‘Cloverleaf’ Aston Martin returns to Aston Hill 95 years later

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Aston Martin
Darren Turner takes the 'Cloverleaf' back up Aston Hill | Aston Martin Works photos

‘There are not many brands that are fortunate enough to have as many iconic milestones as Aston Martin. Cloverleaf is a perfect example of how, even from the brand’s inauguration, we were racing and competing at the highest level in terms of design and innovation.”

That from Paul Spires, president of Aston Martin Works, as the car known as “Cloverleaf” returned to Aston Hill to re-create its original run 95 years earlier.

Calometer relayed water temperature to the driver

The 1923 Aston Martin long-chassis “Cloverleaf”-bodied tourer with a 1.486cc side-valve 4-cylinder engine challenged two other Aston Martins and a pair of Bugattis in the hillclimb in 1924. One of only eight customer cars built in late 1923, it finished second that day behind another Aston Martin, the one entered by company found Lionel Martin.

“To mark the anniversary of its first competitive outing ‘Cloverleaf’ has returned to Aston Hill to be driven by Aston Martin Racing ace and three time Le Mans class winner Darren Turner, followed closely by a Bugatti, to re-create as accurately as possible the events of almost a century ago,” Aston Martin Works said in its news release. 

“The car was painstakingly prepared for its hillclimb return by renowned specialists Ecurie Bertelli, the Midlands-based firm which currently manages the vehicle on behalf of its owner.

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‘Cloverleaf’ returns to Aston Hill

“Aston Hill is, of course, an evocative place for every Aston Martin enthusiast since it is nothing less than the inspiration behind the name of the company – Aston Martin – which combines the name of this famous hillclimb with the surname of one of the business’s founders. 

“Far more than just a namesake, though, Aston Hill was the venue for many defining moments in the early years of the brand with Lionel Martin driving his home-tuned Singer specials and later cars of his own design up the hill, cementing a lasting ethos of sporting performance for the great British brand.”

The “Cloverleaf” nickname traces to the open-body design that had two front seats and one rear seat and from overhead they looked like a three-leaf clover.

A Bugatti helps re-create the run 95 years later
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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