Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars! 

This week’s question: What is the origin of Lancia HF Racing Team’s elephant logo?

If you think you know the answer, trunk on over the jump and see if you’re right.

HFWe spoke about Lancia just a short few weeks ago, and how they were the originators of the automotive production V6. The company which today is but a mere shell of its former glories was for a long time a formidable force in racing and when they did, they ran under a very unique logo – a mascot of sorts.

Like BMW’s Motorsports M, Lancia’s high performance models carried a specific badge, that being the HF, or High Fidelity. They also carried an animal on those cars, an elephant that was fully astride and with its trunk stretched forward. What could have been the impetus for this odd symbol?

From LanciaIntegrale.com

Let’s start with the elephant. Scureia Lancia competed in Giro di Sicily 1952. They used Aurelia Serie 2 with a lowered roof line. One of the drivers – Enrico Anselmi – had used an elephant as a “sign” on his car for some years. He allowed the Lancia team to use “his” elephant. That was the first time the elephant was used on a Lancia competition car. There are contrasting stories and legends regarding the origin of this elephant, including the simple “the elephant never forgets”.

We do know that in 1953 the then Managing Director of Lancia, Gianni Lancia, chose it as a good luck token for the Company’s first racing appearances. The symbol of the galloping elephant apparently originates in Eastern mythology as an auspicious emblem or symbol of victory, providing the trunk is stretched forward. This is how the elephant chosen by Gianni Lancia was drawn, first in light blue and later as now in bright red.

Lancia’s “Eastern Luck” manifested itself on the track where the company dominated World Cup Rallying for decades, but it didn’t do anything for their spreadsheets as racing successes couldn’t compensate for the generally terrible performance of Lancia’s production cars when it came to quality. Today however, they are attempting to leverage those past racing glories, by offering the Lancia Ypsilon Elefantino. Let’s wish them luck.

Image source: Tamerlane’s Thoughts

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