Monday, August 3, 2009

The Marty Himes Museum

Marty Himes began his career in 1955 as a stock car race driver at the now defunct Freeport Raceway on Long Island. He went on to become one of the most successful guys in the sport of racing, eventually winning 3rd place in the Formula Libre, at Lime Rock Race Course in Connecticut in 1989.

He began an unorthodox hands-on museum in 1975 containing any and everything related to auto racing as well as the toys and artifacts of his life. It’s open to anyone, for free, who gives him a call and makes an appointment; the photos from my recent visit represent only a fraction of what you can experience yourself.

(Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Marty with a yard full of his old stock cars.

The original ticket booth from Freeport Raceway
has been transplanted to Marty's place in Bay Shore.

Dexter Park not only held stock car races
hosted minor-league baseball games during
the early part of the twentieth century. It closed in the 1950's.

Marty, with a home-made scooter from his youth.

Marty drives his 1938 Plymouth regularly.

You won't find gas at these prices any more.

Islip Speedway hosted stock car races
as well as 1/8 mile drag races; it closed in the 1980's.

An Irish Mail, hanging in one of Marty's garages:
popular in the 1940's, you moved the handle back & forth
with your arms to make it go and steered with your feet.
(I had one of those!)

I had one of these, too; a plastic toy ice cream truck from the 1950s.

(For more about Marty, visit


Sarah O'Leary said...

I have the Irish Mail you show in one of your photos. Do you happen to know who made it? I'm trying to learn about it. Just purchased on ebay. Thanks!

Ken B said...

Sorry, but I don't know who made the Irish Mail. I know Marty's piece has a manufacturer's name on it so you might want to contact him. Otherwise, try "googling" Irish Mail and maybe you'll find a list of manufacturers that way. -Ken

Ken B said...

Oops! I spoke too soon. I just checked my other photos from the visit with Marty Hines and there's a photo I took of the seat on the Irish Mail. It says, "The Parsons, Modern, Speedy, gear propelled, Irish Mail, The Parsons Co., Detroit 3, Mich." So there you go

Rich B. said...

Ken Bausert and Sarah O'Leary, I purchased, in October of '10 an Irish Mail similar to the one pictured on your post Ken, except mine has solid holes. I have been looking also for info. for a while. Thank god for the Internet. The lettering on my seat is in real rough condition, but I can make out "Irish Mail" in approx. 1" letters. I'll have to see if I can make out all the info. you posted from Your pictures. Thanks ever so much.

John S. said...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has an Irish Mail! I too have been trying to find information about it. Mine was in pieces when I got it and had been "previously enjoyed" so there was no lettering. I had to restore it. It has the solid wheels.