Benelli was at the height of success (800 employees worked in the factory) when the factory was destroyed during the Second World War. The allied bombing and spoliation by the Nazis reduced this large company to a pile of rubble and empty sheds. The Benelli brothers did not lose heart, retrieving machinery and equipment from the rubble, they converted about 1000 military motorcycles left in the battlefields by the allies into bikes for civilian use. In 1947, racing activities were resumed. 1948 was a milestone for Benelli. The company hired motorcycle racer Dario Ambrosini and on October 14th, the Benelli brothers announced their decision to continue producing motorcycles. The racing success of the new Benelli culminated in Ambrosini winning the 250cc class World Championship in 1950.