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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
 
 
P11997 - Gerardo Nardiello’s photo in 1980. Courtesy of Gerardo and Luisa Nardiello
  Gerardo Nardiello was born on November 9, 1945, in Volturara Irpina, Province of Avellino, Italy. At the age of 11 he travelled by ship to Venezuela. After a few months, his father returned to Italy due to illness and Nardiello was left in Venezuela alone. Gerardo worked as an auto mechanic apprentice and was forced to sleep in the cars of different clients in the garage at night, due to lack of funds. Some time later, Nardiello developed a high fever and, since he had no family members in Venezuela, he went to a nearby Italian family to ask for help. Thankfully, they kept him at their home, nursed him back to health, and notified
P11997 - Gerardo Nardiello’s photo in 1980. Courtesy of Gerardo and Luisa Nardiello
  Gerardo’s family in Italy to inform them of the situation. Nardiello’s parents made arrangements for him to return to Italy. As luck would have it, Gerardo returned by the same ship, “The Venezuela”.
 
At the time of his return Gerardo was fifteen years old. He worked a very few months in Avellino, once more as a mechanic’s apprentice.

Two days before Easter, Nardiello received a telegram from his friend in Germany, notifying him about a job opening at a dealership in Lorach, Germany. He left and spent the next four years working in various dealerships.

 
P11996 - Twin Cam Motor, 2004. Courtesy of Gerardo and Luisa Nardiello

During one of his father’s visits to Germany, he mentioned that Gerardo had a good knowledge of American cars (from his experience in Venezuela) and German cars (from his experience in Lorach), but knew very little about Italian cars.

In Switzerland across from the German border was Basel, where Gerardo

P11996 - Twin Cam Motor, 2004. Courtesy of Gerardo and Luisa Nardiello
  would go on the weekends, it is here that he discovered an Alfa Romeo dealership. He asked if there were any job openings and, to his

surprise, they hired him. Nardiello worked for them for four years, got his mechanic’s license, and was sent to Alfa Romeo school in Lugano, Switzerland.

During one of his vacations in Italy, Gerardo met someone from Windsor, Ontario, who paved his curiousity about Canada. He decided to immigrate to Canada and work as an auto mechanic. Nardiello arrived in Windsor in 1968. With the help of a kind gentleman (a barber) he started to work at Downtown Motors on Wyandotte Street East. In 1969, Gerardo worked for Winmar Motors on Erie Street East, where he worked on Alfa Romeos, Citroen and Peugeot cars.

Also in 1969, Gerardo met his wife Luisa. They were married in November 1971, at St. Angela Merici Church. Gerardo and Luisa have three children.

In 1980, Gerardo Nardiello decided to open his own business. Gerardo and Luisa purchased a small shop at 1393 Drouillard Road and Twin Cam Motor was established.

To date, the Nardiello family is still in the business of repairing Italian and German cars at the same location.

 

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

 

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