This is not a Hot Wheels car. Nor is it an outlandish concept of what Formula 1 could look like in the future. This is the mid-’70s Tyrrell P34, and it really did look exactly like this.
Designed to minimise the drag caused by the front wheels protruding above the front wing, Tyrrell opted for tiny wheels with specially made Goodyear tyres that could sit behind it. However, tiny wheels meant a tiny contact patch, and therefore less grip, so the wheels were doubled to keep the grip levels on par with its larger-wheel counterparts.
The P34 was revealed in September 1975 to astonished onlookers, many of whom thought it was a publicity stunt, however all six wheels duly hit the track the next month, and following testing the Tyrrell P34 entered the 1976 Formula 1 season.
Solid results followed, including a 1-2 result for Team Tyrrell at the ’76 Swedish Grand Prix – the only time a six-wheeled car has won a Formula 1 race (and probably the only time one ever will, seeing as the FIA outlawed cars with more than four wheels several years later, in another pointless addition to the rule book…).
The P34 remained competitive for a few years, before the advancement of other teams and Tyrrell’s reliance on the specially-made Goodyear tyres led to the team returning to the conventional four-wheel layout in 1978, however such was the P34’s unique design that the retired race car became a collectors item overnight.
This perfect Lego replica of Formula 1’s most innovative race winner is the work of Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) and it recreates the incredible Tyrrell P34 in breathtaking detail. Accurate bodywork is enhanced by a period-correct stickered livery, and like the real car all four front wheels are steered, plus there’s a working V8 engine and suspension too.
There’s lots more of this amazing build to see at Luca’s Tyrell P34 Flickr album by clicking here, and you can read our interview with the builder as part of the Master MOCers series by clicking this link.