It’s amazing how many legal ways there are to drive a six-wheeled car. Many dual-cab trucks, like the G63 6×6 from Mercedes-AMG and the Velociraptor 6×6 from Hennessey, give you two more wheels than other drivers. But what about at the track? This famous 1977 Tyrrell P34 Formula 1 car will be auctioned off at RM Sotheby’s in Monaco on May 10 and 11, just in time for the annual famous Grand Prix. If you have enough money, you could get two wheels instead of one.

That being said, this P34 was never used in an F1 race, and it was never made in the 1970s. Instead, it was built in the 2000s from chassis #8, a 1977 P34 chassis that had been left behind. But, like all other P34s and most F1 cars from that time, it has a Ford-Cosworth DFV engine and a Hewland manual transmission that are true for the period. It is an important part of F1 history, even though it never raced in a Grand Prix, because it won the Monterey Historics race and is eligible for other races like that. Driver Jody Scheckter has it in his collection right now.

An old Formula One car called the Tyrrell P34 with six wheels will be sold at auction

The Tyrrell P34 is one of the most recognizable Formula One cars of all time, and not just because of how well it drives. At the time, Derek Gardner was a designer at Tyrrell. He made the six-wheeled prototype to lower the front-end lift. The P34’s four small tires stayed inside the body’s width and gave it an even surface area for grip. Gardner says that the car got 40 horsepower from it and that it technically worked.

In practice, though, it didn’t work as well as it did in theory. In perfect conditions, the six-wheeled design had great grip and aerodynamics, but it was hard to get the braking balance right between the two front axles and one back axle. As Scheckter said, the P34 would also lose its stopping power in turns. He won the car’s only race, the Swedish Grand Prix in 1976. Tyrrell drivers at the time had a love-hate relationship with the P34, and problems with getting tires led the team to end the project after the 1977 season.

But judging the Tyrrell P34 based only on how well it does in races is a waste of time. I never thought it was a very good or popular car. Instead, it’s one of the strangest race cars ever made, and it shows how innovative Formula One was in the 1970s. The person who bids the most on this P34 will get to drive one of the coolest cars at every classic race meet.

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