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 at Ulm in the South of Germany. Three years later he changed to Porsche in Stuttgart.Rudolf Hruska 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 before.
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. The
y 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 could 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.

Hruska died in 1995 at the age of 80 years.


Last Update: October, 19th 2004     Created: October, 19th 2004

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