Written by Nicole Ellan James
Car enthusiast Mark Pieloch curated the American Muscle Car Museum in Melbourne, FL, over the last 40 years. His extensive collection focuses on iconic classics of the 1950s to American muscle of the 1970s.
Pieloch’s love of cars can be traced to his childhood. He grew up playing with Tonka trucks in his backyard sandbox and progressed to Matchbox cars, which led to collecting the real vehicles. When he was 15 years old, he restored his first car with his dad and uncle, and by the time he was 30, he had collected a dozen automobiles. The number grew to 145 by the time he was age 50, and today, at age 64, Pieloch has more than 380 vehicles.
“I never really ever sell anything,” Pieloch said. With new cars on the way, the collector says he needs to make some room, and as a result, he is offering 13 vehicles with No Reserve at the 2022 Palm Beach Auction.
“I probably have given more cars away for charity than I’ve actually sold,” he said, expressing respect for the philanthropic activities of Barrett-Jackson chairman and CEO Craig Jackson. “Craig is a great person. The No. 1 reason I picked Barrett-Jackson is because Craig supports a lot of different charities.”
Every vehicle in the museum is 100% original, well-maintained and kept in running condition. The team at the American Muscle Car Museum developed a nine-page checklist to evaluate each vehicle on an annual basis and address any issues that may have developed. The cars are housed in a climate-controlled facility equipped with heat, air conditioning and dehumidification. Additionally, each vehicle has been converted to use Evans Waterless Coolant — something the team learned about from Jay Leno — to prevent corrosion and electrolysis.
One of the more desirable muscle cars of the era is the Yenko Camaro, and the museum is home to 27 of them, four of which are from the 1968 model year.
Car No. YS8013, a 1968 Chevrolet Yenko Super Camaro, is listed in the Yenko Registry. According to automotive specialist and Camaro authority Jerry MacNeish, just 70 Yenko Camaros were built that year. A true highlight of any collection, this very special Chevy will sell with No Reserve at the 2022 Palm Beach Auction.
MacNeish has provided the car a certification of authenticity to supplement documents incorporated with the sale, such as its original Yenko invoice, bill of sale, original Vince Piggins Chevrolet shipping information and dealer worksheet. The car’s provenance also includes past ownership by legendary American professional wrestler Bill Goldberg.
The Yenko Camaro received a professional rotisserie restoration and displays a beautiful color combination of Grotto Blue with white stripes and, of course, a blue vinyl interior. As expected, it retains its 427ci V8 engine backed by an M21 4-speed manual transmission.
More features include a Concours d’ Elegance of America award, magazine articles in Muscle Car Review and Hemmings Muscle Machines and inclusion in the book “COPO: Camaro, Chevelle & Nova: Chevrolet’s Ultimate Muscle Cars.”
Another highlight from the collection is a well-optioned 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. The car is finished in Gypsy Red paint with a red-and-beige interior. Power comes from its matching-numbers 265ci engine mated to a 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive.
True to 1950s style, it comes with a Continental kit, wire wheel covers, power steering, power brakes and signal-seeking Wonder Bar radio. Other stylistic features include an under-dash tissue dispenser, Autronic Eye, accessory guards, traffic light viewer, compass and dash clock.
Like the Bel Air, the 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible from the collection is finished in red and comes with a Continental kit, under-dash tissue dispenser, traffic light viewer, compass, Wonder Bar radio and dash clock.
The Rio Red Impala features a white top with a deluxe tri-tone interior. It is powered by a 348ci engine equipped with tri-power carburetion backed by a Powerglide automatic transmission. The car was optioned with factory climate control, power steering, power brakes and dual antennas.
Also crossing the auction block in Palm Beach is a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette 427/400 convertible that has been part of the museum’s collection since 1994. It is powered by a 427ci big-block V8 engine topped with three 2-barrel carburetors and backed by a Turbo-HydraMatic automatic transmission.
The Corvette was given a refresh in 2021. It is striking in Rally Red paint over a red interior. Both a hardtop and soft top are included with the sale.
The museum also was home to this 1969 Chevelle SS 396 convertible for seven years. The Chevelle features striking Daytona Yellow paint with a black vinyl interior. Power comes from an L78 396ci/375hp engine paired to a 4-speed manual transmission.
The beauty of cars from the late ’50s often comes from their stunning color combinations and coordinating two-tone interiors. “If you see a rare color combination, that’s how it came from the factory,” Pieloch said.
An excellent example is the 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner with a retractable hardtop roof offered from the collection. Finished in two-tone Indian Turquoise and white over a matching turquoise and white interior, it is powered by a 352ci V8 engine paired with an automatic transmission. The car also is a recipient of a national show award from the Antique Automobile Club of America.
One focus of Pieloch’s museum is Indianapolis 500 pace cars, and the museum contains more than 60 years’ worth of these motorsport pacesetters, ranging from 1955 to 2021. Part of the collection that will be crossing the block are a 1986 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Indy Pace Car and four Dale Earnhardt vehicles: a 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Dale Earnhardt Special Edition, 1991 Chevrolet Silverado Custom Dale Earnhardt Edition Pickup, 1994 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Custom Dale Earnhardt Edition and a 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Custom Dale Earnhardt Edition.
Additionally, a 1969 Mercury Cyclone 428 Cobra Jet fastback and a 1966 Plymouth Hemi Satellite coupe will be offered for sale in Florida.
The 2022 Palm Beach Auction, held April 7-9 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, offers guests a rare opportunity to view — and take home — these highly desirable cars from the private collection of the American Muscle Car Museum. Each selling with No Reserve, this collection is sure to command attention in the Sunshine State!