You need to be invited to visit America’s Muscle Car Museum

1
8423
The view from upstairs, where no one is allowed to go, gives an idea of the vastness and variety of Mark Pieloch’s still-growing collection | Jim McCraw photos

Mark Pieloch started learning body and paint work while he was still in high school in the little town of Groveland, Massachusetts, and that led to restoration projects, 10 of them over his first 30 years. He left all that behind to become a very successful entrepreneur, patenting and manufacturing specialized veterinary pharmaceuticals.

Then he started collecting muscle cars, and now he owns one of the largest collections in the world, housed in a gorgeous 123,000 square-foot museum near Melbourne, Florida.

His 248 perfectly maintained cars are from every part of the car world. The lobby contains some but not all of his Ford GT 40, Ford GT, and Shelby Cobra collection. The rest are in the giant main room, bright as daylight, spotlessly clean, and without a single pillar.

Along one wall is his collection of Yenko Chevrolets, at least one of every Yenko muscle car ever built in Pennsylvania by the dealer/racer Don Yenko. There are more than 40 of them here.

On the opposite wall is his complete collection of Indianapolis 500 pace cars, 45 of them and counting, right up to the 2017 Camaro pacer.

Collection includes 45 Indy 500 pace cars

The pace car collection faces a row of high-performance Mustangs that goes on until sunrise.

RELATED:  Video of the Day: In-period road test of 1968 XKE

The middle of the room contains a string of Camaros, another string of Mustangs and Shelbys, a long string of Corvettes, and a gaggle of Ford retractable hardtops 1957-1959.

Backing up the other GM cars, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and Pontiac GTOs is the foreign muscle group, Ferraris and Porsches, including a group of sweet vintage 911s, a Carrera GT and a 918 Spyder, along with the obligatory Rolls-Royce convertible. Then there are the MoPars, a huge group of 440 6-Pak and Hemi cars and a Viper with only 18 miles on it.

On the far short wall, there’s a nice group of Dale Earnhardt and Goodwrench-black Chevrolets.

The entire building is festooned with a million dollars’ worth of vintage, restored and repro automotive neon signs. Bicycles, outboard motors, gas pumps and kiddie rides complete this amazing collection.

There’s a hitch. It’s not open to the public. Pieloch operates his collection on an appointment and invitation-only basis, hosting school kids, sick kids, shop students, seniors, the military, veterans, and special guests like recent visitors Edsel B. Ford II, the US Air Force Thunderbirds pilots and ground crew, and students from McPherson College in Kansas who specialize in automotive restoration.

He and his small crew of employees look for very, very good original and restored cars on the open market and refurbish them in their on-site shop, but they don’t do restoration work.

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner drop top-- Meep-Meep!

The museum closes from Memorial Day to Labor Day to give the staff and volunteers and chance to take a breath between events.

Advertisement
Jim McCraw has been writing about cars, motorcycles, design, technology, car people and racing for 50 years, in such publications as Hot Rod Deluxe, Super Chevy, Muscle Mustangs, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Penthouse, Winding Road, The Mercedes-Benz Star, AutoWeek, The New York Times, and a number of European publications. He was executive editor of Motor Trend, editor of Hot Rod and Super Stock. He co-holds the record for the drive from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, 96:22, and has run in major events such as the Mille Miglia Storica in Italy, Goodwood, the California Mille, the Colorado Grand, the New England 1000, Forza Mille, and four One Lap Of America competitions He owns a pristine Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan.

1 COMMENT

  1. Is this the Museum and Collection that has a 1966 Yenko Stinger Corvair in his Museum ?? I searched Florida Museums before and hoped this was the same one. I understand the Museum is not open to the public. I also own a Yenko Stinger Corvair YS-313 a later built car. Fully restored and many times a winner. I am a member of the National Corvair Society of America (CORSA) since 1975. My dream car was this Yenko Stinger which was fully restored in 2013. I will be down in Florida from 1st. week of June to June 23-24 as I must be back in York, Pa. as my Corvair was accepted for the Chevrolet Nationals at Carlisle, Pa., on June 26-27 in their show building.
    I am a Corvair Historian since 1965 and write a lot of articles for the National Club monthly magazine Corvair Communique for over 34 years now. If I may I would like to see your Singer, take pictures and do an article for the National Corvair magazine. I am a creditied Historian and Corvair researcher for all these years. If it would be possible to see your Stinger I would appreciate the time. All credits go to you the owner. My credentials speak for my historical interest. Please advise me of your interest. Thank you. Joe Darinsig, York, Pa. 717-668-4414.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here