|Legend has it that Freitas,
entered at the 1964 Santa Barbara Memorial Day meeting, loaded up his 1957
Corvette and quit racing altogether upon hearing of his friend Dave MacDonald's
death at Indianapolis...
Jim Gessner asked Freitas
about the story...
"Not totally true. He
and I just talked about that. He was with Craig Lang in Santa Barbara that
weekend racing. True, he did load up and left the race that day in total
disbelief and shock as did most of his Corvette friends.
He continued to race his
57 later that summer and then into 1965, but only 4 or 5 total races in
that time period. He got very involved working for Shelby and drove
the transporter and worked around the shop a lot. In the fall of
1964 he co-drove the Cobra with John Morton at Bridgehampton and with that
win clinched the USRRC for Shelby.
Also in 65 he helped his
friend Craig Lang with the Lang Cooper. That is another whole story, but
Joe pretty much fell out of sight at this time. After Dave's death,
it just was not the same.
I met Joe in 1990 when
he walked into Dick Guldstrand's shop
out of the clear blue. He had been totally away from racing all that time.
I had him and others as
special guests at the NCRS ( National Corvette Restorers Society) Convention
in July 91 where we did a tribute to " The Glory Years of Road Racing"
with the debut of Mike Antonick's book.
We had the cars and the
people at that convention. Fun stuff. After that, I pushed Joe to restore
his 57 Corvette to what it is today."