Personal Car Collection Features Over 30 Vintage Corvettes

Mark Pieloch fell in love with cars at a young age. As a child in Massachusetts, his older brothers often let him ride along as they took drives in their 1960s muscle cars. Since then, he has restored and collected 130 antique and classic American vehicles. The collection currently boasts over 30 Corvettes.

Chevrolet, a division of General Motors (GM), manufactures Corvettes. Chevrolet has a long and storied history. In 1911, Louis Chevrolet and ousted GM founder William Durant started the Chevrolet Motor Company. In a reverse takeover, Durant acquired a controlling stake in GM, took over the presidency again and Chevy became part of GM. Although design work on the first Chevrolet began in 1911, the first model, the expensive Series C Classic Six, was not introduced until the 1913 New York auto show. The now famous bowtie symbol that signifies Chevy was first used in 1914. Over the years, Chevrolet and Ford engaged in competitive rivalry that still goes on today. The 1950s and 1960s were landmark years for Chevrolet. During this time period Corvettes and Corvairs were introduced, Chevrolet’s first fuel-injected engine made its debut and, by 1963, one in every 10 cars sold in the United States was a Chevy.

Although Chevrolets were wildly popular in the early 50s, they hadn’t ventured into the sports car arena. Triumphs, MGs and Jaguars were on the market, but GM’s reputation as a staid family-car manufacturer seemed to preclude sportier journeys. Designers inside the company, however, came up with an idea. Chief designer, Harley J. Earl, thought that there was a market for an affordable sports car and handed the idea to Robert McLean. McLean decided to use already available mechanical components, the same inline-6 engine used in other Chevy models but with a higher compression ratio and an aggressive cam that ramped the output to 150 horsepower. To keep the car affordable, the body was made of fiberglass, not steel. Ed Cole, Chevy’s new chief engineer, had been working on a small-block V8. He took over from there and, in 1953, the first Corvette was introduced.

MP_2The 1953 Corvette look sleek and futuristic, but it performed well below expected sports car standards. It was also costly for the consumer. Priced at $3,498, it was over $1,000 more than Chevrolet’s eight-passenger Deluxe station wagon. The 1954 model Corvette was relatively the same as the original, but consumers were given more color options to choose from. Big changes came in 1955. The small-block V8 was finally ready and a few 1955 models were powered by the new engine. The Corvette came of age in 1956 with its new engine, chrome teeth, scalloped flanks and a removable top option.

The early 1960s Corvettes had bigger and more powerful engines. Many Corvette enthusiasts tout the 1962 model as the greatest Corvette ever. In the mid-1960s, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette Stingray. With a new look and more efficient styling, the Stingray was wildly popular with consumers and sales topped over 20,000 in 1963. Many collectors consider the 1963-1967 Corvette models the best of the best. The Corvette is still manufactured today and Chevrolet recently reintroduced an updated Stingray. With over 30 vintage Corvettes, Mark Pieloch is proud to own these iconic symbols of America’s love of the open road.

A Classic Car Collection Celebrates the Muscle Cars

The Mark Pieloch Classic Car Collection features over 130 American-made classic and antique cars. Pieloch is an avid collector who loves to take a “sorry old car” and restore it back to its “brand new car” look. Although he collects cars of all makes and models, muscle cars from the 1960s through 1971 remain a favorite.

The muscle car designation refers to a specific group of American-made vehicles that boast a high-performance V-8 engine fitted into two-door mid or full-sized car. Car enthusiasts point to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 as the birth of the muscle car concept. Designed by General Motors, the Rocket’s never-before-seen engine was the first high-compression overhead-valve V-8 in the United States. Competition soon followed and nearly every automaker came up with its own version of a lightweight but efficient V-8.

MP_1The 1950s muscle car was big. Safety concerns caused a decline in sales and auto manufacturers scaled back production. Research behind the scenes didn’t stop, however, and the muscle car surged back in the 1960s. Sportier looking cars had been introduced, as had smaller, compact models. Pontiac’s 1964 Tempest GTO brought the muscle car blazing back into the American scene. Looking like a typical mid-sized coupe or convertible, the GTO hid a powerful 389 V-8 engine that appealed to young and old alike. Competition followed almost immediately, with Oldsmobile, Buick and Chevrolet introducing their own versions.

Classic 1960s muscle cars include the Ford Fairlane, Dodge Charger, Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Muscle cars were designed to grab the attention of young people who wanted an affordable high-performing streetcar with a sleek look.

The Chevy Camaro made its debut in September of 1966 for the 1967 model year. Developed to compete with Ford’s Mustang, the two-door Camaro was built on a newly designed rear-wheel drive F-body platform and sold as a coupe or convertible. The second generation Camaro was introduced in 1970 and sported a restyled larger and wider design.

Ford publicly introduced its iconic Mustang in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. The design was based on existing Ford products to make it more affordable to consumers and less expensive to build. First generation models came in a notchback coupe or convertible style and had unique design touches that included a running horse on the grille and scallops along the flanks. The car went on sale on the lots of Ford dealers the same day it was introduced and surpassed the first-year 100,000 unit projected sales forecast in three months. The Boss Mustang was developed as an answer to the more powerful Chevy Camaro. The Ford Boss 302 engine was introduced in 1969. It was designed specifically to meet the Trans-Am series racing guidelines. The 1970 Boss Mustang could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.

Pieloch credits his older brothers’ good nature with sparking his love for classic 1960s and early 1970s muscle cars. His older brothers had numerous muscle cars and were happy to drive their kid brother around. The Mark Pieloch Classic Car Collection now features over 25 Camaros and a complete set of 1969-1971 Boss Mustangs. It’s truly a muscle car enthusiast’s dream.