Best Car Museum (and Then Some) - 2011
Nethercutt Collection (and Museum)
Think you love cars? J.B. Nethercutt loved cars, too. He just happened to have gone into business with his aunt, Merle Nethercutt Norman, helming the cosmetics giant for decades, all the while amassing a priceless automobile collection. In 1971, he opened Nethercutt Collection (and Museum), free to the public, which now houses an array of antique, vintage and classic automobiles twice the size of the Petersen Automotive Museum's. Cars like the 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder and the Tucker No. 1040, of which only a handful were built, compete for your eyeballs. Some boast famous former owners (Valentino's 1923 Voisin, Onassis' 1951 Bentley Mark VI), but it's the manufacturers' names that will shorten the breath of any true gearhead. A separate collection, housed across the street in the family's former residence, includes dozens more Duesenbergs, Maybachs, Rolls-Royces and other antique luxury cars, and can be viewed only via 90-minute private tour. The jaw-dropping opulence (marble floors, crystal chandeliers) and displays of 18th-century French furniture, rare mechanical instruments and other functional art may have you forgetting that the complex also houses one of the world's finest automotive research libraries. 15200 Bledsoe St., Sylmar. (818) 364-6464, nethercuttcollection.org.