The Legendary Tyrrell P34: A Formula 1 Innovation Ahead Of Its Time

Published Categorized as Formula 1 No Comments on The Legendary Tyrrell P34: A Formula 1 Innovation Ahead Of Its Time
The Legendary Tyrrell P34 A Formula 1 Innovation Ahead Of Its Time
The Legendary Tyrrell P34 A Formula 1 Innovation Ahead Of Its Time

The six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 was the brainchild of designer Derek Gardner, conceived during his work on four-wheel-drive systems for Indianapolis cars in the late 1960s.

Gardner revisited the idea years later, recognizing its potential amid Formula 1’s uniform use of the Ford-Cosworth DFV engine. His calculations indicated that four smaller front wheels could significantly reduce aerodynamic drag, effectively providing an extra 40 brake horsepower.

The Front Profile Of The 1977 Six-Wheeled Tyrrell P34
The Front Profile Of The 1977 Six-Wheeled Tyrrell P34

With Goodyear onboard to produce custom tires for the 10-inch front wheels, the P34 was developed clandestinely. Its official reveal on September 22, 1975, left the press puzzled. Some dismissed it as a mere publicity stunt, but Gardner’s vision was solid. Patrick Depailler debuted the P34 at the 1976 Spanish Grand Prix, qualifying 3rd, while teammate Jody Scheckter lagged in 14th with the conventional 007.

By the Belgian Grand Prix, Scheckter also had a P34 and clinched 4th place, followed by a remarkable 2nd place in Monaco, with Depailler securing 3rd. The P34 reached its pinnacle at the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix, where Scheckter claimed pole position and went on to secure a remarkable victory. Depailler’s 2nd place sealed a dominant one-two finish, propelling the team to 3rd in the Constructors’ World Championship.

The Rear Profile Of The 1977 Six-Wheeled Tyrrell P34
The Rear Profile Of The 1977 Six-Wheeled Tyrrell P34

Despite racing through 1977 with Depailler and Ronnie Peterson, Gardner’s departure in 1978 prompted Tyrrell to revert to a conventional four-wheel layout for the 008. Chassis number 8, the subject of this sale, was initially a spare tub constructed by Tyrrell.

It changed hands over the years until becoming part of the Jody Scheckter Collection. Now offered for sale directly from Scheckter’s collection, this Tyrrell P34 presents a rare opportunity to own one of Formula 1’s most iconic and instantly recognizable cars.

Avatar

By Aaron

From Vintage Classics to Modern Marvels, Aaron is deeply immersed in the Automobile culture. He is from Kerala and a Man of Few words. He is Someone who loves to spend his free time reading automobile articles and watching TV Shows.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments