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Free Fun at the Nethercutt Museum

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On: Thu, May 22, 2014 at 3:36PM | By: Gary P Garry

Free Fun at the Nethercutt Museum

When you see a collection of classic cars, you are looking at history in tangible form. This is one of the fantastic things about visiting a classic car museum.

There are a number of museums around the country that house truly incredible collections. At or near the top of the list is the Nethercutt Museum, located in Sylmar, California.

This museum was founded by J.B. and Dorothy Nethercutt. J.B. was one of the founders of Merle Norman Cosmetics along with his aunt, Merle Nethercutt Norman. Dorothy and J.B. had an affinity for classic automobiles, and they had the resources to engage their passion. They started their collection in 1956 when they purchased a 1930 DuPont Town Car and a 1936 Duesenberg. That was the start of something big.

The Nethercutts went on to build a robust classic car collection. They started the Nethercutt Museum back in 1971. Dorothy and J.B. both passed away in 2004, but they have left behind an extraordinary legacy.

The museum is now run by J.B. and Dorothy's son Jack along with his wife Helen. One of the coolest things about the Nethercutt Museum is the fact that there is no admission charge. This has always been the case, and you have to love that sense of generosity.

The museum has exhibits that are broken down by era, starting with The Antique Era. A 1911 Pope Hartford and a 1909 Gobron-Brille are a couple of the highlights.

The Vintage Era encompasses the period from 1916-1924, and it includes a stunning 1923 Voisin Model C-5 and a 1916 Simplex-Crane.

Next comes The Classic Era which spans from 1925 to 1948. You can see a 1931 Bugatti, a 1933 Duesenberg, a 1932 Maybach-Zeppelin DS convertible, and other extraordinary classic specimens.

The final section showcases The Post-War Era. Have you ever seen a 1951 Bentley and a 1967 Ferrari 365 in the same place? You will have that opportunity if you visit the Nethercutt Museum.

Jay Leno is a well-known classic car enthusiast, and this is what he had to say about J.B. Nethercutt and his museum: “He has done a Smithsonian-style effort on the history of transportation in America right here in the San Fernando Valley. It's the equivalent of Cooperstown in baseball or the rock 'n' roll museum in Cleveland. It's the hall of fame for cars."

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Where can you have a better experience for free? Check it out the next time you are in Los Angeles.

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