Steve Camas of East Northport used to hear his fair share of derisive comments when he drove his 1988 Toyota Celica painted in Mets' blue and orange.

These days, more and more people give him the thumbs-up sign or honk their car horns when he's driving to Citi Field or tooling around.

"The Mets have been up and down in the years I've had it," said Camas, 51, an electrical engineer and restaurateur. "Everybody loves the car when they're winning. People stop on the street and point at it."

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Camas, who has a partial season ticket plan and goes to about 20 games a year, said he planned to take the car to the World Series.

The car is easy to spot: The club's logo is emblazoned on the driver's and passenger's side doors. The hood features the Mets' interlocking "NY" logo, and on the back is Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose's signature game-ending phrase, "Put it in the books!"

And the vanity plates? "MYMETCAR."

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His ride has taken on new meaning for Camas since the team he grew up rooting for earned its first World Series appearance in 15 years. But he almost got rid of the sedan a decade ago.

Camas said he bought a new car in 2005 to replace the aging Celica, which at the time gave no hint of his favorite baseball team. He said a friend offered to paint the Celica if he decided to keep it.

Camas said his wife, Siobhan Mulroy, initially was skeptical, because of the car's age. But then she made an offhand remark that surprised him.

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" 'Now if you painted it blue and orange, that's a different story,' " Camas quoted his wife saying. "She said, 'If you have the nerve to paint it blue and orange, go ahead and do so.' "

So he did. It cost about $1,500, including $700 for bodywork.

"I got myself a little Mets car to take to games," Camas said. "I pretty much only drive it to Mets games, but right now I drive it everywhere."

The car is a big hit with fans, and now Camas can drive it proudly after years of watching his Mets struggle on the field. But sometimes he's not sure what the fuss is all about.

"You forget what car you're in," Camas said. "Someone starts honking or taking pictures and I go, 'Oh, I'm in the Mets car!' "