by Kelly Dietrick
My friend and mentor, Dr. Fred Simeone, passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2022. In 2017 Fred asked me to move to Philadelphia to help him increase traffic to the museum. What cemented the move was a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday that he left on my VM. That would be just one of many songs he would sing to me (most of them in Italian). The next three years saw me (always a volunteer) spend countless hours at the museum. I was a docent but the best part of my time at the museum was spent after everyone went
home and Fred and I were ensconced in our favorite place in the world – his research center.
The Simeone Automotive Research Center is as great a legacy as are the cars in the collection. In the few years I spent with Fred, he taught me the value of preservation class cars. He taught me about competition race cars and why their histories were so important. He taught me what to look for to assess the value of
a race car and he taught me to not take a car’s history and description at face value. “Do your research,” he would tell me. And we did just that, poring over period newsletters and magazines, tracing the history of an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 or attempting to identify a race car and event from a black and white photo.
Eventually my business and COVID forced me to see less of Fred although we stayed in contact by email. In May I moved to Europe. On Sunday morning, out of the blue a clear thought popped into my head, “I wonder if I should go home for Fred’s funeral.” I did not know until several hours later when a friend sent me a message that he had passed. But I guess I had already been alerted. I will miss Fred, but I will also honor his legacy going forward.
The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum theme and Fred’s passion, was, “The Spirit of Competition”, celebrating the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association is a federally registered 501c (3) non-profit organization with a mission to hold a world-class vintage automotive race event for charity.
Since 1983 this volunteer-driven event has raised over $6 million to benefit autistic and developmentally disabled individuals through the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix remains North America's largest vintage race event, the only one run on city streets, and the 8th largest car show in the World.
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