Dr. Fred Simeone is a visionary automobile collector, enthusiast, Concours judge, and leader of the growing automotive preservationist and conservationist movements.
Dr. Fred Simeone is a passionate man. As a renowned surgeon and medical educator, he has saved and improved numerous people’s lives. A world-class automotive enthusiast, he curates and collects great sports, racing, and GT cars. And as an individual, he’s driven by all of the good derived from the spirit of competition. He’s also a much-in-demand Concours judge and author of considerable knowledge and authority.
Dr. Simeone considers himself an automotive history preservationist first and a car collector second. He rightly believes overrestoration will degrade a cars’ historical worth and works carefully to find high-provenance examples with much of their original patina intact.
As such, the good doctor (and we say that with no sense of irony whatsoever) has assembled a finely curated collection housed in a large and attractive facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
The Simeone Collection is a wonderful acquisition of streetcars, and more notably, significant racing cars – most in original, as-raced condition.
Among the many and varied pearls in his museum are the 1938 Mille Miglia winning Alfa Romeo 8C2900B MM Spyder. It is highly original with impeccable provenance.
Beyond that, there are Porsche 917s (most famously the “psychedelic or ‘hippy’ 917 LongTail), Maseratis, Ferraris, Ford GT40s, one of the six original Shelby Cobra Daytona coupes, and the list goes on. Again most in original and/or as-raced condition and specification.
You might expect an institution like this one to house a massive restoration shop but instead hosts a modest yet capable maintenance facility.
Dr. Simeone isn’t against restoration when that’s the only way to make a car once again viable. It’s just that he passionately prefers not to be the hands that wash away all of a great car’s stories and originality. And this is no parade queen society, as Dr. Fred drives, shares, and otherwise enjoys his vehicles.
On many a weekend, he’ll select certain cars to be taken out for “maintenance laps” around the museum’s ample parking lots. And he opens up the taps too — these are not 10 MPH demo cruises; the public is welcome to attend, so they can see, hear, feel, and often smell these mighty machines at work, if not in wheel to wheel battle.
Some of the cars of the Simeone Collection sit among specially designed and built, period-flavored diorama type exhibits; others are more modestly displayed, but each has a placard that tells its story. One particularly large stage replicates a vintage race course’s pit row, lined up with a precious “pre-grid” of historic sports and endurance racers.
Your own, semi-private look at a mythical Le Mans starting grid, including cars that have actually been on the grid at la Sarthe.
If you’re ever in or near Philadelphia, stop by the Simeone Collection, as it’s a ‘Must Do.’ There’s no formal tour, but Dr. Simeone often gathers visitors for a personal walk around the facility. Keep an eye out for the Mille-winning Alfa (and another that once finished second), Porsche 917 Longtail, Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, and Maserati 300S.