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2022 NRHS Convention The Nethercutt Museum and Collections 5/19/2022

by Chris Guenzler

After a fantastic behind-the-scenes tour of the railway at Knott's Berry Farm and having breakfast at McDonald's, I went downstairs to wait for the bus to load. I was the first to board Bus 1 and then James Harris joined me as usual. Elizabeth returned from her duties with the 9:00 tour and was on Bus 2 today. The buses left the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel and drove north on Interstate 5 to the Sylmar Recreation Centre where there are numerous picnic benches which is where lunch was distributed. This was done because the Nethercutt Museum does not allow food or drink inside and there are no such facilities there. I sat with Greg and Marty Smith and Elizabeth joined us after taking everyone's lunch ticket stubs. My plain roast beef sandwich turned into a plain turkey sandwich but it was still good. From there it was a short bus ride to the Nethercutt Museum where everyone debussed and went inside.

NRHS Trip Information

This day's event takes us by chartered motor coaches to tour the Nethercutt Museum and Collection in Sylmar. The collection is made up of three parts: the automobile museum with cars built from 1890s to the 1970s, the world-class mechanical musical instrument collection including the 5,000-pipe Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, and the railroad artifacts, which feature the 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson locomotive 2839 and the 1912 Pullman Private Palace car No. 100, named "California". A box lunch is included in this event.

Nethercutt Museum Founders

Born in South Bend, Indian on October 11, 1913, J.B. Nethercutt moved to Santa Monica, California in 1923 to live with his aunt and founder of Merle Norman Cosmetics, Merle Nethercutt Norman. He later left his studies at the California Institute of Technology to go into business with his aunt.

On September 3, 1933, J.B. married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Sykes. The marriage lasted more than 70 years until Dorothy's death on October 8, 2004. It was during their early years together that J.B. and Dorothy began their love affair with old cars.

In 1956, J.B. purchased two cars: a 1936 Duesenberg Convertible Roadster for $5,000 and a 1930 DuPont Town Car for $500, both needing total refurbishing. The DuPont restoration, which J.B. estimated would take a few weeks, instead took 18 months and over $65,000. By 1958, his meticulously rebuilt project claimed its first prize - the coveted "Best of Show" award at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. By the summer of 1992, his cars had won the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance six times, more than any other individual. The Duesenberg and the DuPont are still part of The Nethercutt Collection.

As J.B.'s collection grew, he was determined to share his masterpieces with the public. In 1971, he and Dorothy opened a museum in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, which has been free to the public since its opening.

J.B., who passed away on December 6, 2004 at the age of 91, memorably stated: "The recognition and preservation of beauty has been a major focus of my life". It would suit me well if what people remembered about me was, "Where he went, he left beauty behind."

Early on, Jack exhibited a fondness for cars and discovered his natural abilities on the track. His sports car racing career from the 1950s and 1960s is showcased in The Nethercutt Collection's Lower Gallery. Jack hung up his helmet to help with the family business. A University of Southern California graduate, he served as Vice President of Marketing of Merle Norman Cosmetics and later as President in 1973. He held this post for a number of years before leaving to explore other interests, including ownership of a Las Vegas, Nevada restaurant.

In March 2002, Jack returned as President of Merle Norman Cosmetics. He and Helen now serve as Chairman of the Board and Vice Chairman, respectively. They also serve as Chairman of the Board and Director for The Nethercutt Collection. They continue to restore museum-quality cars, entering and winning at virtually every concours in which their stunning cars appear.

The Nettercutt Collection

Among the treasures spanning four floors in the collection's original facility is one of the world's most outstanding assortments of beautifully restored antique, classic automobiles. They are showcased in an exquisite re-creation of an opulent automotive grand salon of the 1920's and 1930's. An amazing collection of automobile mascots, antique furniture, clocks and watches, and one of the worlds finest collections of Mechanical Musical Instruments are displayed in our music room.

Museum Locomotiive and Cars

Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive 2839 was built in 1937 by Montreal Locomotive Works and is resplendent in its Royal maroon, gold leaf, gloss black and brushed stainless steel livery, is a testament to the grand era of steam locomotive engineering. The Hudson type is a 4-6-4 wheel arrangement and was a high-speed passenger locomotive with a top speed of 90 mph.

1912 Pullman Private Car 100 California

Custom built by Pullman in Chicago, Illinois for Clara Baldwin Stocker, the eldest daughter of local Pioneer "Lucky" Baldwin. This railcar has been beautifully restored back to 1912.

Our Visit

I started looking around at the cars.

A 1972 Chevrolet.

A 1905 Buick Model C Touring.

A 1912 De Dion Bouton.

A 1914 Rauch and Lang.

A 1923 Voison C-5 Sporting Victoria.

A 1911 Moon Model Thirty Tennosu.

A 1925 Cunningham.

A 1956 Porsche Model 356A 1600 Coupe.

A 1930 Minerva Model AL Limousine de Ville.

A 1913 Christie Fire Wagon.


A 1930 Cadillac Model 452A Town Cabriolet.

A 1932 Auburn Model 12-180A Convertible Coupe.

A 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom Town Car.

A 1932 Austro Daimler ADR8 Alpine Sedan.

A 1932 Austro Daimler ADR8 Limousine.

A 1921 Lincoln Model L Phaeton.

A 1914 De Dion Bouton.

A 1912 White.

A 1920 Kenworthy Model 480-7-Passenger Touring.

A 1907 Pierce Great Arrow (650Q) Touring.

A 1907 Westinghouse Model 40 Demi Limousine.

A 1910 Napier Model T-24 Tourer.

A 1937 Rolls-Royce Model 25/30 Sedanca de Ville.

A 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Touring Limousine.

A 1936 Pierce-Arrow.

A 1937 Lincoln Model K Twelve Berline.

A 1933 Pierce Arrow Model 1237 Convertible.

A 1914 Knox Model 46 Six Touring.

A 1933 Pierce Arrow Model 1242 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1911 Pope-Hartford Model W 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1917 Pierce Arrow 66-A-4 Seven-Passenger Touring.

A 1939 Packard Model 1707 Twelve Formal Sedan.

A 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 51 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1927 Pierce-Arrow Model 36 Dual-Cowl Phaeton.

A 1934 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton.

A Felix the Cat Hood ornament. Next our group would walk across the street to the other four storey building to see all of the displays. First was the "basement" level. Here Kyle Irwin, the lead docent, gave an animated and most interesting overview of the museum and what we would see, which he did throughout the tour.

A 1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible.

A 1983 De Lorean.

A 1952 Fiat Model C (Cinquecento) Belvedere.

A 1926 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Cabriolet.

A 1933 American Austin Bantam Coupe.

A 1929 Kissel Model 8-126 White Eagle Speeder.

A 1940 MG Model TC Roadster.

A 1946 Volkswagen Type 11 Saloon.

A 1932 American Austin Bantam Roadster.

A 1958 Vespa Model "Jolly".

A 1901 Toledo Model A Steam Carriage.

A 1934 Ford Truck.

A 1905 Franklin Model E Gentleman's Roadster.

A 1904 Cameron Model J Experimental Light Touring.

A 1903 Peerless Type 6 Style F Rear-Enterance Tonneau.

A 1927 Model M Star.

A 1960 Austin-Healey Model 300 MK 1 BTTL 2+2 Roadster.

A 1923 Moon Model 6-58 Sports Touring.

A 1922 REO Model T6 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1923 Locomobile Model 48 Victoria Sedan.

A 1930 Ford Model A 508 Sport Coupe.

A 1933 Franklin Model 17A Club Brougham.

A 1928 Pontiac The New Series Six C-28 Sort Landau Sedan.

A 1916 Dort Model 5/Touring.

A 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Phaeton (180A).

A 1932 Lincoln Series 231, KB, Coupe.

A 1917 Oldsmobile Forty-Five (45-T) 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1926 Wills Sainte Claire Model T-6 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1910 Royal Tourist Model M Roadster.

A 1932 Lincoln Series 231 KB Coupe.

A 1906 Franklin Model G Light Touring.

A 1932 Chevrolet Confederate Series Model BA Deluxe Coupe.

A 1923 Case 40 Model 0 Fire Truck.

A 1937 Graham Cavalier Series 95 Sedan.

A 1936 Hupmobile The Six-Series 618C 6-Passenger 4-Door Sedan.

A 1926 Chrysler Model 72 Sport Roadster.

A 1923 Dodge Brothers Series 116 Touring.

A 1934 Ford Model 40 Deluxe Roadster.

A 1932 Cadillac 358-B Deluxe Sport Coupe.

An extensive collection of cottage and other figurines lined the walls.

Hummel Figurines.

More figurines.

Lenox and Swarovski figurines.

Mrs. Nethercutt's Collection of Norman Rockwell and Maud Bogart figurines and paperweights, as well as Faberge Imperial Jewelled Egg collection by Franklin Mint. From here everyone either climbed the stairs or rode the elevator to the second floor of this museum.

This piano, a Schleip Lyra Flugh piano, made in Germany, was the first thing one sees as you ascend the stairs.

A Steinway Grand Piano is also in the entryway.

Lida and the Swan musical mantle clock built in Austria. We then entered the Grand Showroom.

Museum scenes.

A 1926 Pierce-Arrow Series 33 Runabout.

A 1928 Isotta-Fraschini Model 8A A8-Weather Landaulet Cabriolet.

A 1930 Packard Model Speedster Eight Victoria.

A 1928 Hispano-Suiza Model H6C Cabriolet.

A 1956 Mercedes-Benz Type 300 Cabriolet A.

A 1930 Cord Model L-29 Front Drive Town Car.

A 1931 Stutz DV-32 5-Passenger Sedan.

A 1886 Benz (Replica MK) Motorwagon.

A 1923 Hispano Suizo Model H6B Cabriolet de Ville.

A 1931 Cadillac Model 370A Converitable Coupe.

A 1909 Gobron Brillie Model 70-90 Tourer.

A 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Dubos Coupe.

A 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Convertible Sedan.

A 1930 Mercedes-Benz Model 54 Cabriolet A.

A 1913 Mercedes 37 95 Double Phaeton-Torpedo.

A 1937 Cord 812 (Supercharged) Convertible Phaeton Sedan.

A 1909 Packard Model Thirty Runabout.

A 1931 Packard 145 Deluxe Eight Sport Sedan.

An 1898 Eisenbach Runabout.

A 1912 Franklin Model G Series 1 Runabout.

A 1930 Ruxton Front Drive Sedan.

The ornate light fixtures and beautiful ceiling of the Grand Showroom.

Two ornate pianos.

A 1936 Duesenberg Model SJN Convertible Coupe. Mr. Irwin proudly told us of the abilities of this car which is still entered into races and competitions.

A 1934 Packard Model 1108 Twelve Sport Phaeton.

Awards won by the Nethercutt Museum.

A 1930 Dupont Model G Town Car.

A Tiffany grandfather clock which was carved out of one piece of mahogany. We climbed the stairs to the mezzanine for an overview of the Grand Salon.

Baldwin Grand Piano with Piano Disc.

Museum scenes. We took the stairs up to the third level of this unique and incredible museum.

Music Automation Doll Collection and other displays.

Palliard Music Machine.

Car show awards won by the Nethercutts over the years.

A Reginaphone by the Regina Music Box Company in New Jersey.

A Columbia Graphophone.

Edison Standard Cylinder Phonograph Player.

Pebble Beach "Best In Show" awards.

Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph Player.

Reuge Singing Bird Cage Automation from Switzerland.

Bremond Cylinder Music Box.

Victor Disc Phonograph. We took the spiral staircase up top the fourth level to the music room.

Bremonds Captain's Desk Cylinder Music Box.

"Spirit of the West", a creation of silver craftsmanship depicting the spirit of the early West. It was expressly made for exhibition in San Francisco at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition by the International Silver Company.


"Spirit of Ecstasy" Hood Ornament/Mascot display cases.

Plaques and awards that have been won over the decades.

Fantastic displays abound at this museum.

Musical Stereopticon.

More awards and related items on display.

Cuendent Oriental Cylinder Music Box and an award display case.

A very ornate clock which caught Elizabeth's eye.

The last two table displays.

Views looking down into the Grand Showroom.

Those fantastic lights over the Grand Showroom.

Film stars of the era.

Another view of the table display.

The J. P. Seeburg Automatic Orchestra Nickelodeon.

Music boxes come in all sizes.

Another of the grand pianos in this room.

Wurlitzer Quartet Orchestration.

More of the gorgeous nickeoldeons in this museum.

Wonderful exhibits of time pieces.

An Imperial Grand Piano.

Emperor Franz Josef Concert Grand Piano.

More views from this incredible museum.

A meeting room at the west end of this room.

One last view of a mirror.

Mr. Irwin then gave a demonstration of the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ and pressed buttons on a slide-out console for sounds such as a car horn, train horn, wind and other sound effects that accompanied silent films. He told us that the museum does show silent films and the organ accompanies the motion picture. Then, something that no one expected, was a full demonstration of the organ. First was the theme from "Phantom of the Opera" followed by "Chattanooga Choo Choo". He explained that the pipes were all over the room and as if by magic, two large blinds were drawn up to reveal the massive pipes. It was truly an incredible concert.

The organ rose from the floor.

Everyone was mesmerized by the pipes and the sounds emanating from them. What a way to finish this tour of the Nethercutt Museum. I took the elevator down to the street level and as I exited, heard a train horn.

A Union Pacific freight train crossing the road. I arrived back at the main building and continued my picture-taking.

A 1914 Peerless Model 48-Six Touring.

A 1926 Diana.

A 1931 Daimler Double Six 50 Royal Limousine.

A 1931 Cunningham Series V-9 Enclosed-Drive Limousine.

A 1919 Packard.

A 1915 Stevens-Duryea Model DD 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1932 Marmon Series 16 Sixteen Sedan.

A 1928 Lincoln Model L Enclosed-Drive Limousine.

A 1923 Lafayette Model 134 4 Passenger Coupe.

A 1923 Chevrolet Superior Model 8 Sedan.

A 1928 Gardner Eight-In-Line Sport Sedan.

A 1925 Franklin Model 10C Sedan.

A 1925 Durant Model A-22 Four Sedan.

A 1936 Ford Model 68 Deluxe Roadster.

A 1932 Packard Model 906 Twin Six Convertible Roadster.

A 1947 Ford Super Deluxe 79A Station Wagon.

A 1915 Packard Model 5-48 Passenger Touring.

A 1938 Lincoln Model K Touring Coupe.

A 1916 Packard Model I-25 Twin-Six Limousine.

A 1913 Winton Model 17-D Six 45-Passenger Touring.

A 1912 Alco Model 9-60 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1939 Cadillac Model 452A Dual Cowl Phaeton.

A Binford 6100 Van.

A 1913 Chalmers Model 18 Six-Touring.

A 1906 Pope-Toledo Type XII Touring.

A 1955 Austin Healey Model 100M (SN2) Lemans Roadster.

This car, while an award-winner, did not have a sign board.

A 1947 Lincoln.

A 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight Imperial Landaulet.

A 1932 Chysler Series CL 8 Custom Imperial Convertible Sedan.

A 1938 Cadillac Series 90 Convertible Sedan.

A 1926 Stearns-Knight J-8-90 Limousine.

A 1935 Cadillac Model 425D 5-Passenger Convertible Coupe.

A 1926 Pierce-Arrow Model 36 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1956 Packard Carribean 56 Series Convertible.

A 1933 Cadillac Model 452-C Imperial Limousine.

A 1932 Lincoln Series 241 Model KB Twelve Convertible Sedan.

A 1956 Packard Carribean 5400 Series Convertible.

A 1939 Packard Fifteenth Series Touring Sedan.

A 1932 Cadillac Model 452B Deluxe Sport Phaeton.

A 1930 Cadillac Model 452A Imperial Cabriolet.

A 1930 Packard 1507 Fifteeneth Series Touring Sedan.

A 1952 Hudson Hornet Twin-H Convertible Brougham.

A 1918 Marmon Model 34 4-Passenger Roadster (Chummy).

A 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Areo-Dynamic Coupe.

A 1930 Marmon Big Eight Model 112 Sedan.

A 1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 52 Sedan.

A 1925 Chevrolet Superior Model Series K Touring.

A 1928 Daimler Double Six 30 Touring Saloon.

A 1928 Minerva AM Convertible Town Cabriolet.

A 1928 Grand-Paige Model 827 Sedan.

A 1921 Lincoln Model L Phaeton.

Another one of these unique cars in this museum.

A 1912 White Model GF Sixty 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1907 Pierce Great Arrow (65Q) Touring.

A 1920 Kenworthy Model 40-8 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1911 Matheson Model 18 Silent Six Touring.

A 1911 Pope-Hartford Model Y 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1913 Lozier Type 72 Lakewood Torpedo.

A 1915 Ford Coupelet.

A 1915 Pierce-Arrow Model 48B-3 5-Passenger Touring.

A 1917 Simplex Crane Model Touring.

A 1997 EV 1 Model Gen 1 Electric Coupe.

A 1962 Lincoln Continental 4-Door Convertible.

Weiser Cabinet Grand Player Piano.

A 1914 American Model 644 (Underslung) Touring.

A 1916 Simplex Crane Model 5 Touring.

A 1919 Cunningham Series YS Limousine.

A 1910 Pierce-Arrow Model 1242 7-Passenger Touring.

A 1937 Packard 1507 Twelve Fifteenth Series Club Sedan.

A 1941 Packard Model 15327 Custom Super Sedan.

A 1923 Duesenberg Model A Phaeton.

A 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Marlborough Town Car.

A 1911 Oldsmobile Limited Series 27 Limousine.

A 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Croydon Victoria.

A 1914 Pierce-Arrow Car.

A 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville.

A 1990 Cadillac.

A 1956 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV Saloon.

A 1988 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Limousine.

A 1966 Rolls-Royce Phantom 5 Touring Limousine.

A 1972 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Limousine.

Engine and a chassis.

A 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon.

A 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine.

A 1908 Northern Model C Touring.

A 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine.

A 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Town Car.

A Mills Violano Virtuoso Nickelodeon.

A Multiphone "Lyre".

A Regina Automatic Disc Changer Music Box.

A 1936 Pierce-Arrow Travelodge Trailer. We waited a few minutes for everyone to gather and would be taken outside to the railroad display.

The private car "California" is sheltered on the far side.

Private Car 100 "California" built by Pullman Palace in 1912 for Clara Baldwin Stocker, eldest daughter of the California pioneer and businessman E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin.

Views inside this opulent business car.

Views inside the cab of Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson 2839.

Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson 4-6-4 2839 built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1937.

More views of the Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson. The CPR Hudsons were designed primarily for fast passenger service and could reach speeds of 90 mph with fifteen car passenger trains. They were extremely reliable in service, averaging 110,000 miles a year. In 1939, H-1-d 2850 was assigned to haul the train carrying King George VI and Queen Elizabeth from Quebec to Vancouver. 2851 also led a pilot train that proceeded the "Royal" train by one hour. Both locomotives were specially liveried for the assignment with Royal blue and silver paint, stainless steel boiler cladding, the royal arms painted on the tender and another crown painted on the skirt just ahead of the cylinders.

The locomotives acquitted themselves well on the 3,224 mile trip, apparently greatly impressing King George VI. After the tour, both were returned to the railroad's standard livery but, later, the CPR was given permission to place the crown on the skirts of its newer 4-6-4s (2820-2864) and to designate them "Royal" Hudsons. Retirements began in the 1950s, although some of the locomotives ran into the mid 1960s. 2389 last steamed in 1950 and was officially retired in 1959 after having run more than three million miles. In 1963, it was sold to the Government of Ontario and then, in 1969, to the Royal Hudson Company.

In 1972, 2389 was leased to the Atlantic Central Steam Railroad in Bath, Pennsylvania, where it was restored to full operation. It was then leased to the Southern Railway and briefly hauled passenger trains on the steam excursion program in 1979-80. However, it was not sufficiently powerful for the runs it was required to make and was subsequently leased to Historic Red Clay Valley Inc., in Greenbank, Delaware, and then Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. The Blue Mountain and Reading tried to restore and run 2839 on excursions, but it was ultimately sold and went through a series of other owners before being purchased by the Nethercutt in 1999.

Back inside the museum I found this display which I missed earlier then talked with John Goodman in the lobby before everyone boarded the buses, with Elizabeth checking our members off on her manifest as they boarded. We took Interstate 210 to CA 2 to Interstate 5 and hit traffic all the way to Interstate 605, where it finally broke free. We returned to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the evening after a fantastic day of this 2022 convention.