The famous Quadrifoglio Triangle is to be seen on Alfa Romeo Racing cars, here on the P2, built in 1930, which had an 8 cylinder 2 litre compressor engine, bringing 175 hp... and the present Alfa MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde, delivering 170 hp out of a 1,4 litre engine... see photo below
Driving the latest MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde, we were not only fascinated by this sporting car, but our thoughts also drifted to the history of the famous cloverleaf emblem, set in a triangle on the side of this MiTo.
It tells us a tale about the thoroughbred Alfa’s of the twenties, and the brave men who raced them.
The famous book of Alfa Romeo, edited by Autombilia, bears proudly the quadrifoglio emblem on its cassette cover...
Of course we dived in our archives, and came upon a beautiful two volumed Alfa book, which we have in our library for decades. When you turn the pages of this book, one breathes Alfa, and almost smells the perfume of rubber, leather and hot racing engines…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
It all started with Ugo Sivocci… Ugo Sivocci drving to his win in the 1923 Targa Florio, proudly wearing the Quadrifoglio emblem on a square background on the bonnet of his RL Targa Florio...
The magnificent book has been edited in two volumes, by the editing house Automobilia. The second volume is actually a catalogue of the Alfa Romeo cars, built between 1910 and 1982. We find the famous emblem there for the first time on the RL Targia Florio built in 1923, and prepared by Guiseppe Merosi.
Ugo Sivocci at the wheel of the TR Targa Florio, with his mecanic Guatta. Again note the square shape of the Quadrifoglio emblem.
The cars were to be driven by Antonio Ascari, Enzo Ferrari (!), Giulio Masetti and Ugo Sivocci. Ugo was the man who discovered… Enzo Ferrari, or at least, as the story goes, his racing talent(s). He was of course a very close friend of Enzo.
Sivocci was a very talented racing driver himself, but mechanical mishaps soon brought him the nickname “eternal second”.
Ugo Sivocci was also a very superstitious man, and who can blame him, as one has been bedevilled so many times by mechanical breakdown…
The RL Targa Florio 1923 wore the square emblem
So he decided to put on the engine lid of the car a big square with a four leaved cloverleaf on it, to bring him luck in this Targa Florio race.
And indeed, this is exactly what happened. Ascari and Sivocci were in the lead, closely followed by Ferdinando Minoia on a Steyr VI Clausen Sport.
200 meters before the finish, the winning RL Targa Florio of Alberto Ascari ran out of… fuel, enough for Sivocci to take the lead and snap the first international victory for Alfa Romeo.
The (lasting) magic of the Quadrifoglio…
A few months later, on September 8 1923 in fact, racing driver Ugo Sivocci found his dead on the Monza circuit, during the training of the Grand Prix de l’Europe. The Alfa he drove did not bear the famous emblem, and this greatly impressed the pilots, mechanics and engineers alike.
In 1925, the P2 is seen here with the triangle shaped Quadrifoglio emblem, at the Grand Prix de l'Europe in... Spa Francorchamps! Drivers of the Alfa team were Alberto Ascari, Guiseppe Campari and Louis Wagner.
So at the start of the 1924 season, the Alfa Romeo racing cars wore the Quadrifoglio, but now a corner of the white square background had been cut, leaving from then on a triangle, as a symbol that Ugo Sivocci would from then on for even be missed on the “squadra”…
Hans Knol ten Bensel