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Joe Buzzetta

30th December 1936 (Age 83)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Most recent race (in database):

This New Yorker grew up listening to motor racing stories in his father’s Centerport restaurant, a popular haunt among the local SCCA racers. Joe Buzzetta started racing hot rods before serving in the United States Army for three years during the late 1950s. Based in Frankfurt, he started racing in Europe during 1958 and drove a Porsche 356 Carrera at Solitude and Monza a year later.

Professional racing driver

He returned to Long Island after leaving the forces where he ran a Porsche dealership. It was with the marque that Buzzetta competed in SCCA races and his Porsche 718 won the 1962 F Modified and 1963 E Modified SCCA titles. That success persuaded Buzzetta to turn professional in 1964 when driving an Elva Mk7 in the United States Road Racing Championship.  He also won a 2000cc race at Bridgehampton with a Porsche.

Sports car success

He was invited to drive a works Porsche in the Sebring 12 Hours for the next few years. Fourth in the 1966 race with a 906, Hans Herrmann and Gerhard Mitter, he returned to Germany for the 1967 Nürburgring 1000Kms. The Buzzetta/Udo Schütz Porsche 910 inherited victory when Mitter’s sister car suffered electrical failure on the last lap.

Buzzetta and Schütz also shared a car in the Le Mans 24 Hours but he spent the rest of 1967 racing a private 906 in North America – winning at Mid-Ohio. He remained a works Porsche driver for the next couple of seasons but did not win again. Placings included third in the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours, a result he matched at Sebring and Watkins Glen a year later.

The 1969 season would be Buzzetta’s last in international sports cars during which he finished third in the Sebring 12 Hours. He continued to appear at historic events for many years to come while building up his chain of car dealerships on Long Island. The Competition Automotive Group included five agencies and employed 300 people as Buzzetta approached retirement age.