It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Hall of Fame inductee Edo Ansaloni of Italy on January 31, 2020.
While we honor Edo for his achievements in off-road, he should be remembered and honored for his heroic efforts on behalf of his homeland during World War II’s crucial Battle of Bologna in 1945.
At 4 am on April 9, 1945, the offensive on Bologna began. Edo was one of the first to warn of the Germans’ advance on the town. American and British troops came to the aid of weary Polish forces who had been battling the Germans, and the combined forces fought successfully to secure Bologna and defeat the invading German troops.
Throughout the nearly two week long battle, Edo took to the streets, risking his life to document the invasion through the lens of his camera.
Edo dedicated the rest of his life to honoring the sacrifice of those who fought to defend freedom, opening the Memorial Museum of Liberty in Bologna.
Born in Bologna in 1925, Edo grew up on his father’s farm, in northern Italy, where he learned about cars salvaging and converting military vehicles, for use as farm equipment during World War II.
Edo quickly developed an appreciation of the 4X4 capabilities of the Jeep ‘MB’ and became a collector and off-road enthusiast in and around Bologna where he gathered a number of followers during the early years after World War II.
In 1969, Edo co-founded the “Club Nazionale Fouristrada” (national off road club), Italy’s first 4-wheeling club. In May of 1970 he won the first organized off-road race in Italy, on a modified motocross track in Monterenzio. In 1971 he won the first ‘International Trophy” and in the years to follow would participate in almost 100 Italian and European off-road championship events.
Edo Ansaloni is a national treasure in Italy; an innovator, an organizer, a competitor known throughout his country for his dedication to the discovery and love of off-roading in Italy.