Augustus Bertelli

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Enfield Allday 10/20 monoposto racing car by Augustus Bertelli
Bentley 3½ liter, body by Bertelli , built in 1935

Domenico Augustus Cesare "Bert" or "Gus" Bertelli , also AC Bertelli (born March 23, 1890 in Genoa ; † May 3, 1979 ), was a British entrepreneur, vehicle designer, racing mechanic and racing driver of Italian origin.

Family and education

Augustus Bertelli was born in March 1890 in the Ligurian coastal city of Genoa. In 1894 his parents emigrated to the United Kingdom with their children and settled in the Welsh capital, Cardiff . His father was dissatisfied with the political and economic situation in Italy and wanted his family in Great Britain to get a better livelihood. After compulsory schooling, Augustus Bertelli began an apprenticeship at a local steel construction company and completed an engineering course at an evening school . Bertelli was a good football player in his youth . His talent brought him up to the Welsh national youth football team . He married in 1920 and was the father of three children, two girls and a son. The son Bill Bertelli (1925–2012) was a major in the Royal Corps of Signals during World War II and worked as an engineer at Aston Martin after the war .

Augustus Bertelli had two nicknames . His colleagues and employees called him "Bert", family and friends called him "Gus".

Racing mechanic at Fiat

In 1907 Bertelli returned to Italy to work for Fiat in Turin . In addition to his work in the development department, he became a racing mechanic for Felice Nazzaro . The duo's greatest success was the overall victory at the Coppa Florio 1908 , a road race around Bologna .

Airplane and vehicle designer

Shortly before the outbreak of World War I , Bertelli returned to Wales and began studying aerospace engineering - a university discipline that was still young in the 1910s - which he did not complete. From 1916 he worked for two years in the design department of Grahame-White building aircraft by Morane-Saulnier , which were manufactured under license.

In 1918 he switched to Enfield-Allday as a consultant . The company had problems with its first vehicle, the Enfield-Allday Bullet . The car had a 5-cylinder radial engine and was difficult to sell. Bertelli took over the management, launched two new models and developed monoposto racing cars. Three of these cars were built for the British racing driver Woolf Barnato . The bankruptcy of the company could not prevent Bertelli. After the end of Enfield-Allday, he worked as a consultant at Armstrong Siddeley and Coventry Simplex .

Renwick & Bertelli

In 1924 he founded Renwick & Bertelli together with William Somerville Renwick (1889–1962), whom he had met while at Armstrong Siddeley . The only product of the collaboration was the Renwick & Bertelli 1½-liter Sports Buzzbox , a racing car based on an Enfield Allday chassis. The car has been preserved and today has a market value of just under 300,000 euros.

Aston Martin

In 1925, together with Renwick and the wealthy John Benson (later Lord Charnwood), he took over the financially troubled automaker Bamford & Martin's , whose vehicles were sold under the Aston-Martin name. The new company was called Aston Martin Motors Ltd. Aston Martin became a successful automobile manufacturer under Bertelli's leadership. Most of the bodies were made by E. Bertelli Ltd. manufactured by a body shop that belonged to his brother Enrico Bertelli . After a falling out with Gordon Sutherland (son of Sir Arthur Sutherland, the majority owner since 1932), Bertelli left Aston Martin in 1936 and was again a consultant for various automobile companies.

Racing career

Bertelli was active as a gentlemen's driver in the 1920s and 1930s . In 1930 he was fourth overall in the 2-times 12-hour race of Brooklands and in 1931 overall fifth in the 24-hour race of Le Mans . He competed five times in the 24-hour race at Le Mans . To fifth place in 1931 came seventh places in 1932 and 1933 .


Le Mans results

year team vehicle Teammate placement Failure reason
1928 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin 1.5 International United KingdomUnited Kingdom Capt. George ET Eyston failure Rear axle
1931 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Aston Martin Car Ltd. Aston Martin 1½ International United KingdomUnited Kingdom Maurice Harvey 5th place and class win
1932 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin 1½ Le Mans United KingdomUnited Kingdom Pat Driscoll Rank 7
1933 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin 1½ Le Mans United KingdomUnited Kingdom Sammy Davis Rank 7
1934 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin ½ Le Mans United KingdomUnited Kingdom Clifton Penn-Hughes Disqualified


  • Christian Moity, Jean-Marc Teissèdre, Alain Bienvenu: 24 heures du Mans, 1923–1992. Éditions d'Art, Besançon 1992, ISBN 2-909413-06-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. About Augustus Bertelli
  2. Augustus Bertelli was a good football player in his youth
  3. ^ Coppa Florio 1908
  4. Via William Somerville Renwick
  5. About Renwick & Bertelli
  6. Renwick & Bertelli 1½-Liter Sports Buzzbox
  7. About Lord Charnwood
  8. Jump up ↑ 1930 Brooklands 2 x 12 Hours