Rhode Island’s ProNyne Motorsports Museum In Need Of Help To Keep Doors Open To Race Fans

The ProNyne Motorsports Museum in Pawtucket, R.I. (Photo: ProNyne Motorsports Museum)

The ProNyne Motorsports Museum in Pawtucket, R.I. (Photo: ProNyne Motorsports Museum)

Just over a decade ago, motorsports buffs and historians Ric Mariscal and R.A. Silvia decided the time had come to take both of their massive collections of New England racing memorabilia and put it under one roof.

And born was the ProNyne Motorsports Museum in Pawtucket, R.I.

“We put our collections together back in 2003 and decided to put them in this warehouse in Pawtucket, R.I.,” Mariscal said. “It’s not recognized by the city as a formal museum. It’s basically zoned as an office/warehouse and that’s basically what it was going to be. It was going to be my office and we were going to warehouse the racing memorabilia. But before we had the building everybody would call us and say they wanted to come by and see the cars or say they wanted to stop by and go through some pictures. We figured if we had it all under one roof it would be the perfect place to do that.”

Since 2003 the museum has operated through the funding of donations and out of the pockets of Mariscal and Silvia. There’s no admission to visit the museum, though visitors can make donations while there.

“We’ve been operating for 10 years in a 104-year old building and working mostly with funds generated from people who have supported us with what we’re doing,” Mariscal said. “Visitors, we don’t charge admission. It’s all on donation. If you had a good time, you throw some money in the can.

“And like everything else, everything has gone up. Property taxes have gone up. Utilities have gone up. So we’ve pretty much exhausted our funds that we can supply.”

Now Mariscal is turning to a web-based fund-raising plan to try to keep the doors to the museum open. Those interested very easily make donations through the ProNyne Motorsports Museum fundraiser page.

“We started this fundraiser online hoping that if the race fans in New England want to save what we’ve got.” Mariscal said. “I’m hoping that we can make a plea to people, if you’ve been here, or you want to see or you know about us and haven’t been yet, if you want to send us $1, $5, $10, anything that you feel is in your budget, you have no idea how much help that will be. It will ensure the establishment that we have.”

The 7,400 square foot, two-floor museum features a virtually endless array of motorsports memorabilia, including 15-18 cars on display at any given team and treasures dating back to the late 1800’s.

The museum, located at 8 Cleveland St. in Pawtucket, R.I.,  is open during racing season on Mondays and Wednesday’s from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (depending on staffing). Mariscal stresses that visitors should call ahead (401-447-4202) before visiting on the weekends to make sure of staffing because many times the staff must work at certain car shows or vintage events instead of the museum on weekends.

The museum can also be visited by appointment during other hours and during the winter. Those looking to arrange an off hours or winter visit can call 401-447-4202.

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  1. Michael Gus Branco says

    The museum is a great place to go see ” Where Racing History Repeats Itself ” and with out a museum like this racing history in New England could be lost

  2. Dick Berggren says

    I have been to Pronyne and recommend it to anyone who cares about the history of auto racing in New England. RA and Ric have done an incredible job and deserve our support to continue this project. I have sent my check to them today.

  3. D.N. Blomberg says

    Unfortunately, I see this as only a short term solution. They will need continuing contributions to keep going thru the years. Is there some reason why an entrance fee cannot be charged with regular hours of operation? Seems like something that race fans would like to see.

  4. John Kokolski says

    Nice job Shawn. I have known Ric and R.A. for many years. They are great people and friends of the sport. They have been helping us get our family business into racing and will get a donation for the museum when we do the upcoming Norwood Arena Racing Reunion and Car Show on June 1st.

  5. Dave Borawski says

    i see the photo of the woodchopper special of bugs stevens, who i saw many times in victory lane. i want to go there! maybe contributions can go toward publicity! i have never heard of this or i would have gone already. i will share this and hope they can make a go of it.

  6. Mare Harlow says

    I have been to this museum & it is not only a mecca for a race fan, but for racers too! The collection of memorabilia, magazines, newspapers, photos, cars, & videos are TOPS! Watched a video of a race with Richie. OMG! How that touched my heart. 🙂 I could have spent all day there. Ric & R.A. have done an AMAZING job.

  7. Rion Mariscal says

    Hello, I am a volunteer at the museum, I would just like to say, including a $100 donation that we received by check through the mail, we are now over a FIFTH of the way to our first goal of $2500!! As mentioned on Fundraiser Page (which you can find on the PRONYNE MOTORSPORTS MUSEUM Facebook page), once we reach $2500, we will be putting together all the names that donated, and randomly select a winner for a HISTORIC VIP GIVEAWAY!! As a volunteer and seeing how much the curator Ric Mariscal and his partner R.A. Silvia put into this Museum, I greatly appreciate everyone whom has donated thus far, and I just want to remind you that whether you donate $20 or $100, you are still an equal for the giveaway..Now if you want to remain anonymous on the Fundraiser page or in general to the public you can stay anonymous on the Fundraiser page, just make sure you PM the museum Facebook page with your name, that way we can get you in the drawing once we hit our goal. The Museum is a GREAT PLACE and puts a smile on every visitor’s face no matter if they are from the younger Racing Generation and came by to see some of racing’s roots, or if you were a Driver or Spectator from back in the good ole days and came to relive some memory’s!! It is getting very hard for the museum financially, but with help from you, we can keep racing history alive to continue to be viewed by race fans all over..With that said, we do have a goal of $2500 for the VIP GIVEAWAY, but it wont stop there, we will announce another goal once we hit that for another HISTORIC VIP GIVEAWAY!! ALSO, if you are someone whom would like to send a check via mail instead of using the Fundraiser page, the address is located in the “ABOUT” section of the PRONYNE MOTORSPORT MUSEUM Facebook page….Again, thank you, and lets get up to this goal so the museum can continue to put them smiles upon visitors faces!!!

  8. I grew up watching Freddy, Bugsy, Richie, Jerry et al. Still go to Stafford and other tracks today. I never knew of this effort until I read your article, Shaun, but I sincerely hope that others will pitch in to help keep this effort alive. Hope to get a chance to visit this summer.

  9. John Kokolski says

    Gave Ric a check when we were at the Norwood Arena Reunion. If our small business can step up to help, why cannot others.

  10. Félicitations, j’ai bien de me rendre au RI.

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