Elf Team Tyrrell 006
- Scale guide
Elf Team Tyrrell’s competitor for the 1973 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, the 006 quickly became one of Tyrrell Racing’s most successful race cars across its thirty-year history. Raced by two-time World Champion Jackie Stewart and the immensely talented François Cevert, the 006 very much epitomised the highs and lows of Formula 1 in the 1970s, its success story tainted by tragedy.
The 006 was the first Tyrrell-built model to be replicated exactly, with the ‘006’ becoming a model number rather than just a chassis specification. Three chassis were built in total: Stewart would race chassis 006/2, while Cevert would drive chassis 006 and, later, the ill-fated 006/3. Derek Gardner's 005 & 006 designs were intended to be small, light and manoeuvrable, and built concurrently. The aluminium monocoque was lower and wider; a slab-sided and flat-topped bathtub monocoque, inspired by the hugely influential and competitive Lotus 72 that ultimately pipped them to the title in 1972, which sloped down to the same bluff nose as the previous 002-004 range. The water radiator was again in the nose, with side-mounted oil radiators tightly cowled in at the back of the monocoque. Outboard coil/spring units were used front and rear, and the in-board front brakes were also inspired by the Lotus. As in previous years, the team relied on the readily available and very potent Cosworth DFV V8 engine, mated to a Hewland FG400 5-speed manual ZF differential gearbox.
The 005 made its first appearance in the middle of the 1972 season, at the French Grand Prix, but Cevert crashed the car early into practice. It was repaired in time for the next race at Brands Hatch, however, this time Stewart bizarrely went off track in practice. Closer investigation revealed that front brake vibrations were causing failures in various components and the car was consequently redesigned to use outboard front brakes. Stewart then proceeded to race 005 for the rest of the season, winning races in Canada and the United States. Cevert's Tyrrell 006 was built in time for the North American rounds, though its debut was spoiled by a gearbox issue that forced his retirement. Cevert bounced back in the United States though, following Stewart home to seal a 1-2 victory for the team.
The drivers would start the 1973 season in the same cars, Cevert starting the year with a second place in the Argentine Grand Prix, whilst Stewart finished third and took a further podium in Brazil. The Scottish racer was then given the newest car, 006/2, with which he immediately won the South African Grand Prix from sixteenth position on the grid. 006/2 proceeded to power Stewart to further victories in Belgium, Monaco, the Netherlands, and Germany before claiming his third World Drivers’ Championship in Italy with three races left. The race for Manufacturers’ title was too close to call, with just three points separating Tyrrell and Lotus with two races remaining. The advantage slipped to Lotus after Cevert crashed heavily during the Canadian Grand Prix, wrecking the 006 chassis. The team rushed to build 006/3 using a spare chassis in the Watkins Glen technical building ahead of the pivotal United States Grand Prix.
With just a few minutes left in the Saturday morning qualifying session, the track suddenly fell quiet. Cevert had crashed violently in the uphill Esses heading onto the back of the circuit, between Turns three and four, fatally injuring him. Close friend Stewart and Tyrrell withdrew from what was to have been the 100th and final Grand Prix, handing the Manufacturers' title to Lotus. At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision he made before the tragic final race of the year. The remaining chassis 006/2 did see racing action in the early stages of the 1974 season in the hands of new teammates Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler, before being phased out for the succeeding Tyrrell 007, though it did not score a point.
Overall, the Tyrrell 006 earned five victories, nine podiums, three pole positions and two fastest laps, scoring 82 points and winning the 1973 FIA Formula 1 World Driver’s Championship for Jackie Stewart.
This fine 1:8 scale model is of Tyrrell chassis 006/2 as raced during the 1973 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season by Jackie Stewart. After its retirement from active competition, English entrepreneur Tom Wheatcroft bought 006/2 and displayed it in his Donington Grand Prix Exhibition for many years. Stewart subsequently bought 006/2 from the Wheatcroft estate, and he has driven it on a number of occasions, particularly at the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend and Goodwood Festival of Speed, both times in 2010.
The Tyrrell 006 is limited to 99 pieces at 1:8 scale.
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