The Nethercutt Collection CA

Los Angeles, California's Nethercutt Collection

Los Angeles, California’s Nethercutt Collection is a multi-story private car collection and museum complex located in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles. A.B. Nethercutt formed it in 1971, and its focal point is the famed vehicle collection of the Nethercutt-Richards family, which has been hailed as one of the world’s greatest collections by various newspapers, including the New York Times.


Several years later, in 1956, J.B. Nethercutt, co-founder of Merle Norman Cosmetics, purchased two automobiles: a 1936 Duesenberg Convertible Roadster and a 1930 DuPont Town Car that needed to be refinished. The rehabilitation of the DuPont plant, which Nethercutt anticipated would take a few weeks, ended up taking 18 months and costing more than $65,000. At the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California in 1958, his reconstructed project won its first trophy, the prized “Best of Show” award.


The Nethercutt Collection building, a 10-story tall skyscraper in Sylmar, Los Angeles, adjacent to a Merle Norman manufacturing business and called “The Tower of Beauty” or “San Sylmar,” was completed in 1971.


The Lower Salon and the Magnificent Salon, located on the first two storeys of the tower, house the family’s most valuable automobile collection, with the Grand Salon being inspired by the grand showrooms of New York City’s luxury automobiles from the 1920s through the 1930s. The third story contains an awards room as well as a collection of hood ornaments; the fourth story contains a music room that is home to numerous big antique music boxes and player pianos, as well as a Wurlitzer theatre organ that serves as the focal point of the area on the fourth floor.


A dining room in the style of Louis XV and a big kitchen is also located on the fourth level. The fifth story contains a theatre with a 24 karat gold proscenium arch, which is adjacent to a vast space filled with pianos. J.B. lived in a penthouse on the sixth floor, which he utilized as his secondary property.


As part of its expansion in the early 2000s, the Collection built a new display facility just across the street, which was known as the Nethercutt Museum before being absorbed into the Collection. Among the other facilities on site is the Nethercutt Automotive Research Library and Archive, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s best in its field.


In contrast to the Collection, which requires reservations for guided tours, the newer Nethercutt Museum is available to the public and can be explored at your own pace. Located outside the Museum is a Canadian Pacific Railway steam engine, Royal Hudson No. 2839, which is displayed with a 1912 Pullman private car.


J.B. Nethercutt passed away in 2004, and the collection was passed down to his son Jack Nethercutt II and his wife, Helen Nethercutt, who are now the custodians.

The collection had a budget of about $2.5 million per year, which was allocated to various projects.


This article was originally posted at Once Over Restoration.