Philly Men on the Fast Track to Success
by Kristin Detterline and Christina Pellegrini
Philadelphia is home to world-famous works of art and priceless historical artifacts. But the City of Brotherly Love is also the quiet keeper of one of the globe’s greatest collections of sports cars, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. The Simeone is still riding high from its headline-grabbing win at the International Historic Motoring Awards. In late 2011 the four-year-old museum was honored with its “Museum of the Year” award. The judging panel included previous winners of the prestigious Le Mans race and even Jay Leno, a noted auto collector and fan of the museum. The impact of the honor is not lost on founder and executive director Frederick Simeone.
“It’s the equivalent of winning an Academy Award in the automotive world,” says Simeone, a retired physician who was once considered to be one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons. “These are artistic masterpieces of racing.” The deceptively large museum features 65 cars, from the wheel-heavy 1909 American Underslung to the sleek 1963 Corvette Grand Sport. Five award-winning autos from over three decades comprise the Winners Circle. An adjacent three-acre lot hosts thematic Demo Days each month, in which models are driven on a closed course for the public.
For Simeone, whose father was a car lover, collecting was both a hobby and a form of escapism from a grueling work schedule. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he’s happy that his cherished collection is in his hometown. “The [museum] is a great gift to the city…. It’s a bit of an unknown gift. It’s something people should know about.” 6825-31 Norwitch Dr., 215-365-7233
photography by eric ryan anderson; Styling by Anna Katsanis; Hair by Joey Arzillo for Giovanni & Pileggi; Makeup by Rony Melhem