Legendary Philadelphia car collector and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone died at the age of 86 on June 12. Simeone created the world famous Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pa, which became one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars.
Simeone was the chief of neurosurgery at Pennsylvania Hospital for 25 years until he retired in 2008. He was also the author and editor of several papers and medical books.
Assembled over 50 years by Simeone, the Museum contains more than 75 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Shelby, and more.
“The Spirit of Competition,” has been the museum’s theme, celebrating the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.
The Classic Car Trust is a non-profit in Europe and they looked at 200 collections around the world and the Foundation was rated number one with the highest score.
Simeone credited his father for his love of motorcars, having given him for his first car, a dilapidated Alfa Romeo 6C 2500, which kept him off the street for a couple years before he got it road worthy, his dad’s original intention.
Simeone embraced preservation rather than 100-point restorations. He once said, “What made the sports racing cars want to come together in our place? It became obvious: the DNA is competition, the desire to win, the knowledge that each one had to be progressively better in order to prevail; and that magical DNA each year spawned a better progeny, improving the breed, crafting the vehicle, which can carry us to ascendancy. Preservation of important cars was our main underlying mission.”
Simeone will be much missed, and Vintage Motorsport sends out our heartfelt condolences to his friends, family and co-workers.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum released this statement Sunday: “Late last evening, as the first rays of light began to appear on the Mulsanne Straight, we lost our hero and champion, Dr. Frederick Simeone. Mere words cannot convey our overwhelming grief and sadness, nor can they express what this great man meant to so many people. We will have more to say in the coming days and weeks, but we do find comfort and meaning in the fact that our friend passed in the midst of his beloved Le Mans, and we know his spirit is now eternally driving along with the legends he considered to be his heroes. Godspeed, Dr. Simeone. We will always love you and miss you. Thank you for the gifts you have given this world. There will never be another man like you.”
Simeone is survived by his daughter (Christina Simeone, PhD), son-in-law (Jonathan Burton), and granddaughter (Alessandra Burton).
A public memorial for Dr. Simeone will be held on Thursday, June 16 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Please visit anytime from 3 pm to 7 pm.
More details can be found at www.simeonemuseum.org