Unleash Your Inner Speedster: The Strangest F1 Vehicle Up For Grabs!

Former F1 champ Jody Scheckter’s 1976-77 Tyrrell P34: A Piece of Racing History

A renowned figure in the world of racing, Jody Scheckter is widely recognized for his victory in the 1979 Formula One World Driver’s Championship. However, he also garnered attention during his time behind the wheel of the uniquely designed six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 – considered by many as one of the most peculiar F1 cars in history. In a rare move, Scheckter has put up his personal P34 for sale. It is an authentic chassis that was transformed into a fully functional race car in 2008.

The P34 was a prominent competitor in the 1976 and 1977 racing seasons, but its limited time on the track has resulted in its remarkable preservation. “Chassis 8” is equipped with a proper 3.0-liter V8 Ford-Cosworth DFV engine.

The unique appearance of the P34 was born out of the innovative ideas of Derek Gardner, the technical director at Tyrrell. He had a vision of fitting smaller wheels under the wing of the car, which would then be complemented by a second set of tires to compensate for the decreased contact patch. This not only reduced drag, but also gave it an advantage over competitors with taller wheels.

According to Gardner, adding two additional wheels would lead to improved braking. However, in practical racing situations, drivers faced difficulties with this configuration. As former racing driver Scheckter recalled in a 2008 interview with Motor Sport magazine, “The braking was supposed to be better: well, it was when you were braking in a straight line, but as soon as you turned in, the little wheels slid, and you had to come off the pedal, so there was no advantage there.” This statement was also reported in a story on Formula1.com.

Despite some flaws in its design, the P34 managed to achieve great success on the racing track. In fact, at the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix, driver Scheckter famously brought the car to its one and only outright victory. Along with teammate Patrick Depailler, they scored a total of 10 podium finishes that season, with both drivers taking second and third place at the Monaco Grand Prix. However, the following year was not quite as fruitful, with the team only managing to secure four podium finishes.

One impressive feature in the interior of the vehicle is the transparent panels incorporated into the body, providing drivers with a view of the tires. These “portholes” serve as practical aids, assisting the driver in accurately maneuvering the car during turns and monitoring tire condition.

Scheckter’s vehicle appears to have been constructed with a 1976 standard in mind, judging by the NACA ducts for brake cooling located on the front wing. Modifications were made for the 1977 season, featuring an updated design with substantial mesh components.

As this P34 is not an authentic racing artifact, the potential buyer may not have as strong a motivation to preserve it as a collectible and instead may be enticed to drive it on the track. The vehicle will be available for bidding in May at RM Sotheby’s auction in Monaco, with an expected range of $490,000 to $700,000 and no minimum price set.

Source: RM Sotheby’s

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