I have eight Ford GTs—one in each color produced.—Mark Pieloch
“I have eight Ford GTs—one in each color produced,” Mark Pieloch told us casually.
Let that sink in for just a moment. The octet of Ford supercars is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his personal collection, which is exactly why he is creating a museum for his collection of toy cars. He wants people to enjoy these cars as much as he does rather than having them hidden away in an anonymous warehouse.
Hobby Gone Wild
“I have been in the car hobby, basically, since I was a little kid. …I used to take 50 cents and go buy a Matchbox car once a week after I did my chores,” Mark said. “My folks would give me 50 cents a week for allowance and I still have my Matchbox cars, I have just moved up to bigger cars.”
“It’s kind of a hobby gone wild,” he added. “I wanted to build a nice museum… and before you know it, it turns into a major project, but it will be well worth it.”
All the cars I have today are 100-percent original.—Mark Pieloch
“I’ve been collecting cars since 1974. All the cars I have today are 100-percent original, so the color combinations may see are original. I don’t have any hot rods or modified cars, it’s all 100-percent stock,” he said. “My automobiles pretty much go from 1955 up through the current day. The most popular years are going to be 1969-1970, which is kind of the peak of the American muscle car period.”
After selling several businesses, Mark started looking for a location for this facility and he eventually settled on Melbourne, Florida, where he still runs his main business, PF Inc.
“My business I still have is my Pet Flavors company. We make flavors for the pharmaceutical industry that go into prescription drug products,” Mark said. “So if you give a flavored tablet to your dog for his arthritis or his heart-worm prevention, we make about 55 percent of the flavors that are sold worldwide for those products—all made right here in Melbourne, Florida.”
Moving and Shaking
In addition to moving to the area and building the facility, Mark has slowly been moving vehicles and other memorabilia to Florida. Besides the cars, visitors will be able to see everything from an Indian outboard motors and a Harley Davidson bicycles, to vintage soda coolers and plenty of neon signs.
The idea is to use the facility to host a variety of private events, from charity events to automotive introductions, and car shows to autocrosses. Yes, the museum grounds are large enough for some cone-carving and even setup to allow for some eighth-mile drag racing exhibitions. Besides all the fun stuff, Mark hopes to have plenty of young people visit to learn about cars.
Savor The Flavor
Wonder how you might be able to finance an insane private auto museum of your own? Well, the simple answer is to invent something cool that people (or animals) really need. In Mark’s case, his company, Pet Flavors, makes medicine more palatable for animals. So when you don’t have to fight your pets to get them to take their meds, think of Mark. His company made your life a little easier.
“The third aspect that we want to get into is educational. I have started to talk to the Girls and Boys Club of America. We are talking to the public school system. We are also talking to FIT because they have a degree program in automotive technology,” he said. “So, eventually, we want to get the educational component in there also. If you can get kids through at a young age to hopefully catch the car bug, that’s the future of the hobby.”
When you have 250-plus cars, you can’t drive ’em all.—Mark Pieloch
Seeing all these cars isn’t impossible, but you will need a ticket to one of its events to take a look. The grand opening event, Rev Up For A Cure, took place on October 22 and benefitted the American Cancer Society. You can look for future events here if you would like an opportunity to check out this amazing collection.