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Bay Shore home doubles as racing museum

Since 1975, Marty Himes' home, at the quiet

Since 1975, Marty Himes' home, at the quiet dead end of O'Neil Avenue in Bay Shore, has doubled as The Himes Museum of Motor Racing Nostalgia. (Nov. 10. 2010) Credit: Erin Geismar

Marty Himes has a lot of stuff.

Over the years, the 71-year-old former race car driver has accumulated memorabilia from the more than 40 racetracks that once existed across Long Island. The Riverhead Raceway is the last standing track on Long Island, but Himes has made it his personal mission to keep the memory of the old tracks alive.

Since 1975, Himes' home, at the quiet dead end of O'Neil Avenue, has doubled as The Himes Museum of Motor Racing Nostalgia. Every inch of his modest house - every table top, every cabinet, every shelf - displays a piece of racing history. The museum spills into his front, back and side yards, his garage and two trailers that sit on his property.

Himes has race cars of every kind and from every era, pieces of asphalt from old tracks, signs from the speedways, original uniforms and helmets of some of racing's greatest drivers, one-of-a-kind relics and even the original ticket booth and turnstile of the Freeport Stadium. He values every kind of racing and every driver, from the superfamous to the barely known. Although the museum focuses on Long Island racing history, Himes has acquired pieces from across the country.

To see everything, Himes said visitors have to come more than once, and they have to be prepared to dig through his piles of stuff. Himes gives the free tours himself, rattling off an encyclopedia of knowledge as he goes. He asks that visitors call first to make sure he'll be home and, of course, donations are welcome.

Watch video from the museum, and give Himes a call to see it for yourself. You can reach him at 631-666-4912.

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