With the retirement of Jackie Stewart and the untimely death of his team mate Francois Cevert the Tyrrell Racing Organisation started the 1974 with two new drivers Patrick Depailler who had made two starts for the team as a third driver in 1972 and Jody Scheckter, who took the seat originally destined for Gerry Birrell and then Roger Williamson both of whom were killed after Jackie Stewart had told Ken Tyrrell of his decision to retire early in 1973.
With two relatively inexperienced drivers coming into the team Derek Gardner opted to design a much simpler car with a longer wheel base, all round inboard brakes and a chisel nose than the Tyrrell 006 with which Jackie and Francoise had so much success in 1973.
Jody drove the #007/1 to two victories in Sweden, where Patrick was a season high second and at Brands Hatch in 1974.
Jody had an outside shot at the title at the beginning of the season finale 1974 US Grand Prix where he retired with a fuel system issue having secured third place in the championship.
For 1975 the design of the 007 was revised with the radiators being angled back on the vertical plane dispensing with the need for side pods to house them and with outboard front brakes being adopted which adversely affected the unsprung weight of the car.
By now Ferrari were really hitting their stride and Jody managed just the one win at his home South African grand prix which when backed up with a second place finish in Belgium, third in Britain and 6th at Watkins Glen added up to a disappointing distant 7th in the championship.
On the plus side while the performance and reliability of the 007’s was tanking Derek Gardener was working on one of Formula Ones more spectacular curiosities for the 1976 season.
At the time of writing I am not sure which of two possible 007’s today’s featured car seen at the Donington Park Museum, is. I believe it is, or was, owned by American Jeffrey Lewis, it is possible that it is either #007/7 which was unraced in period or #007/4, which was built in 1974 for Patrick and converted to the 1975 spec by TRO for Patrick to race in 1975, both of which appear to presently belong to Americans.
Having seen a 007 a few years ago in the Scuderia Gulf Rondini colours for whom Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi drove #007/4 in 1976 I suspect today’s featured car is most likely #007/7, if you know different please do not hesitate to chime in below.
Thanks for joining me on this “Increased Unsprung Weight” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !