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The Innovation Era
The controversial Tyrrell P34, designed by Derek Gardner, caused a sensation
when it first appeared at the beginning of the 1976 Formula 1 season. The back half
of the car was standard Tyrrell, while the front half used 4 small 10-inch Goodyear
tires. There were several advantages to this design, including less aerodynamic drag,
greater braking (all 4 front wheels had brakes), and because all 4 wheels steered the
car, the Tyrrell P34 had the equivalent tire contact patch to a traditional setup.
The design was brilliant, and the 1976 season proved successful for Team Tyrrell.
The P34’s scored many podium finishes, the pinnacle coming with a 1-2 finish at the
1976 Swedish Grand Prix. But after the 1976 season, the six-wheelers fell victim to
a lack of tire development by Goodyear, who put far more research and money into
developing conventional tires that could be used all Formula 1 cars. But for the two
seasons (1976-1977) the six-wheeled P34’s ran the Formula 1 circuits, they sparked
the imaginations of racing fans everywhere. On this 2-DVD set, I have tried to compile
as much original footage as I could of the fabulous Tyrrell P34’s. Formula 1 fans will also
enjoy the historic footage contained on these DVD’s from the 1976-1977 era of Formula 1.
The Tyrrell Story 1974-1977 – (14 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – Recorded in 2000, this short documentary (excerpted from a longer
documentary on Ken Tyrrell) showcases the 1974-1977 era of Team Tyrrell, why the P34 was
developed, footage of the car in action, and some rare interviews with Derek Gardner (P34
designer), Ken Tyrrell, Jackie Stewart, and Jody Scheckter.
The Tyrrell P34 Debut – (2 min.)
Condition (VG) – A short segment from 1976 with Tyrrell driver Patrick
DePailler discussing the P34, from the driver’s seat.
Jackie Stewart Drives The Tyrrell P34 – (6 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – Legendary Tyrrell driver and Formula 1
Champion Jackie Stewart takes a spin in the P34 back in 1976.
1976 Brazil Grand Prix Highlights – (4 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – A short reel of the 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix, the first race of the
1976 season, with Tyrrell Team drivers Patrick Depailler and Jody Scheckter running
conventional 4-wheel Tyrrell cars.
1976 Spanish Grand Prix Highlights – (8 min.)
Condition (VG) – No commentary on this one. This was the raw video feed intended for
overdubs in various languages, included here as this was the racing debut of the Tyrrell P34.
Patrick DePailler qualified 3rd, but was involved in accident on lap 25. Jody Scheckter, the
other Tyrrell team driver, remained in his conventional 4-wheeled Tyrrell, switching to the P34
at the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix.
1976 British Grand Prix Highlights – (18 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – One of the most controversial races in the history of Formula 1, an
accident occurs right at the start in turn 1, involving the wildly popular British Formula 1 star
James Hunt. The race is red-flagged, and Hunt drives his car back to the pits. He is
disqualified, but the British fans begin chanting Hunt’s name, and for fear of a riot, Hunt is
allowed to restart the race, and ends up becoming the eventual winner! Ferrari filed a protest
immediately after the race, and two months later Niki Lauda was awarded the victory for Ferrari.
1976 Austrian Grand Prix Highlights – (3 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – A brief recap of the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix. Both Tyrrell
P34’s suffered suspension failures early in the race.
1976 Austrian Grand Prix – The Start – (6 min.)
Condition (VG+) – Rare unedited raw video of the first few laps of the
Austrian Grand Prix, with commentary by a German announcer.
1976 Italian Grand Prix Highlights – (9 min.)
Condition (VG+) – Rare highlight reel of the Italian Grand Prix (commentary in
German). Lots of footage of the Tyrrell P34’s in action. Scheckter and DePailler
qualified #2 and #4, and that’s exactly how they finished the race.
1977 South African Grand Prix – The Start – (6 min.)
Condition (VG+) – Another live feed video (no commentary) showing the beginning of
the 1977 South African Grand Prix. The Tyrrell P34’s qualified in the top 10, and
Patrick DePailler drove his six-wheeler to a 3rd place finish.
Patrick DePailler at Kyalami, South Africa – (1 min.)
Condition (VG) – A lap around the Kyalami circuit from the cockpit of DePailler’s P34, excerpted
from “Lap Of The Gods” (Note – I do have the “Lap Of The Gods” as well, but since most of the
footage from that film was not from 1976-1977, I did not include it on this DVD set.)
1977 U.S. Grand Prix at Long Beach, CA – Highlights – (5 min.)
Condition (VG+) – DePailler brings home 4th place in his Tyrrell P34, while teammate Ronnie
Peterson suffers a fuel system problem. Niki Lauda sets the fastest lap and was on the pole, but
Mario Andretti takes the win in the beautiful black/gold “John Player Special” Lotus-Ford.
Patrick DePailler at Monaco – (2 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – A lap around the Monaco circuit with Patrick
DePailler. This rare clip shows the Tyrrell P34 without its bodywork, and
an in-car commentary (in French) by DePailler.
1977 French Grand Prix – Highlights – (16 min.)
Condition (VG) – DePailler is involved in an accident, while Peterson struggles to a 12th place
position. Mario Andretti wins this one, followed by John Watson and James Hunt.
1977 British Grand Prix – Highlights – (7 min.)
Condition (VG) – The Tyrrell P34’s continue their downward slide for the 1977 season. They
qualified outside the top 10, and DePailler and Peterson both fail to finish. The popular British
F1 Champion James Hunt takes the victory, followed by Niki Lauda’s Ferrari.
1977 German Grand Prix – Highlights – (17 min.)
Condition (VG) – Another poor showing for the Tyrrell P34’s, and again DePailler and Peterson
fail to qualify in the top 10. This time, their normally reliable Ford engines fail. Peterson struggles
to a 9th place finish, while DePailler retires on lap 22. Commentary in German.
1977 U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, NY – Highlights – (6 min.)
Condition (VG+) – A rain soaked race in New York, DePailler and Peterson finally place the
Tyrrell P34’s back in the top 10 during qualifying, but fail to finish in the top 10. The
rumblings in the Team Tyrrell camp to abandon the six-wheeler project are now being heard
loud and clear. James Hunt takes the victory with a hard charging Mario Andretti only 2
seconds behind, and Niki Lauda clinches the F1 Championship.
1977 Japanese Grand Prix – The Start – (5 min.)
Condition (VG+) – The last race of the 1977 season, and the final appearance for the
Tyrrell P34’s. This is a live video feed of the first few laps, commentary in Japanese.
DePailler and Peterson again fail to qualify in the top 10, but DePailler drives his P34 to
a surprising 3rd place finish, while James Hunt takes the victory.
The Return Of The P34 six-wheeler in 2000 – (1 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – After 30+ years, a restored P34 makes an
appearance at a hill climb, with Martin Stretton driving.
2008 Monterey Historics – The Tyrrell P34 dominates – (19 min.)
Condition (Excellent) – With newly developed tires, Patrick DePailler’s 1976
six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 absolutely dominates the competition at the Monterey
Historic Races at Laguna Seca in California. Excellent footage!