Inside the humble building of a former engine remanufacturing plant in Philadelphia resides one of the most significant car collections in the world. Housing more than 60 of the rarest and most sought after sports cars ever produced, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is a testament to history’s winners in the “Spirit of Competition” of automobile racing since its incarnation.
Dr. Fred Simeone, a now-retired Neurosurgeon, began his love-affair with sports cars when his father bought him a decrepit Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 with the intention of him restoring it to running condition. After his father’s passing, Dr. Simeone realized the importance of preservation over restoration for historically significant vehicles and sought to preserve cars in their original state.
The Simeone Museum’s collection is full of cars that would be the holy grail of any collector’s garage on their own, yet they stand amongst each other as one of the greatest fleets of historic vehicles ever assembled. The tried and true question all enthusiasts love to ask “If you could take one home…” becomes near impossible to answer the farther you make your way through the collection as you become overwhelmed by the sheer quality of vehicles in front of you. Everything from Le Mans winnning Bugattis, Mille Miglia Winning Alfa Romeos, Ford GT40s, Duesenbergs, a Porsche 917LH, a Ferrari 250TR, a Corvette Grand Sport Roadster, and much more grace the floor of this holy grail of a museum.
The Simeone Museum is also the home of one car that we hold very near and dear at the HVA: Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Prototype CSX2287 (NHVR No. 1). 1 of only 6 built, this car was the very first to be built as a prototype and is the only car that remains in unrestored condition. CSX2287 is proudly displayed in the Bonneville Salt Flats diorama with its bronze NHVR plaque displayed with it.
Photo by CVogelAuto
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is nothing short of breathtaking for any automotive enthusiast. It is undoubtedly worth the pilgrimage to visit the museum, especially if you can make it on one of their “Demo Days” where they exercise a handful of the cars in the collection in their back lot for everyone to see, hear, and experience the cars doing what they do best: Driving!
If you have the opportunity to visit the Simeone, do it, and if you don’t have the opportunity, make one! The Simeone is without a doubt one of the greatest car museums in the world and if you go, you’ll definitely cross more than a few “Need to See” cars off your bucket list.
Photo by Michael Furman
You can find more information on The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum at their website SimeoneMuseum.org as well as on their Facebook and Instagram pages where they regularly post content about their collection, driving the cars, and the history behind “The Spirit of Competition.”