Saturday Trip: Nethercutt Museum & The Bear Pit for Lunch
Nineteen Corvettes gathered on a beautiful, top-down Saturday morning for some small talk and coffee at our usual southern meeting spot. Following the short drivers’ meeting, we began the short drive to Sylmar, where we gathered again in the lower level of the Nethercutt Museum to find ourselves folded-in with several other car clubs, an Elk’s lodge, and a number of civilians who were all there for the tour.
Our guide, Kyle Irwin, a full-time employee and curator for the museum, was extremely knowledgeable and offered a lot of interesting facts about the displays, museum history, and some behind the scenes information. During the tour we were also given plenty of opportunities to wander around the magnificent automobiles, Art Deco hood ornaments, ornate music boxes, Hümmel figurines, and an impressive collection of mechanical musical instruments.
Kyle was quick to point out that everything in the collection is fully functional, and the point was emphasized during the tour finale when he turned the mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ loose against a vintage Steinway player piano, and the resulting duel was an impressive performance of one-hundred-year-old technology.
When it was over, it wasn’t really over because there was so much more left to see, but we simply ran out of time! So, I guess we will just have to go back again at a later date.
After the tour, our group, less about fifty of our new-found tour friends, made the drive to Mission Hills and the famous Bear Pit, Missouri-Style Bar-B-Q restaurant. What specifically is Missouri style BBQ you may ask? Well, it’s simply a broader term for traditional Kansas City Style BBQ, which is a slow-smoking technique over a hard-wood fire, and then served with a thick, tomato-based barbecue sauce. This held true for lunch which included the full menu of ribs, brisket, hot links, chicken, and all the fixings, including their legendary garlic toast.
This was a fun, well planned event that made for a great Saturday morning adventure. If you were not able to attend, and have never been to the Nethercutt Museum, you owe it to yourself to take some time and check it out. The Nethercutt family, and by extension, Merle Norman Cosmetics, has spent 63 years building this collection of concourse quality cars, and an array of other rare collectibles that has become their local legacy.