Friday, January 13, 2012

Nethercutt Car Collection

We returned to see the second building of the Nethercutt Collection. In the first building, which we toured Tuesday, there are 150 cars which the family restored. There is a total of 250 cars in the collection so we saw a few more today besides many musical devices. Our toured guide stressed that it is all "functional fine art".  The music boxes play, the cars can be driven and the musical watches keep accurate time. This posting will have a focus again on the cars, I promise that the next posting will feature other items in the Nethercutt collection! The car showroom we toured today is a bit fancier than the one we toured Tuesday. It was designed to look like a showroom of the 1920s and 30s. There is quite a bit of blaze to the room with the bright lights overhead, and the reflections in the mirrors of the gleaming cars.
 The first car pictured here is another one produced in St.Louis Missouri (I featured the other one in my posting two days ago). In the first years of car manufacturing there were over 4,000 car companies. So it probably is no surprise that I found another car company which used to be in St.Louis.  The 1930 Ruxton, pictured below, was made by New Era Motors. It was advertised as an  "Art Deco Front Drive Automobile". It was a sensation when introduced but that lasted only one year, after 200 of them were produced. Internal company strife and poor funding killed the Ruxton, according to the information provided by the museum.
The other car which I want to show here is is a 1932 Maybach. The informational sign posted near it says that it was "the very peak of  German automotive refinement". The story as to how the Nethercutt family received this car is an interesting one. Apparently it was smuggled out of East Germany under a load of cabbages (this was at the time when the Berlin Wall was in existence). It probably did not look this good back then!
It is hard to believe that many of the cars in this collection were once rust buckets before being restored. Once restored they are kept in mint condition. They are dusted daily, also waxed and detailed every 150 days, according to the curator. Just before leaving today we returned to the first building and were fortunate to be able to witness a corvette getting waxed and detailed. That was fascinating to watch!

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