One of the World's Great Racing Sports Car Exhibitions Set to Open in Philadelphia

One of the World's Great Racing Sports Car Exhibitions Set to Open in Philadelphia  
Filed under:
on 06/11/2008

Source: Simeone Foundation Museum

A museum containing a collection of some of the rarest and most significant racing sports cars in the world will open in Philadelphia on June 17, 2008. The Simeone Foundation Museum is the creation of Philadelphia neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Simeone, who began acquiring the cars in the collection five decades ago.

"Many of these cars are legendary for what they accomplished in racing history," said Simeone. "We expect people from all over the world will come to see them."

The cars are displayed in dioramas that represent some of the famous race courses where they actually competed: Watkins Glen, Bonneville, Sebring, the Mille Miglia and Le Mans.

The Museum displays racing sports cars -- cars with fenders and headlights that could conceivably be driven on the street or in competition. Significant cars in the exhibit include the "Hippie" Porsche 917 (named for its psychedelic paint scheme), a 1958 Aston Martin DBR1 that Stirling Moss drove to victory, a Cobra Daytona Coupe that had been lost for 30 years until Simeone helped in its recovery, a Le Mans-winning Bugatti, and a 1938 Alfa Romeo, winner of the Mille Miglia.

The museum is different from most other automotive collections in that the cars are used to tell a story -- that competition and racing improves the marque. Like Philadelphia's famed Barnes Foundation collection of paintings, the Simeone Foundation is a personal collection, assembled over a long period of time with a singular vision. The central theme of the exhibition is "the spirit of competition."

Click to enlarge

"There are few examples of the effects of competition as dramatic and beautiful as the evolution of the racing sports car," explains Simeone. "Our collection begins with a car from 1909 and continues to the mid-1970s. You can see the remarkable technological improvements -- in the span of just seven decades -- that came from competition."

The collection is housed in a 75,000 square foot building, five minutes off Interstate 95, an easy day's drive for more than 20 percent of the nation's population.

The Museum is located at 6825-31 Norwitch Drive, Philadelphia. Pa., 19153.

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