|Funds raised from the Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance support The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and research to deliver care and support to children and families who struggle with medical complexities associated with rare genetic diagnoses.|
PHILADELPHIA (June 17, 2021) – Corvette racing, design and marketing legends will join Fred Simeone, director of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, in a panel discussion about the history of Corvette, “America’s Sports Car,” during the Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance at the Museum on July 17, 2021.
Tony DeLorenzo and George Wintersteen will represent the racing history of the Corvette, while Ed Welburn and Lowell Paddock will speak on the subject of the car’s design and General Motors’ marketing strategies that led to the Corvette’s overwhelming popularity In the U.S. and around the world.
Tony DeLorenzo partnered with Jerry Thompson to race the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corvettes in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The two were the most successful duo in FIA and SCCA A-Production racing, winning 22 straight races from 1969 to 1971. DeLorenzo attended an SCCA drivers’ school in Watkins Glen, N.Y., in 1964 and began racing an A-Sedan Corvair. His dad (General Motors Vice President of Public Relations) purchased a ‘64 Corvette Coupe and let DeLorenzo and his brother spec out the car. Their order caught the attention of GM engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, nicknamed the “father of the Corvette,” who called them to make sure they were able to handle their car. Thompson was the Engine Development Test Engineer at Chevrolet’s Engineering Center in Warren, Mich., in 1960, and raced a ‘56 Corvette. During the ’65-‘66 season DeLorenzo and Thompson became friends and competitors. In 1968 they earned their first direct sponsorship, making the pair instrumental in putting Corvette racing on the map.
Wintersteen’s road racing career lasted only a decade, but he squeezed out two decades worth of success in SCCA and FIA competition. He ran in Pennsylvania hillclimbs early on and by 1962 he’d traded his Porsche 1600 for an ex-Pedro Rodriguez Porsche RSK, that he bought from Bob Holbert. That car earned him the 1963 SCCA E Modified championship for the Northeast Division. He then bought an Elva-Porsche, but first shared Ed Lowther’s 427 Cobra at the 12 Hours of Sebring to an unremarkable result. The Elva was quickly replaced with Roger Penske’s Cooper-Chevrolet for the West Coast series. A good run at Riverside until the engine broke encouraged Wintersteen to buy Penske’s Corvette Grand Sport Coupe which he drove in the famed Nassau Speed Weeks events. The SCCA noted the quality of Wintersteen’s presence and his driving ability by awarding him their coveted Kimberly Cup for the year. He started 1965 with a 14th place finish in the Sebring “deluge” race with the Corvette, and after some USRRC races he raced in England in a McLaren.Mk-1A. In 1966 he became the driver for Penske’s first races as a non-driving entrant, driving the Corvette at both Daytona and Sebring, the latter to a ninth place finish and winning the GTO class. He then bought the Corvette (chassis #002), which is on display at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum today, and raced it in selected USRRC events. He also won SCCA’s Formula B National Championship in the Northeast Division in a Brabham, went open-wheel racing in 1968 with a Gurney-Eagle in the Formula 5000 series, and in the 1969 F/5000 season he finished inside the top five at every race he entered. He also became a feature in actor/driver James Garner’s “The Racing Scene” movie by destroying his Lola in the first lap at St. Jovite. He paired with Dick Smothers for the 1970 F/5000 season in a duo of Lotus 70s.
A graduate of the Howard University College of Fine Arts, Welburn has been referred to as “the man who brought beauty back to GM.” He was just the sixth head of design for General Motors, and the first to lead the division on a global level. During Welburn’s career, he oversaw designs of the Corvette, Cadillac Escalade, and the revived Camaro, as well as numerous other designs sold in markets around the world. He is the first automotive designer in history to have his archives placed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He still holds the distinction of having been the highest ranked African American in the global automotive industry, and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2017. Today, his design creativity has led him to the fashion world, as well as Chief Design Advisor for Bolt Micro Mobility. He is founder and CEO of Welburn Media Productions and has a major feature film under development.
Frederick A. Simeone, M.D.
Fred Simeone began his passionate for cars as a teenager, following in the footsteps of his father, also a doctor, who was an early collector of classic cars in the 1950s. For more than five decades, Simeone has assembled what is recognized as one of the world’s great collections of racing sports cars. After his residencies at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Pennsylvania, he was recruited to Harvard Medical School. He was brought back to the Pennsylvania Hospital where he remained chief of neurosurgery for the next 25 years, becoming one of the most active neurosurgeons in America. He is author and editor of numerous papers and medical books, including “The Spine,” the definitive work on this subject. In 2008, he retired from active practice to devote himself to launching the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. The museum has twice been selected as the foremost automotive museum in the world. For the past two years Dr. Simeone has been at the top of the list of top automotive collectors in the world compiled by the prestigious, Liechtenstein-based Classic Car Trust.
Lowell Paddock began his automotive career at Automobile Quarterly, becoming editor-in-chief before forming his own publishing company. After attending Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, he joined General Motors in marketing and later assumed a number of executive assignments in product planning and program management in Germany, China and Singapore and served as the managing director of GM India. Since retiring in 2017, he has worked with a number of Concours, and is a contributor to Sports Car Market and is editor-in-chief of Wayne Carini’s The Chase. He has written extensively about Corvette history and is the co-author, with Dave Friedman, of a photographic history of the Grand Sport Corvettes.
Harry Hurst – Moderator
Harry Hurst has been involved with cars and racing almost his entire life. At 19 he was track photographer for the Sebring 12-Hour race in Florida. He also photographed races at Daytona and Road Atlanta during what many enthusiasts feel were the “glory days of racing.” He went on to work in advertising/public relations, specializing in automotive aftermarket clients and helped launch the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in 2008. Hurst has published two books on the Sebring 12-Hour race and recently introduced one on the 1970 Road Atlanta Can-Am race. His photos have appeared in numerous books and magazines all over the world, and at two shows at the Quail Lodge, a Motorsports Gathering.For more information, visit www.coolcarsforkids.org, or call 267-982-CCfK (2235)
To purchase tickets to the 2021 Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance, go to www.philadelphiaconcours.com/tickets.
For media credentials to the 2021 Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance, go to
www.philadelphiaconcours.com/media-credentials-form. About Cool Cars for Kids:Cool Cars for Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia, Pa. that brings together families of children with genetic conditions and classic car enthusiasts who share a common passion and appreciation for the one-of-a-kind. Funds raised from this unique partnership will directly forward its mission by supporting local and national charities – including The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – to deliver care and support to children and families who struggle with the medical complexities associated with rare diagnoses. www.coolcarsforkids.org.