The story of a four-leaf clover

The story of a four-leaf clover, the famous Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio

6w ago

Car racing was an extremely dangerous sport at the beginning of the twentieth century, which took many lives of some of the most talented drivers. We will start today's story with "Il Commendatore", Enzo Ferrari.

Today, it is hard to imagine a world that does not know the name of Ferrari, but at the beginning of his career, young Enzo was without a job, without money, as people would say, he was broke after the collapse of the family business. Sometime during 1919, Enzo met a man named Ugo Sivocci (in the middle in the illustration below) who had the same passion for motoring as the young Ferrari.

They quickly became great friends, and Ugo, who worked for a small manufactory, the car manufacturer C.M.N. (Construzioni Meccaniche Nazionali), as soon as a vacancy appeared for a test driver in the company, he also offered it to his friend Enzo. In that way, Sivocci introduced Ferrari into the world of racing cars, and the rest is history. Together, they looked for new ways to test their racing machines.

When Alfa Romeo took over Enzo as a driver in 1920, Hugo Sivocci joined Alfa Romeo with him. Thus, the two of them, along with Giuseppe Campari and Antonio Ascari, were the original four, the first Alfa racing, factory team.

Sivocci was an experienced and fast driver, but luck did not follow him. He did not win races. In order to turn his luck around and come to victory, Sivocci hired a local painter to paint a green clover with four leaves, a sign of happiness, on a white background in the shape of a diamond.

It seems that the trick was successful and Sivocci started winning places on the podium, along with the most important one, Targa Florio in 1923. Maybe he also wanted to stand out from other drivers and point out his car because in that period the races were driven mostly on dirt tracks, with clouds of dust and it was difficult to spot the drivers.

Unfortunately, the story for Hugo ends in 1923 when he lost his life in an accident in Monza at a car rehearsal. Nicola Romeo withdrew the entire team from the race in Monza that day in order to pay tribute to the injured friend. Sivocci competition number 17 has never been used on Alfa Romeo vehicles again.

Alfa Romeo continued to use the four-leaf clover symbol on its race cars with a change. The white diamond-shaped background was changed to a triangle to mark the loss of the first team driver, and the 4-leaf clover itself marked one of the first four drivers of the Alfa Romeo racing team.

Alberto Askari was killed in 1925 during the competition at the French Grand Prix, while Giuseppe Campari was killed with Alfa in 1933 at the Monza Grand Prix. Enzo Ferrari is the only one of the first four to survive and in 1947 he founded his company to compete. The rest is history.

Today, the 4-leaf clover on Alfa Romeo vehicles symbolically represents the company’s rich racing history and can be seen on the sport-oriented levels of the equipment package as a reminder and homage to the outstanding drivers who lived for motorsport and racing.

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Comments (1)

  • Thanks for the article it was a great read!

      1 month ago