This year, Alfa Romeo celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Quadrifoglio being part of the Alfa Romeo legend. In 1923, team racer and perpetual second place driver Ugo Sivocci drew a four-leaf clover inside a white square on his RL “Corsa” single-seater, which was developed to win the Targa Florio. Sivocci won the race, giving Alfa Romeo its first international title. A few months later, Sivocci traveled to Monza to test the P1 for the European Grand Prix. He didn’t draw a clover on the #17 P1 he was driving, he died in practice. Granted, correlation is not causation, but it’s hard to find a more superstitious group of race drivers. The Italians retired the number 17 car from the race car, and from 1924 onwards every Alfa Romeo had a Quadrifoglio on a triangular rather than square body. Missing points represent Sivocci’s loss.
Since then, those green leaves have identified the Alfas in a sea of other red Italian single-seaters from rivals like Ferrari and Maserati. Of course, sometimes cars don’t need such help, and the signature lines on models like the TZ and P33 are enough to make them forego further differentiation.
The Milanese added a Quadrifoglio version to the production car in the 1960s, but didn’t make it part of the official production name until the 1980s. Afterwards, the brand expanded to two clover, a Quadrifoglio Oro (gold) for the luxury version and a Quadrifoglio Verde for the sporty version. It was later used more widely as a single letter “Q” to denote features such as the Q2 locking differential and Q4 all-wheel drive.
Centro Stile Alfa Romeo has tweaked the logo, which will appear in a branding event that will kick off the official centenary on June 25. This is called “Quadrifoglio Day”, with a “backstage” meeting and parade, open to all Alfa Romeo clubs.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s Autodelta racing division. The Italian equivalent of the AMG or M division, predating the German version, famous Alfa Romeo race cars such as the 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA and the 1975 33 TT 12 Roadster race car appeared in the Autodelta workshop. These celebrations will first take place on March 5th, with a meeting in between at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Milan.