This historic 3-liter Formula One car is the original prototype machine that launched the new Tyrrell marque in Autumn 1970. It was designed by Derek Gardner for reigning World Champion driver Jackie Stewart and was commissioned by Ken Tyrrell.
Tyrrell 001 started life as the Tyrrell SP – ‘Secret Project.’ In 1969 Ken Tyrrell’s Equipe Matra International was dominating the World Championship competition with the French Fl cars. But Matra Sports had recently been taken over by the Simca arm of the American Chrysler Corporation, and Chrysler would not allow the Cosworth-Ford Matra Fl program to continue. Tyrrell found the Ford V8 superior to the V12 developed by Chrysler, but Matra could not build new chassis for the Ford engine for 1970. Tyrrell decided to build his own car.
The new Tyrrell 001, costing £22,500-less engine and gearbox-was completed in secrecy and on time. After teething troubles in its race debut at the non-Championship Oulton Park Gold Cup, 001 was taken to the Canadian Grand Prix at Ste. Jovite-Mont Tremblant. The car led the first 31 laps until a stub axle broke.
In its next race, the U.S. GP at Watkins Glen, Stewart led until lap 82 of 108, when an oil lead came unclipped and ended the race.
Nonetheless, Tyrrell 001’s strong performances guaranteed the team continued support from Elf oil, Dunlop tires and the Ford Motor Company for the 1971 racing season. The opening round of that season was the South African GP at Kyalami, which ended with 001’s first race finish – second place overall.
Back home in Scotland for the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, Stewart finished second. Then in California, for the Questor GP, Stewart scored the car’s third consecutive second-place finish. At Oulton Park on Good Friday, he finished third.
Thereafter, chassis 003 became Stewart’s regular car, and he won his second Drivers’ World Championship title.
Chassis 001 then fulfilled spare car duties for much of that year and was entrusted to American star Peter Revson.
It has a nonrunning, show-only Cosworth DFV V8. The car’s provenance is perfect, and it is an important part of 3-liter F1 history.