vintage, classic and special interest automobiles including many top winners of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.”-

“The Nethercutt Collection is a multi-storied private car collection and museum complex located in Sylmar, California. It was founded by J.B. Nethercutt in 1971 and its centerpiece is the prestigious automobile collection of the Nethercutt-Richards family, which has led several publications to name it as one of the greatest collections in the world.[1][2]

As J.B.’s former estate, the San Sylmar penthouse tower was one of the largest houses in the United States at 60,000 square feet.[3]

The collection also houses collections of mechanical musical instruments, including orchestrions, player pianos, music boxes, antique furniture, and an automotive research library.[4] Another unique piece in the collection is the Canadian Pacific Railway’s famous Royal Hudson steam locomotive No. 2839 built in 1937. The semi-streamlined Royal Hudson steam locomotive is one of four that survive today.[5][6]

The collection is considered as one of the greatest teams of all time in Concours d’Elegance competitions with its world-class restoration shop, winning a record six Best of Show titles at Pebble Beach.[7]


In 1956, J.B. Nethercutt (1913–2004), the cofounder of Merle Norman Cosmetics, purchased two cars: a 1936 Duesenberg Convertible Roadster and a 1930 DuPont Town Car, needing refurbishing. The DuPont restoration, which Nethercutt thought would take a few weeks, instead took 18 months and over $65,000. By 1958, his rebuilt project claimed its first prize — the coveted “Best of Show” award at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.[8]

In 1971, the Nethercutt Collection building was constructed; a 6 floor, 10-story tall tower in Sylmar, Los Angeles connected to a Merle Norman manufacturing plant, dubbed the “Tower of Beauty” or “San Sylmar.”[9] The first two stories of the tower; the Lower and Grand Salon, feature the most expensive vehicle collection of the family, with the Grand Salon being inspired by 1920s-30s New York City luxury car grand showrooms.[10] The third story features an awards room and collection of hood ornaments.[11] The fourth story consists of a music room with several large antique music boxes and player pianos, with a Wurlitzer theatre organ in the centerpiece of the room. The fourth floor also features a Louis XV styled dining room and a large kitchen.[12] The fifth floor has a theatre which includes a 24 karat gold proscenium arch next to a massive room of pianos. There was a 6th floor penthouse which J.B. used as his secondary residence.[9]

In the early 2000s, the Collection expanded and constructed a new 40,000 square foot display building directly across the street which was separately called the Nethercutt Museum. The building also contains the Nethercutt Automotive Research Library and Archive, which is considered one of the greatest in the world.[13][14] In comparison with the Collection which requires reserved guided tours, the newer Nethercutt Museum is openly self-guided.[15] Outside of the Museum contains a CPR steam locomotive Royal Hudson No. 2839 is presented together with a 1912 Pullman private car.[16]

After J.B. Nethercutt’s death in 2004, the collection was handed down to Jack Nethercutt II and Helen Richards-Nethercutt.[17] The collection had a budget of around $2.5 million a year.[1]

In 2011 OPI Products and Merle Norman Cosmetics styled its “Hussy” perfume and lipstick line after the Collection’s distinctively red “Hussy” 1934 Packard LeBaron Sport Phaeton, which is nicknamed after John Hussey.[18][19]

From 2020 to 2021 the collection was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20]



The Nethercutt Collection has over 250 prestigious, antique, and exotic vehicles from American and European origin, notably including from Aston Martin, Austin-Healey, Bentley, Bugatti, Cadillac, Duesenberg, Ferrari, Lincoln, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and others.[21] Several vehicles in the Collection were formerly owned by world leaders and public figures such as Emir Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Tim Allen, and others.[14]

Notably the collection’s custom 1933 Arlington Torpedo Duesenberg Model SJ dubbed the Twenty Grand was a key display at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Its one-off design by Gordon Buehrig is considered to be the most beautiful Duesenberg built and is one of the most valuable cars in the world.[22][23][24] The collection’s Bugatti Type 51 Dubos Coupe is famous for its modified one-off coach design and is considered one of the most beautiful cars in the world.[25]


The Collection acquired Canadian Pacific Railway’s famous Royal Hudson steam locomotive No. 2839 which was built in 1937, it is displayed with a fully restored 1912 Pullman private sleeping car outside of the museum complex. No. 2839 steam locomotive is one of four that survive today.[5][6]


The Collection houses dozens of world-class antique music sets, including mechanical musical instruments, phonographs, massive orchestrions, dozens of player pianos and music boxes, and antique furniture.[4] The Nethercutt Collection’s Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ is the largest theatre organ in the Western U.S. and third largest in the world.[26][27][28]


The Collection hosts silent film screenings and organ concerts in the 4th floor music room, using the Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.[27][28]

Every year until his death, J.B. Nethercutt would take dozens of cars from the Collection with family, friends, and invited guests on a cruise through the hills to a picnic at Frazier Park with catered foods from the professional chefs at the Collection. The event was one of the most exclusive items on any car lovers wish list as Autoweek magazine described it, “You can be as rich as Bill Gates or have a collection as big as that of the Sultan of Brunei, but you don’t get a personal invitation from J.B. Nethercutt himself.”[29]

From 2008 to 2010 the Collection’s vehicles served as the lead car and transport of the Grand Marshals of the Rose Parade, including Emeril Lagasse, Cloris Leachman, and Chesley Sullenberger.[30]

Concours d’Elegance:

The Nethercutt Collection team competes in concours d’Elegance competitions and are widely considered as one of the greatest teams. The collection has won dozens of Best of Show victories, including a record six Best of Show titles at the pinnacle Pebble Beach and five at Amelia Island, both more than any other competitor.[7][31]…

Nethercutt Automotive Research Library:

The museum contains the Nethercutt Automotive Research Library which contains archived encyclopedic engineering materials on American and European vehicles since the end of the 19th century, such as owner’s manuals and engineering documents. It is considered one of the ten greatest automotive research libraries in the world.[36]

Accolades and Awards:

The Collection has been named as one of the greatest car collections in the world by The New York Times[37], Los Angeles Times[38], Motor Trend,[39] CNET,[40] CBS,[41] and several other publications. It is listed as one of America’s five greatest automobile museums by Autoweek.[42]

Television personality and car collector Jay Leno described the Collection as a “Smithsonian-style effort on the history of transportation in America” and “The hall of fame for cars.”[43]

In Popular Culture:

The Royal Hudson steam locomotive No. 2839 appeared in the 1980 Coal Miner’s Daughter film, which won an Academy Award.[44][45] The 1949 film The Great Gatsby featured the 1936 Duesenberg SJN now owned by the collection.[46]

In 2005 the collection was exclusively featured on the Motor Trend series My Classic Car.[47] In 2022 the collection’s 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Dubos was featured on the CNBC series Jay Leno’s Garage.[48]”-



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