Tracing back our family’s history we are doing what we did more than 50 years ago: loving cars, selling them and using them for racing.
In 1953 and 1954 my grandfather with his “ordinary” Fiat Topolino not only took part to 1000 Miglia as well as competitions organized on street circuits, putting the pressure on that poor Fiat that during the week was used as a ordinary car. 1953 was a successful time for Volkswagen and Porsche in Italy that finally had an importer, Autogerma: that year the “Fratelli Rondinelli” company (founded by my grandfather and his brother) became one of the first dealerships in Italy to sell and offer assistance to the Wolfsburg company as well as to their subsequent factory in Stuttgart. Initially, their territory was three regions: Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria; later, as the Volkswagen network in Italy developed, the dealership became focused on the two provinces of Taranto and Brindisi.
Since the late 50’s, Taranto was one of the Italian provinces with the greatest sales of Volkswagen cars thanks to the versatility of the Beetle and the camper vans also nicknamed the “Bulli”. As a consequence, the Porsche marque was sold successfully in the area, especially as near to Taranto was the large NATO base and the Americans greatly appreciated Germans sports cars.
The Porsche 356 was a very reliable high-performance car (my grandfather took part in the Monopoli uphill race driving one of them). This was then replaced by the 911 and the 912 models, both equally well received. However, expectations that Volkswagen would have great sales were not met because the end of ’60s was a difficult time for them: the Beetle no longer reached the sales of previous years whilst new models did not enjoy the success that they expected.
For this reason the Rondinelli brothers decided to leave the German brand Volkswagen – Porsche, representing the Italian brand Alfa Romeo which was, at that time, very popular thanks to the Giulia GT and GTA, just to name some of the models. After the active participation of the two old founders ended, the family connection with the automotive world was continued by my uncles who worked for a long time in Autogerma (Volkswagen Group, Italy) and Porsche, Italy.
Since the 70’s, my father carried on the tradition with recreational and competitive motorsport, racing many cars in the most important Italian track championships: in 1991 and 1995 he won the Italian historic cars championship with his team-mate Angelo Rossi with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TI, while in 2001 he won the italian endurance championship Touring Master Cup, driving a Lotus Elise Trophy.
Then it came to my turn. Growing up amongst cars I have learnt to appreciate, to know and to race with them. together with my father in 2017, 2018 and 2019 we won the Italian Historic Cars Championship, before with a BMW M3 E30 then with our dear 911 Carrera 2 Gruppo B (964).