|Signor Alfasud - Rudolf Hruska
Rudolf Hruska was born the 2nd
July 1915 in Vienna (Austria). After he had graduated from the Vienna
Engineering Institute in 1935 he presumably found an employment at Magirus
Ulm in the South of Germany. Three years later he changed to Porsche in
At that time, Porsche was a design studio which developed cars and other types
of vehicles for the automotive industry. When Hruska joined Porsche, they were
just working on the "Kdf-Wagen" Hitler had demanded for the German people. The
result became world-famous under the name Volkswagen.
In 1942, another task
awaited Hruska. He was detached to the development of the German battle tank
project named "Tiger".
After World War II "Ingenere"
Hruska joined Piero Dusio who was developing the supercharged Cisitalia race car
at that time.
After a short period of time at Cisitalia and a second short intermezzo at
Porsche in 1948, Hruska signed as a consulting engineer for Alfa Romeo's first
mass-production car, the Millenove (1900) in 1951 at Finmeccanica. The
Finmeccanica was a part of the state-owned IRI group
(to which Alfa Romeo belonged since 1933) whose task was to
reconstruct the destroyed Italy after the war. Finmeccanica was in charge of
transportation and vehicles. With the launch of the Alfa Romeo 1900, Portello
had to be transformed to mass-production plant. Hruska's
job was to improve the productivity of Alfa Romeo's Portello plant, which
included the reorganisation of the working processes in a factory which mainly
used manual labour to produce a small number of high-class cars per year
In 1954 Alfa Romeo appointed Hruska technical manager. His range of tasks was
extended and he now also contributed in the construction of trucks and other
commercial vehicles. In addition, he also assisted the famous Dot. Ing. Orazio
Satta Puliga in developing Alfa Romeo's second brand new car after WW II, the
Giulietta. Due to Hruska's good connections to Bertone, the Giulietta Sprint
could be realised by Bertone and the Giulietta Spider at Pinin Farina's
Stablimenti di Grugliaso. After a re-organization of the Alfa Romeo management
Balduccio Bardocci became Alfa Romeo's new head in 1959 and Hruska was made
works-manager of Portello. Apparently no interesting task for Hruska. So he and
his colleague Franco Quaroni left Alfa Romeo a little later after some problems
with the heads of the Finmeccanica. They both found a new employment at Simca in
France where they contributed in the development of the Simca 1000. In addition
Hruska worked for Alfa's "arch-enemy" Fiat where he contributed in the
development of 124 and 128.
A short time after Hruska had
left Alfa Romeo, Bardocci was exchanged against Giuseppe Luraghi. In the year
1967 Rudolf Hruska, who was working for Fiat in Torino at that time, got a
telephone call from Luraghi. Luraghi made an offer Hruska could not resist. He
got the chance to design an entirely new small car for Alfa Romeo, starting with
the proverbial "white sheet of paper". The plant needed for the new car
also be planned by him. Hruska cancelled his contract in Torino and started to
design the new small Alfa Romeo. The result of his efforts was named Alfasud...
After the Alfasud-job was done
Hruska left Pomigliano d'Arco in 1974 and went to Arese where he assumed overall
responsibility for development, design and research.
At the age of 65 Hruska
resigned and became a pensioner in 1980.
Regardless of his high age
Hruska still was involved in the automotive industry in the 1990s
as a consultant of the
I.D.E.A. studios at Torino.
in 1995 at the age of 80 years.
Last Update: October, 19th 2004
Created: October, 19th 2004
© Layout and text by Tim Rauen.