Elf Team Tyrrell 001 - 1970 Canadian Grand Prix
- Scale guide
During the 1970 Formula One season, after he became disenchanted with the poor performance of the March Engineering chassis, and under pressure from Matra demanding he cease using Ford engines, Ken Tyrrell decided to build his own racing car. Employing ex-Ferguson designer Derek Gardner, who had worked on the Matra MS84 in 1969, the Tyrrell 001 car was designed and built in complete secrecy firstly at Gardner’s home, then at Tyrrell’s lumberyard in Surrey, as the team continued racing with the March chassis in the meantime.
The 001 followed the basic outline of Tyrrell’s car the previous year, the 1969 double Championship-winning Matra International MS80. Powered by a 2993cc Ford-Cosworth DFV engine and a Hewland FG400 5-speed gearbox, the car was entirely conventional, except for a wide, blade-like nose above the front radiator’s air intake. The 001 made its debut at a non-Championship race, the Gold Cup meeting at Oulton Park, significantly surprising the attending crowd and particularly Tyrrell’s competitors. Jackie Stewart comfortably set the fastest lap in the first heat, but the car failed to get a good result, suffering from many fuel system problems. The 001 would go on to appear in three Grand Prix before the end of the season. At the Canadian GP, Stewart qualified on pole and led the race comfortably before a stub axle failed, ending what was nearly the perfect debut. A similar story followed at the next races in the United States and Mexico. Stewart led in the US, sensationally lapping all but his second-place counterpart before an oil leak ended the race prematurely. In Mexico, Stewart was jostling for the lead with the Ferrari’s of Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni when a dog escaped onto the track. Stewart hit the dog, damaging his suspension and forcing his retirement.
Whilst the 001 had proved to be unreliable, the sheer pace of the chassis was apparent as Stewart had led each race at some stage before retiring. After the season had finished, Gardner redesigned some sections of the car, altering the airbox, remodelling the nose section, lengthening the wheelbase and slightly narrowing the monocoque. In addition, Gardner had revised the front suspension, using a one-piece wishbone. Tyrrell continued to use the well-established Cosworth DFV V8 engine with 3.0 litre displacement; the power transmission was a five-speed Hewland FG40 gearbox. The team also switched tyre supplier to Goodyear after Dunlop withdrew from Formula 1.
The redesigned car ultimately birthed three different chassis known as 002, 003 and 004. For the 1971 season, François Cevert would pilot 002 and Jackie Stewart would race the 003, whilst 004 was not completed until later in the year. Cevert’s car was actually the first of the two new Tyrrells built for the 1971 season. Very much a development of the original car, 002 and 003 featured a thinner gauge aluminium for the monocoque skin but also additional safety features like sturdier roll-over bars. The 002 also had a slightly longer wheelbase to accommodate for Cevert’s taller frame. Initially, the two new Tyrrells looked similar to the 001 but the shape was developed during the season. A third car, 004, was built later in the year but only served as a spare.
Stewart’s new 003 chassis wasn’t complete in time for the first race of the 1971 season, so the Scotsman raced the 001 prototype again in the opening race in South Africa, where it gained its first and only finish, a second-place podium. Stewart put the car on pole again but, after suffering a poor start, had to fight back in a competitive field in stiflingly hot conditions. He ultimately finished second to the Ferrari of Mario Andretti. 001 made one final appearance at the season finale in the United States, with American racer Peter Revson behind the wheel for his first Grand Prix in seven years. It was a brief cameo though, after the car was retired after just one lap due to an oil leak affecting the clutch.
This fine 1:8 scale model of Tyrrell 001 replicates the car raced by Jackie Stewart in the X Player's Grand Prix Canada at Circuit Mont-Tremblant on the 20th of September 1970. Mixed practice sessions saw Stewart setting similar times in the 001 to his March chassis, but consistent mechanical issues, including a complete engine failure, general unease with the feel of the throttle pedal and loose wheel nuts, plagued 001. The Scotsman set a competitive time in March in qualifying, before parking the car by the roadside: a broken rear-wheel bearing had stopped his progress. He sprinted back to the pits to leap into the 001, on which the team had been working for the entire session, did a spectacular standing start in the pit area and roared away. On the very last lap of the day, Stewart set a lap of 1:31.5 to snatch pole position from Ferrari’s Jacky Ickx. After three days of practice Stewart held fastest lap with the Tyrrell and equal third fastest with the March, the difference in time between his two cars being four tenths of a second. For the race, he would need to decide which chassis to use, and he opted for the 001 and pole position. At the race start, Stewart shot into the lead and simply sped away from the opposition, increasing his lead at roughly a second a lap. However, on lap 32, Stewart’s impressive progress came to an uninspiring halt as the left front stub axle on the 001 chassis broke off, ending what had been a dominating performance to that point. This model has been handcrafted utilising our own CAD data created by scanning the original 001 chassis in every detail, with the assistance of the Tyrrell family. The resulting prototype has undergone strict scrutiny to ensure complete accuracy.
The Tyrrell 001 is limited to 99 pieces at 1:8 scale.
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