A Formula 1 race car dubbed the “most radical ever” thanks to its six wheels was put up for sale today for £750,000.
The unconventional 1976 Tyrrell P34 was conjured up by engineer Derek Gardner for the iconic F1 race team.
It was fitted with four smaller front wheels which were designed to reduce drag by making the shape more aerodynamic.
And in the two seasons it was raced in Formula 1 the the bizarre P34 picked up a total of 14 podiums and one victory.
A poll by Autosport in 2004 saw the P34 named the most radical F1 car ever – picking up a staggering 63.5 per cent of the vote.
And now this particular model, which was raced by Frenchman Patrick Depailler, is being advertised by London-based race car specialists Taylor & Crawley for £750,000.
The F1 car, which has been meticulously maintained, is race ready – making it one of the ultimate track cars for amateurs with a lot of motorsport talent.
Depailler picked up five podium spots in the two seasons he raced the P34, helping Tyrrell to third place in the Constructors’ Championship in 1976 as the teammate of South African Jody Scheckter.
The P34, dubbed ‘the six-wheeler’. was fitted with two sets of ten-inch front wheels to maximise the contact area between rubber and tarmac to boost grip through corners.
Tyrrell powered the P34 with a 3-litre V8 engine developing 465bhp – with the lightweight F1 car tipping the scales at just 595kg.
Scheckter picked up a victory in his P34 that season as the Tyrrell team finished third overall in the Constructors’ Championship – 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”.
The P34 failed to maintain its momentum in 1977 as Tyrrell finished fifth overall – with the model for sale competing twice where Depailler finished third and fourth.
David Clark, from Taylor & Crawley, is asking for £750,000 for the legendary F1 car.
He 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 in 2011 at the age of 79 while Depailler was killed in 1980 while testing at Hockenheim, Germany.
Keith Collantine, editor of motorsport website www.F1Fanatic.co.uk, described the P34 as unique car which shocked the world of Formula 1.
He said: “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.
“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.
He said: “Tyrrell was a great British F1 success story and a name that is sadly missing from the sport today.
“While this concept of theirs may not have proved to be the future of F1 racing, but it’s a fascinating piece of its past.”