Scheckter six-wheeler for sale

2012-12-04 08:34

Motorsports fans with spare cash: a Formula 1 race car once dubbed 'the most radical ever' has gone on sale for a cool R10-million according to the London Daily mail.

The unconventional six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 was conjured up by engineer Derek Gardner in 1976 for the iconic British F1 race team, whose drivers consisted of Patrick Depailler and South Africa’s Jody Scheckter.


The design, with four tiny front wheels for steering and a narrow nose, was intended to improve its aerodynamics and improve cornering by giving more grip on the track.In the two seasons it raced, the bizarre racer picked up a total of 14 podiums and one victory- with Scheckter driving -for Tyrrell

In 2004 it was named the most radical F1 car in history; picking up an emphatic 63.5% of the vote in a poll by Autosport.The model for sale was raced by Frenchman Patrick Depailler and has been put on the market by London-based race car specialists Taylor & Crawley for the equivalent of R10-million.It has been meticulously maintained, and 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 teammate Jody Scheckter,who won with the P34 that season. The team had a 1-2 at the Swedish GP (Scheckter was the winner. But the race driver left the team at the end of the season and described the P34 as a “piece of junk”.

Scheckter would go on to win the 1979 F1 Championship with Ferrari.


Dubbed “the six-wheeler”, the P34 was fitted with two sets of ten-inch front wheels to maximize the contact area between rubber and tar. The car was powered with a 3-litre V8 capable of 350kW though the car weighed only 595kg. It 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 - 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 designer, Derek Gardner, died in 2012 at the age of 79.Depailler was killed in 1980 while testing a new vehicle in Hockenheim, Germany. Jody Scheckter became an organic farmer and lives in Overton,Hampshire in the UK.

  • maven.punk.5 - 2012-12-04 14:56

    Wow, great picture, you can clearly see how the wheels grip the track.

  • adriaan.olivier.589 - 2012-12-04 23:14

    Aaah the good old days of Formula 1 where everyone could push the boundaries of technical innovation in different directions without the FIA having a hissy fit....

      peter.gugelmin - 2012-12-05 09:11

      Sorry Adriaan, 1976 also saw the fight between Mclaren (Hunt) and Ferrari (Lauda) and a number of issues regarding the width and height of the cars. FIA did have a lot to say. Still racing was awesome. Besides Tyrrell with the sixwheeler, Lotus with its double chassis, Brabham a few years later with the "suction car" Definitely more exciting than KERS and DRS

  • peter.gugelmin - 2012-12-05 09:06

    Headline is wrong, this isn't Scheckter's car but Depaillier's car.

  • jacques.conradie.56 - 2012-12-05 11:28

    Contrary to popular belief, the idea of the smaller front tyres was not to have a smaller "frontal area" to reduce drag, as the frontal area was still determined by the width of the standard-sized rear slicks. It was not the only example of this design. March Engineering and the Williams team built experimental six-wheeled F1 chassis but they were never raced in a grand prix. The Scuderia Ferrari also built an experimental six-wheeled Formula 1 car, featuring the four rear wheels on a single axle.

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