1946: The history
Bernard Van Hool was born in Koningshooikt. As a young boy, Bernard took a great interest in mechanics, construction and electrics. The mechanical maintenance, repair and design of machinery at the parental farm soon became his responsibility.
Bernard Van Hool married Bertha Van Asch. They had 10 children: 8 sons and 2 daughters. From a very young age, the Van Hool children were taught that you can achieve a lot more if you all work together and that diversity is a very important value. In this period Bernard Van Hool started a diamond cutting factory. The talk about the imminent crisis that ultimately was to come in the thirties made him look for another product (luxury products would be the first to feel the negative effects of a shrinking market). He started a company in brooding machines.
World War II broke out and the company was destroyed. Starting up the business again during the war would have been pointless. Bernard Van Hool found a new challenge in the transport sector: almost all rolling stock had been requisitioned by the occupying forces, and transport was badly needed. He managed to lay his hands on a number of lorries and, with the help of a mechanic, he managed to get them roadworthy again. He started up a modest road haulage company together with his youngest brother, Jozef.
Even after the war Bernard Van Hool continued his transport company. But he did not consider transport as his final goal. His ambition was to build bridges and roads. As a would-be building constructor, he had already purchased a lot of machinery and tools. The only thing that he was lacking, was a vehicle needed to transport his men to the works. He found an old bus in very bad state of repair and practically a whole new body had to be built. This would ultimately be the impetus to go in a completely new direction. He would build coach bodies and later on complete public vehicles! After all, there was an acute shortage of touring coaches.
The workshops were prepared for the building of coach bodies. The road haulage business was converted into a coach tour operating company. Their first vehicle, the rebuilt coach, was named “De Trekvogel” (Bird of Passage). Brother Jozef ran the business and Bernard became a bus builder and designed the first Perfecta Car.