The Ant Hill
By Anthony Jovinelli
Since this is Totally Driven TV, what better subject matter to write about than Totally Driven Cars? Hidden behind the South Philadelphia Auto Mall is a Museum experience that is a must for any vintage automobile enthusiast and just plain fun for those who enjoy seeing classic cars. The Simeone Automotive Museum is located at 6825 Norwitch Drive. Although you could drive right by without knowing what you were passing, it was the recipient of the 2011 International Museum of the Year award. Assembled by world renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Frederick Simeone, this is a display of his fifty year passion. The collection is 60 of the rarest and most significant racing sports cars ever assembled.
As you enter the museum one of the first things you see is a large sign: “The first race was conceived when the second car was built.” It is that competitive spirit that brings this place to life. As you walk through, you will notice that many of the vehicles are not just displayed but are set up in dioramas.
(Remember those things you built using little green army men, some sand and a shoebox to depict the beach at Normandy as a grade school project). A couple of steps can transport you from the barren Bonneville Salt Flats to a luscious villa in Tuscany. Besides the visual enticement that The Simeone Foundation lures you in with, there is more than just a museum here.
Does the sound of engines revving get your pulse racing? Does the smell of gas fumes mixed with the pungent odor of burning rubber make your heart skip a beat? Has it been a dream of yours to be able to see what it was like for a classic racing car to do what it was built to do? That is the added little known bonus to this place. Once a month (Weather permitting) they bring some of these cars to their back lot and hand the keys over to professional race car drivers. These events are open to the public and are part of your admission. On Saturday, April 28th at noon, it will be Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg demonstration day.
For more information, the Foundation can be contacted by phone at (215) 365-7233 or (and if you are reading this you obviously own a computer) at their website: www.simeonemuseum.org
“The Noblest question in the world is: What good can I do in it?”