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Classic Velocity Blog

2 Degrees of Separation

Classic Velocity


Once upon a time I worked for a healthcare organization in Philly which had a very prominent surgeon. Our paths did not cross that much, but we were in a few meetings together. I left the organization after a few years, and that was that. Or so I thought. One month I open up one of the classic car magazines and it has a feature on a doc from Philly who has a small warehouse full of famous sports cars.

I immediately recognize him, and send an email.It turns out that this doctor was a serious car guy, and his father was a serious car guy before him. The location is by appointment only, and I tried to get a group of car friends together to go visit. Logistics never work out and some more time goes by. Then one day I have a conference in Philly, and a half day to spare.

The warehouse has been abandoned in favor of a larger one out near the airport, and it is now an official museum. Specifically the Simeone Foundation Museum. On the day of my visit Dr Simeone is on hand a we have a great conversation about healthcare and cars. Then it is off to the museum to see the goods.

The museum is dedicated to sports cars ("with fenders and lights" per Dr Simeone). That said, it contains some of the most famous sports cars around: a Shelby daytona coupe, BMW 328, Ford GT40, many Alfa Romeos, a few Bugattis, C and D type Jaguars, a Stutz or two, a Porsche 917 and of course Ferraris. But wait, there's more.....The overall theme is successful competitive sports cars, or versions of them that won races or their class, or placed in the top 5. So the 1938 Alfa is a Mille Miglia winner, the GT40 was one of the 1966 GT40s from Le Mans, The 1970 Porsche 917LH came second at Le Mans, The 1959 Aston Martin won the German grand Prix at the Nurburgring, as did the 1927 Mercedes, etc.

And not just racing on closed loops. The 1936 Bugatti set land speed records, as did the Shelby Daytona Coupe, and the Auburn. Indeed, there is hardly an ordinary specimen in the whole place! This is a fantastic collection well worth going out of your way to see.