The world of motorsport is made up of milestones, disasters and great deeds in competition. However, not all stories have a happy ending, and automotive stories are no exception. You don’t have to go far to discover it, specifically to Italy, where the bleak story of the legendary Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio Verde originated that we are telling you today, a symbol that not only hides sportsmanship and passion, but also a death and a sad ending that could give truth to the supposed luck of four-leaf clovers.
To know the reasons for this badge we must go back to the 1920s, when the mythical Targa Florio took place, one of the most emblematic competitions held in Italy. At that time, Alfa Romeo presented itself with an extremely promising team consisting of Enzo Ferrari -yes, Il Comandatore-, Antonio Ascari, Giulio Masseti and our protagonist and precursor of the green quadrifoglio, Ugo Sivocci.
The Italian team enjoyed a good reputation and strong success, although not because of all the team members. And it is that Sivocci frequented the second and third position unlike Ferrari and others, who carried the weight of Alfa Romeo with their corresponding victories.
On the occasion of the competition, Giuseppe Merosi, an engineer at the time of the Italian house, conceived one of the most capable sports cars of the moment, the Alfa Romeo Targa Florio. It delivered 95 hp, power that, together with its aerodynamics and low weight, made it synonymous with victory. Sivocci, tired of dragging rather bad positions, decided to paint a four-leaf clover on his Targa Florio in search of some luck..
And boy did he get it. Since then, the Italian rider began to stand out above not only his teammates, but also other competitors. As if it were magic, Ugo Sivocci frequented the first position in practically all the races he disputed, and quickly the green quadrifoglio was his hallmark.
The devastating trigger for the shamrock to become part of the most powerful Alfa Romeo today occurred in 1923, at which time Sivocci was conducting some tests at the controls of an Alfa Romeo P1. After losing control of the vehicle, the Italian driver suffered an accident that would end his life, accident that took place without the charismatic four-leaf clover on the side of the P1.
Since then, superstition took hold of Alfa Romeo, and in search of paying homage to Ugo Sivocci they kept intact what is known today as Quadrifoglio Verde. In addition, it became integrated into a triangle instead of a rhombus in order to show with its three points that a member of the team had been lost.
Will the four-leaf clover really bring luck? Or was it just a bad fluke? We will never know, but what is clear is that Ugo Sivocci managed to make history by rising as the creator of one of the most charismatic and recognized automotive symbols in the world.