Famed Alfa clover­leaf 90 years old

As with Fer­rari’s pranc­ing horse, Alfa Romeo’s own Quadri­foglio Verde graphic was used on World War I war­planes be­fore its rac­ing and high per­for­mance pro­duc­tion cars adopted it, writes DAVE MOORE.

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

This year marks 90 years since the Quadri­foglio Verde or QV nomen­cla­ture was first used on an Alfa Romeo. The green four-leaf clover, a sym­bol of luck, cel­e­brates 90 years of iden­ti­fy­ing Alfa Romeo’s rac­ing cars, while the com­pany’s high­er­per­for­mance pro­duc­tion ma­chines have proudly dis­played the badge since 1960. The cur­rent Gi­uli­etta and MiTo QV hatches carry the sym­bol. The ori­gin of the sym­bol is lost in le­gend, but it was on the flags and her­aldry of the aero­planes of the 10th Caproni Bomber Squadron in the Great War. It is also part of the Ital­ian Air Force’s cur­rent coat of arms, and it re­mains a sym­bol of Alfa Romeo’s phi­los­o­phy. The first Alfa Romeo car to be adorned with the Quadri­foglio Verde was Ugo Sivocci’s RL, in which he won the 14th edi­tion of the Targa Flo­rio in 1923. Since then, all Alfa Romeo rac­ing cars have been dis­tin­guished by the em­blem. Sivocci’s was the first of the brand’s ten vic­to­ries in the fa­mous Si­cil­ian event. The other driv­ers of the Alfa Romeo team – in­clud­ing a young Enzo Fer­rari, An­to­nio As­cari and Gi­ulio Ram­poni – de­cided to adopt the lucky Quadri­foglio Verde for all other races as well. From that mo­ment on, the Quadri­foglio Verde be­came syn­ony­mous with Alfa Romeo, though why it would take an­other 37 years to be used on spe­cial se­ries of pro­duc­tion mod­els is un­known. It was the Quadri­foglio Verde that stood out against the dark red of Brilli Peri’s P2 when he won the first World Car Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship at Monza in 1925. At the end of the 1920s, it was the Quadri­foglio Verde that dis­tin­guished the Alfa Romeos built by the par­ent com­pany, from the Alfa Romeos with the pranc­ing horse, which were man­aged on the race­track by Scud­e­ria Fer­rari. In 1950 and 1951, Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Fa­rina and Juan Manuel Fan­gio drove the Alfa Romeo 158 and 159 – the cel­e­brated Alfet­tas – to vic­tory in the first two For­mula 1 World Cham­pi­onships. Then, in the 1960s, the em­blem was the hall­mark of the ready-torace ver­sion of the Gi­u­lia, called the TI Su­per, and sat be­side the blue Au­todelta tri­an­gle for a num­ber of decades. Alfa Romeo’s rac­ing ac­tiv­ity car­ried on in the 1980s, af­ter it re­turned to F1. Pro­duc­tion Alfa Romeos have also car­ried the Quadri­foglio Verde, par­tic­u­larly high-per­for­mance mod­els built from the 1960s to the 1980s. Some fea­ture the sym­bol on the body, with­out an ap­pear­ance in the of­fi­cial name. From the 1980s, oth­ers had Quadri­foglio Verde as part of their name. The 2013 Alfa Romeo Quadri­foglio Verde ver­sions of the MiTo and Gi­uli­etta have as­sumed a place in that tra­di­tion, draw­ing on the her­itage of per­for­mance, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on ef­fi­ciency, re­spect for the en­vi­ron­ment and con­ve­nience in ev­ery­day use.

Alfa Romeo 159: Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Fa­rina and Juan Manuel Fan­gio drove Alfet­tas – to vic­tory in the first two For­mula 1 World Cham­pi­onships.

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