Most of us are not old enough to remember this, but there used to be a time when some of the Formula 1 cars had six wheels! Now thanks to the Goodwood FoS organizers we are going to get to see three six-wheelers at this year’s show – the Tyrrell P34, March 2-4-0 and Williams FW08B. That’s three cars with eighteen wheels between them. It’s the first time ever, anywhere, these cars come together.
That is quite something. These unusual machines are sure to grab a lot of attention among the other 300 vehicles at the show. As for the cars, well, we’d be lying if we said we know anything about them. So let’s handover to the experts for a short review of these amazing racing cars. We will be learning more about them at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Tyrrell raced the celebrated P34 six-wheeler in 1976 and 1977, with four wheels at the front. Fellow British Formula 1 teams March and Williams also built experimental six-wheeled cars, but with four wheels at the rear for increased traction. The March 2-4-0 – of similar vintage to the Tyrrell – will be making its Goodwood debut.
Like the March 2-4-0, the 1982 Williams FW08B had four rear wheels. It was designed for reduced drag, increased grip and improved ground effects, and was based on the conventional four-wheeled FW08. It was tested once and set lap records, with its unusual set-up providing huge grip and acceleration. In 1983 new F1 regulations banned six-wheeled cars, as well as four-wheel-drive, putting an end to the development of the six-wheeled experiments such as the Williams and March.