'The most radical ever' F1 car goes on sale: Tyrrell's iconic Seventies six-wheeled racer on the market for 750k1976 car was fitted with four front wheels for better grip and aerodynamicsIn two seasons it picked up 14 podium places and one victory for TyrellModel on sale was raced by French driver Patrick Depailler
12:24 GMT, 28 November 2012
Motorsports fans with a cool three-quarters of a million to spare take note. A Formula 1 race car once dubbed 'the most radical ever' has gone on sale for 750,000.
The unconventional six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 was conjured up by engineer Derek Gardner in 1976 for the iconic British F1 race team.
Fitted with four smaller front wheels, the design was intended to improve its aerodynamics and improve cornering by giving it more grip on the track.
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On sale: The six-wheeled Tyrrell P34, which has gone on sale for 750,000
In the two seasons it raced, the bizarre racer picked up a total of 14 podiums and one victory for Tyrrell.
And in 2004 it was named the most radical F1 car ever, picking up an emphatic 63.5 per cent of the vote in a poll by F1 enthusiasts' magazine Autosport.
Now this particular model, which was raced by Frenchman Patrick Depailler, has been put on the market by London-based race car specialists Taylor & Crawley for 750,000.
The car, which has been meticulously maintained, is race ready – making it the ultimate toy for wealthy amateurs itching to take to the track.
Depailler picked up five podium spots in the two seasons he raced the P34, helping Tyrrell to third place in the 1976 Constructors' Championship alongside South African teammate Jody Scheckter.
Dubbed 'the six-wheeler', the P34 was fitted with two sets of ten-inch front wheels to maximise the contact area between rubber and tarmac to boost grip through corners.
Although the car was powered with a 3-litre V8 engine that could muster a roaring 465bhp, the lightweight vehicle tips the scales at just 595kg.
Scheckter picked up a victory in his P34 that 1976 season – with the pair picking up a one-two at the Swedish Grand Prix. But the race driver left the team at the end of the season and described the P34 as a 'piece of junk'.
One careful owner: The car, which has been meticulously maintained, is race ready – making it the ultimate toy for wealthy amateurs itching to take to the track
Pretty nippy: Although the car is powered with a 3-litre V8 engine that can muster a roaring 465bhp, the lightweight vehicle tips the scales at just 595kg
The P34 failed to maintain its momentum in 1977 as Tyrrell finished fifth overall – with the model for sale competing twice in races where Depailler finished third and fourth.
Taylor & Crawley's David Clarke said: 'It was an extraordinary, innovative car when it was launched and something that wouldn’t happen today.
The classic car market is enormous, with people investing in them as tangible assets.
'This is a fantastic opportunity as cars like this just don’t come up for sale. It has spent a lot of time in a museum but it is all ready to go.'
The car’s iconic designer, Derek Gardner, passed away this year at the age of 79. Its driver Depailler was tragically killed in 1980 while testing a new vehicle in Hockenheim, Germany.
Unique: Fitted with four smaller front wheels, the design, which shocked the F1 world, was intended to improve its aerodynamics and improve cornering by giving it more grip on the track
Contender: The model on sale was raced by Frenchman Patrick Depailler, who drove it to five podium spots in two seasons, positions which helped Tyrrell win the 1976 Constructors' Championship
Keith Collantine, editor of motorsport website www.F1Fanatic.co.uk, described the P34 as unique car which shocked the world of Formula 1.
'The word “unique” is overused and abused. But the Tyrrell P34 was exactly that: the only six-wheeled F1 racer to win a Grand Prix,' he said.
'Just looking at this car you can imagine the shocked faces among the F1 establishment when it took to the track – and beat them.
'Just looking at this car you can
imagine the shocked faces among the F1 establishment when it took to the
track – and beat them'
'The Seventies was a decade of weird and wonderful Formula One cars.
'But even among that strange breed of racing machines this was something remarkably different. A classically F1 piece of lateral thinking.
'But pity the poor mechanics who had 50 per cent more work to do during every pit stop.'
Mr Collantine believes the Tyrrell is deserving of its six-figure price-tag and added it would make an enviable addition to any racing car collection.
'Tyrrell was a great British F1 success story and a name that is sadly missing from the sport today,' he said.
'While this concept of theirs may not have proved to be the future of F1 racing, it’s a fascinating piece of its past.'
VIDEO: Classic! See the P34 in action from back in the day… in Monaco!