The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is an automotive museum located at 6825 Norwitch Drive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The museum's collection consists of approximately 75 racing sports cars and has been assembled over more than 50 years by Frederick A. Simeone, a retired neurosurgeon and native of Philadelphia. Frederick Simeone has been ranked the #1 car collector by the Classic Car Trust Registry.
Frederick Simeone's father was a general practitioner who ran his medical practice out of a rowhouse in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. When his father died in 1972, Simeone was left with $8,000 and 4 cars which were stored in a garage on Clearfield Street. He grew this collection over the next four decades, and in 2008 he donated the entire collection of cars to the museum's foundation, which now owns the titles to the cars. From 1982 until the Museum's opening in June 2008, the cars were stored in a garage near 8th and Lombard Streets in Philadelphia.
Dr. Simeone passed away at the age of 86 on June 11, 2022.
Criteria for inclusion
The museum has several criteria for inclusion into the collection:
- The car must be a sports car with headlights and fenders.
- The car must have a history of road racing (not solely racing on a track).
- The car must be considered significant, or "winners" associated with superior racing performance.
- Important components, such as the chassis, engine, and body, must be original to the car.
Demonstration Days program
The museum conducts a Demonstration Days program twice per month, where several cars are moved to the 3-acre parking lot behind the museum. The program consists of a themed educational presentation followed by a driving demonstration where the cars are operated by the museum curator. Upon conclusion of the Demonstration Days program, museum guests are permitted to inspect and photograph the cars.
The museum has a library containing a collection of automotive literature, documents and sales brochures dating back to 1892. The collection was formerly held in boxes in a building in Center City Philadelphia, and was moved into the museum's newly constructed library in 2013. Due to the fragility of the materials, the library and collection are not open to the public.
Exhibits and collection
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum consists of 21 exhibits and 70 cars in the permanent collection. The cars are arranged chronologically and in diorama vignettes. Several motor racing venues are represented as exhibits, including Le Mans, Nürburgring, Sebring, Bonneville, Watkins Glen, Brooklands, Mille Miglia and Targa Florio. The museum's collection has been called "one of the finest collections of rare and important racing sports cars in the world". Nearly every car in the collection has its original body. Most of the cars are currently in drivable condition. The museum uses aviation gasoline in the car since it is more stable than regularly available gasoline, and it still contains some lead. Lead is essential as an anti-knock compound in order to operate these older engines.
List of exhibits and cars:
|Exhibit name||Car(s) in exhibit|
|Pre World War I Racing|
|Automobile Racing Club of America|
|Bonneville Salt Flats|
|History of NASCAR|
|America's 1st International Win||
|America at Le Mans|
- The Spirit of Competition - Coachbuilt Press, 2009
- The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles - Coachbuilt Press, 2012
- 2019 #1 Ranking of the Top 100 Classic Car Collectors 
- 2017 International Historic Motoring Awards "Museum or Collection of the Year" 
- 2014 International Historic Motoring Awards "Car of the Year" - 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
- 2014 Historic Vehicle Association: 1st automobile added to National Historic Vehicle Register - 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
- 2012 International Historic Motoring Awards "Publication of the Year" - The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles
- 2011 International Historic Motoring Awards "Museum of the Year"
Spirit of Competition Award
The "Spirit of Competition" is the theme of the museum and the title of an annual award given a person from the world of motorsports.
Past recipients of the award include:
- 2008 Mario Andretti
- 2009 Janet Guthrie
- 2010 John Fitch
- 2011 Craig Breedlove
- 2012 Sam Posey
- 2013 Hurley Haywood
- 2014 Bobby Rahal
- 2015 David Hobbs
- 2016 Peter Brock
- 2017 Derek Bell
- 2018 Roger Penske
- Davis, Kathleen (30 July 2012). "The Spirit of Competition Drives Simeone Museum to Recognition". The Hunt. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Fritz, Kaiser. "The 2019 Ranking of the top 100 classic car collectors". Classic Car Trust. Classic Car Trust. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- Carey, Art. "Phila. car collector publishes book". Philly.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Carey, Art. "Here's art at its raciest". Philly.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Kenny, William. "Kenzo native's museum displays his need for speed". www.bsmphilly.com. Northeast Times. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Osborne, Donald (22 November 2013). "Bringing Life to Museums' Collections". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Matheson, Kathy. "Philly race car museum is pit stop for auto fans". USAtoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Van Allen, Peter. "The vaunted car museum you've never heard of (photo gallery) (Video)". www.bizjournals.com. Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Bingaman, Brian (August 2014). "Philadelphia's Simeone Museum celebrates auto racing history and competition". www.thereporteronline.com. The Reporter Pennsylvania. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Strauss, Robert. "Dr. Frederick Simeone's Most Coveted Cars". Phillystylemag.com. Philadelphia Style. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Ewing, Steven J. "Autoblog tours the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia". Autoblog.com. Autoblog. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Racing car museum opens in Philadelphia". usatoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Donnelly, Jim. "Doctor of Correctness". Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Caldwell, Dave (19 November 2009). "Museum's Gems Go for a Spin". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Robinson, Aaron (15 August 2014). "To Preserve and Protest". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Fritz, Kaiser. "Founder". The Classic Car Trust. The Classic Car Trust.
- "2017 Winners". www.historicmotoringawards.co.uk. Historic Motoring Awards.
- Edsall, Larry. "Another accolade for Simeone museum's Daytona coupe". Classiccars.com. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Preston, Benjamin (11 February 2014). "Shelby Cobra Coupe Becomes the First Federally Registered Historic Car". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Previous winners". historicmotoringawards.com. Octane Magazine. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- "Simeone Foundation Named Automotive Museum of the Year". The New York Times. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Scanlan, Dan. "Shifting Gears: Weekly digest of news and notes". Jacksonville.com. The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Lingeman, Jake (24 October 2012). "Spirit of Competition award given to Sam Posey by Simeone Museum". Autoweek.com. Autoweek. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Donnelly, Jim. "Bobby Rahal to receive Simeone Spirit of Competition Award". blog.hemmings.com. Hemmings Motor News. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Donnelly, Jim. "David Hobbs to be honored with Simeone Foundation's "Spirit of Competition" award". Hemmings Daily. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- Strohl, Daniel. "Peter Brock to receive Simeone's Spirit of Competition Award". Hemmings Daily. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- "Derek Bell honored with 2017 Simeone Spirit of Competition Award". www.hemmings.com. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
- "2018 Spirit of Competition Award". www.simeonemuseum.org. Retrieved 2018-10-17.