Dr. Frederick Simeone, a pioneering neurosurgeon and world-class car collector and museum founder, died on Sunday.
He was 86.
A Philadelphia native, Simeone followed his father, a family doctor, into medicine. Simeone was the chief of neurosurgery at Philadelphia Hospital for 25 years. He wrote significant medical papers and books.
Simeone also followed his father into car collecting. During his younger years, Simeone couldn’t afford to buy expensive cars, so he collected sales brochures and other car-related ephemera. His collection grew into a world-class archive.
Simeone got four collector cars from his father. He then began buying racing sports cars — long before they were considered collectible.
After he retired from medicine, Simeone focused on founding and growing the renowned Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. Simeone donated his entire collection of racing sports cars — assembled over 50 years — to the museum. The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is now a Philadelphia landmark — and a must-see for car collectors around the world.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is famous for its world-class collection of cars. More than 75 magnificent — and rare — racing sports cars are in the collection, including a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia Spider and a Shelby Daytona Coupe.
The museum’s cars are kept in running condition, and “Demo Days,” held twice a month, give visitors a golden opportunity to see, hear and smell these legendary machines start up and run.
One recent Demo Day included these cars:
1929 Stutz Supercharged Le Mans
1929 du Pont Le Mans Speedster
1952 Cunningham C4R
1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
1966 Ford GT40 Mk II
1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV
Dr. Simeone saw the beauty and magnificence of sports racing cars when they were just “used cars.” His foresight — and love of special cars — ensured that these old cars survived to the moment when they became priceless relics of history — and valued icons in the collector car world.
“Fred Simeone was one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever known. That he was intelligent is a given; but better, he always shared his knowledge and passion in the way I best relate, like the car-mad 9-year olds we both were inside,” said Donald Osborne, publisher of Linkage magazine and CEO of Audrain Motorsport.
“He had opinions which he didn’t hesitate to share, and they were strongly held — but they came from such enthusiasm and experience that I had to fight hard to disagree, which wasn’t often.
“For Fred, cars were artifacts and treasures, but ones which should never be locked away in the dark. He worked to ensure that people had the chance to see, hear and smell them — to build their passion and connection.
“I will miss him, but he’s left a wonderfully changed world behind.”