The prototype P34 car was nothing more than Tyrrell 007 with modifications from the cockpit forward. The six-wheeled project was done in complete secrecy with only journalist Denis Jenkinson knowing about the project two weeks prior to its official debut at the Heathrow Hilton Hotel on September 22nd of 1975.
As would be expected, this radical design had several unforeseen problems that required attention prior to it being used in serious competition. These teething problems delayed its racing debut, which was made at the fourth round of the 1976 season.
With the introduction of the Tyrrell 008, the company went back to a traditional F1 design. It was the first Tyrrell designed by Maurice Philippe and featured an aluminum monocoque and powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV V8 engine. The 485 BHP powerplant was mated to a Hewland FGA 400 six-speed manual gearbox. On the body was the ELF sponsorship used on all previous Tyrrells, however this would be the final Tyrrell to feature the sponsorship.
Patrick Depaillier drove the Tyrrell 008 to his first victory at Monaco after finishing second in the season opening Kyalami Grand Prix. At the Austrian Grand Prix, the Tyrrell 008 earned another second place finish.
In 1979, the Tyrrell 008 was replaced by the 009, the first ground effects car.By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012