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Tyrrell 006, 1973

History of the actual car

The Tyrrell 006 replaced and followed the 005, being raced principally in 1973. However, before the deformable bodywork regulation (to protect the bag fuel tanks within the monocoque sides) came into force for the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix, 006 had already been introduced as a natural upgrade of the 005. The prototypical 006 was raced towards the end of 1972, it’s debut being in the Canadian GP, Mosport Park and with it, Francois Cevert drove magnificently to second place at Watkins Glen behind Jackie Stewart’s 005).

Thus during early 1973, 006 ran alongside 005 the drivers sharing roles, Stewart often driving 005 (introduced for JYS at the Austrian GP, 1972) until his new 006/2 was completed and then debuted at the 1973 International Trophy event at Silverstone, which he won. Two 006’s were available from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards and 006/2 was notable for its pyramidal crush pads on either side of the monocoque from the start, those on the original 006 being added retrospectively. Tyrrell 006/2 was honoured with five Grand Prix wins in 1973 for Stewart and although not the chassis with most wins (003), nonetheless 006 proved itself very capable and with great potential for 1974 with Francois Cevert as team leader.

However, late in the 1973 season at Mosport Park, Cevert crashed 006 heavily, severely damaging the front part of the monocoque and injuring his ankles. A third tub was race-prepared and flown out from England in time for the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen due to be run two weeks later. During practice, Francois still visibly limping due to his ankle injuries, though faster than Stewart and whilst holding fourth fastest time, crashed in the Esses and destroyed 006/3; tragically, Cevert himself was killed instantly. In spite of a respectful and very sad withdrawal of all remaining Tyrrell entries, Jackie Stewart had already won the 1973 Drivers’ title, being secured a month earlier at Monza, after a puncture-affected epic drive to fourth place.

Jackie Stewart retired after the United States GP (which would have been his 100th GP start). For 1974, 006/2 was driven by new Tyrrell driver Jody Scheckter until the new 007 was available at Jarama in Spain. The sadly missed Patrick Depailler (Hockenheim 1980) only drove 006/2 once, at the Spanish Grand Prix. New for 1974, 006/2 now sported a new roll-over bar with outward angled shoulders protruding from the airbox/cockpit bodywork as necessitated by new regulations, perhaps pertaining to easier access/exit from the cockpit area aided by something on which to support the driver’s weight (personal observation, rather than known fact; discussion invited). During early 1974, whilst waiting for his new 007 (Nivelles, Belgium) Patrick Depailler also raced 005 with retro-added deformable bodywork incorporating the pyramidal monocoque crush pads, so characteristic of the 006 cars.

Invariably, current restorations of 006 (in private ownership, JD) and also 006/2 (JYS owns) appear with the 1974 roll-over bar configuration, although the original 006 has among its spares a 1973 style roll-over bar which can be fitted and has sometimes been presented thus as a 1973 car, at historic events. Additionally, I have noticed 005 also now has the newer (1974) protruding roll-over bar, suggesting it was indeed as a result of a regulation change. Re-configuring this roll-over bar meant cutting it and that would reduce its inherent strength I would have thought and so I hardly think it was a Gardner-led design-change, but I stand to be corrected. Perhaps the most likely person to know is Martin Stretton, Roy Topp, Roger Hill or Neil Trundle; posts invited.


                    The follow-up images of the model being made, number well over one hundred and are accessible on my Twitter page @mrof1models. These run for just over one year between Aug 24th 2011 and August 27th 2012. Simply click on the Twitter icon (RHS interactive Menu Bar), then this will automatically take you to my Twitter page. Having clicked on my Profile, then on Tweets on the LHS, you will be able to see the latest images by clicking ‘Photos and videos’. One can then scroll down to the very first ones which show the ‘Tyrrell 006 build’ just starting. Scroll forwards to enjoy the whole series of pictures illustrating the construction of this model along with explanatory text. Thank you for looking, you will be sure to enjoy.

The Model

I have had an interest in producing a model of the Tyrrell 006 since I met the late great Ken Tyrrell in the autumn of the year 2000, when he kindly showed me a large scale model of 006 hand-built in commemoration of the 1973 title winning season. Then in the spring of 2001 when I visited historic racer, custodian & conservator of historic F1 cars, Martin Stretton, a second opportunity arose to come close to a Tyrrell of the era. Tyrrell 005 was amongst his collection at the time and I was given the opportunity to study and photograph the car, as it turned out building my knowledge of the 005/6 series from its logical beginnings.

Examination of a prototype model made by a UK professional model builder initiated the concept that ‘it would be possible’ to do this justice, even though the model in question was an early interpretation of 006 from a drawing in the pages of Motor, in 1973 presumably. I aspired to produce a model from the car itself and made comparative notes between 005 and the prototype 006 model. In July 2002 I studied certain aspects of 006 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for comparison with the prototype model and later in January 2006, I was able to spend serious time with 006 owned by American racer John Delane who was always generous and kind to allow full access at race meetings and also when stored and looked after on his behalf in England. An increasing mass of dimensional and structural information enabled Mk I and Mk II drawings of the monocoque in particular, to evolve in November 2004 and Jan/Feb 2006 respectively.

I was then tipped-off as to a current restoration of 006/2 taking place in the autumn of 2009 and subsequently attended on a regular basis (sometimes weekly) until completion in March 2010. This last opportunity with Roy Topp (a former Tyrrell mechanic) was most valuable in terms of understanding the construction of 006 and indeed in realising the evolution of the chassis through the prototype 006, then 006/2 and touching on 006/3 (completely destroyed in the aftermath of Francois Cevert’s Watkins Glen accident in 1973).

I was determined to produce an accurate replica in 1/12 scale from the car itself, rather than from a collection of photographs, published drawings and other data not obtained first hand. I acquired an inexpensive simple lathe at about this time and have produced as many as possible of the model’s round items using this new entry-level lathe. Such models usually take one year to build and in this case, lathe-work necessarily extended the build time to an estimated two years. The model is by no means perfect, it is still ‘an interpretation’ and I am aware of a few compromises and rare inaccuracies, however I am very pleased with the result so far. I haven’t yet sufficiently increased my skills with the lathe to produce items such as carburettor trumpets (inner and outer profiles and necessitating repeatable uniformity) or larger items such as wheels for instance. However, next year I might.

I began with a plasti-card rendition of the outer dimensions of the true monocoque and then worked-in the various edge-radii to produce the varying rounded transitions from vertical to horizontal surfaces. Incorporating forward suspension pick-up points and roll over bar fixing points were crucial for accuracy and for robust stability of the model. Wanting to represent all visible aspects of engineering, it was intended from the start to produce removable deformable bodywork, being mindful of tolerances between the two; so far this has been achieved and will doubtless require further thought when the primed surfaces receive a top coat of colour. The monocoque is variously riveted depending on the areas involved and plastic after-market rivets and the relatively new rivets produced as Surface-Detail water-slide decals (Archer), made this possible.

Production of the outer appearance of the model revealed the seemingly ‘acres’ of bodywork this car had, particularly in its early season races where full bodywork included the rear deck and sidepods. Thin-wall hollow-forms such as the airbox induction scoop are a well-practiced approach, which works well. Making sure the dimensions and nuances of bodywork shape were accurate contributed to confidence in the final shape and required the usual artistic-licence of adjustment here and there to make sure everything looked ‘just right’. Importantly, attention to detail in establishing correct association of each piece of bodywork to the next was vital, so as to form a jigsaw of forms and this was aided by studying the car holistically as Derek Gardner intended. By this I mean, there appear to be flowing forms when various parts of the car are viewed and then again, when the whole car is viewed ignoring the boundaries between the parts of removable bodywork. For instance, when viewed from above, there is a distinct teardrop headed by the forward cockpit cowling, reducing gently through the rear cockpit and more rapidly narrowing in the region of the airbox down to the aerodynamic tail extending from the rear airbox towards the leading edge of the rear wing. Producing parts with this overview in mind, makes life easier than making the bodywork sections in isolation.

Producing and dry-fitting the myriad of small parts was as usual a real joy; manufacturing those smaller and invariably round items suitable for production on a lathe was an unexpected revelation for me, wonderful. Here a low spec mill was pressed into service to give an introduction to ‘what is possible’ beyond simply cutting up concentric sizes of aluminium tube and applying pieces of plasti-card and Milliput, as relied upon in earlier models. You could argue, little difference will be perceived, however often in the later model, accuracy is improved and final surface presentation is that of the raw metal which aids realism etc.

Further challenges such as production of micro-hinges, louvres and design & production of the decals has been project-managed into the model earlier this year (2011) so as to have them ready for when the final parts of the model are painted and assembled. More difficult items such as these have not been a cause of anxiety, for problem-solving and strategy determination are an enjoyable aspect of the work and provide hours of constructive entertainment often during the night when one wakes unexpectedly early, before going back to sleep to begin a new day at the day-job.

Ultimately, I am aware that there are only two Tyrrell 006’s and then there are a many miniature reproductions ranging from 1/43 (or smaller perhaps) to 1/8. My particular approach has been to try and reproduce an accurate replica in 1/12 scale, such that I can feel there is ‘another’ 006 and I can enjoy the late Derek Gardner’s engineering marvel that these cars represent, long after access to either of the two real cars (006 and 006/2) is no longer practical.

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