Mark Pieloch’s ever-expanding collection of ultra-rare vehicles is fast consuming the floor space at his 123,000-square-foot American Muscle Car Museum complex in Melbourne.
So Pieloch — who estimates his cars now exceed $100 million in value — will sell a colorful assortment of 13 pristine vehicles at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction in West Palm Beach.
The History Channel and FYI will broadcast the auction live, which is scheduled from April 7 to 9 at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Pieloch’s showcase auction car: a 1968 Chevrolet Yenko Super Camaro — one of only 70 built that year. Powered by the original 427-cubic-inch, 450-horsepower engine, painted in Grotto Blue with a blue vinyl interior, the pony car has 49,108 miles.
How much is it worth? For comparison’s sake, a 1967 Chevrolet Yenko Super Camaro with the 427/450 combination sold for $632,500 during Barrett-Jackson’s auction in January in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“They have sort of a cult following. These cars are very desirable,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.
“What’s so significant about this is the high-horsepower motor. It still has every piece of paperwork. And still has the original components as it was built, back in the day,” Jackson said.
“They’re like finding a unicorn, finding one of these,” he said.
Barrett-Jackson is highlighting the American Muscle Car Museum’s 13 consignments via promotional videos and news releases.
Pieloch’s yellow 1986 Chevrolet Corvette convertible Indianapolis 500 pace car will hit the auction block on Friday, April 8.
“I bought that car way back in 1993, when it only had a couple thousand miles on it. Today, it has 9,300 miles. I used to drive that as a Sunday car: take a ride in it, take the kid out for a ride, go have an ice cream, date-night car,” Pieloch said.
The Yenko Camaro and the other 11 cars will be sold Saturday, April 9. Many are duplicates in Pieloch’s comprehensive collection:
- 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.
- 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible.
- 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie Skyliner.
- 1966 Plymouth Satellite with a Hemi engine.
- 1968 Chevrolet Corvette convertible with a 427-cubic-inch motor.
- 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 convertible.
- 1969 Mercury Cyclone 428 Cobra Jet fastback.
- 1991 Chevrolet Silverado Dale Earnhardt Edition.
- 1994 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Dale Earnhardt Edition.
- 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Dale Earnhardt Edition.
- 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Dale Earnhardt Special Edition.
Pieloch said he decided to sell his 1986 Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car after he bought a similar version that has only 116 miles on the odometer.
Pieloch is an animal pharmaceutical inventor and entrepreneur who is founder and president of PF LLC in Melbourne. He built the solar-powered American Muscle Car Museum on Sarno Road to house his muscle cars and performance vehicles.
“The collection is continuously growing. Way back in 2016, when we had the grand opening, we had just a little over 250 vehicles. Today, we have over 390 vehicles. So, that being said, we’re running out of space,” Pieloch said.
The museum typically opens to the public only to host charitable events. Saturday, the facility hosted an Indialantic Rotary Club fundraiser that generated about $60,000 via sponsorships, live and silent auctions, and ticket sales.
Construction crews are wrapping up a 9,000-square-foot addition to the facility’s 15,000-square-foot maintenance shop to provide extra storage space.
In January, Barrett-Jackson hosted the highest-grossing auction in its 50-year history by netting more than $203 million in sales at Scottsdale.
“Right now, the collector car market is red-hot. Just like we have all-time record highs in real estate prices, rental prices, new-car prices, used-car prices — throw classic-car prices right in there,” Pieloch said.
“Everything is at record highs,” he said.
Jackson said a recent tour of Pieloch’s Melbourne museum and car collection inspired him to “step up my game,” in terms of documenting and photographing his personal vehicles.
“When you go down the list, it’s very diverse. And just the quality, I can’t convey. His memory and attention to detail is phenomenal. Being a car collector myself, I appreciate that,” Jackson said.
“(We had) the time to walk by every single car — and having his encyclopedic knowledge telling me why he bought the car, how many they made, how many miles are on it and what’s unique about it,” he said.
“He has a passion for this. I started collecting muscle cars in the ’80s myself, and I am super-impressed by what he’s put together. We take care of these cars for a certain part of our time. These cars will all outlive us.”