Tamiya 1/20 Tyrrell P 34 '1977 Monaco GP'

KIT #: 20053
PRICE: 2000 yen SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Initially released in 2002


The Tyrrell P34 (Project 34), commonly known as the "six-wheeler", was a Formula One (F1) race car designed by Derek Gardner, Tyrrell's chief designer. The car used four specially manufactured 10-inch-diameter (254 mm) wheels and tyres at the front, with two ordinary-sized wheels at the back. Along with the Brabham BT46B "fancar" developed in 1978, the six-wheeled Tyrrell was one of the most radical entries ever to succeed in F1 competition, and has been called the most recognizable design in the history of world motorsports.

The P34 was introduced in September 1974, and began racing in the 1976 season. It proved successful, and led other teams to begin design of six-wheeled platforms of their own. Changes to the design made for the 1977 season made it uncompetitive and the concept was abandoned for Tyrrell's 1978 season. The other six-wheeled designs ended development, and F1 rules later stipulated that cars must have four wheels in total. The existing frames have since seen some success in various "classics" race events, but today are museum pieces.

The car's lone win was in the 1976 Swedish GP while driven by Jody Scheckter. This boxing is from the 1977 Monaco GP where both cars retired with mechanical issues.


Typical of Tamiya kits, this one is superbly molded and free of defects. The kit includes wiring for the engine and hoses for the cooling system made from vinyl. Six rubber tires are also included with the kit.

One spends a lot of time building the engine on these cars as they are so visible. Hence the wire and tubing. However, since the rear suspension and the transmission attach to it, and the wing is attached to the transmission, it is a pretty important part of the build. Probably the most complex part of this is the exhaust which consists of eight separate pipes from the engine which melds, via a collector into a single pipe on each side. Painting this will really bring out all this detail and you get lots of suggestions via Tamiya paint numbers.

Once all that is attached to the firewall on the back of the floor pan, the front suspension can be build up. With four front wheels you have twice the parts to deal with. Interestingly, the suspension and coolant radiators attach to the upper bodywork. On the flip side is the seat with instrument panel and wheels. The kit provides decals for the seat harness if you don't want to use the included driver figure.

The last steps are the addition of the engine injector stacks, the build up of the rear wings and the attachment of the wheels/tires. The very upper part of the body, which on this car is painted white, is designed to be removable if you so wish.

Instructions are superb with the usual Tamiya paint references and small detail drawings to help out. There are markings for the #3 car driven by Ronnie Peterson or the #4 car driven by Patrick Depallier.  Decals are nicely done. Not shown is the smaller sheet that contains the harness and instrument decals. You get decals for the driver's helmet as well.


As one of the more interesting F.1 cars that was actually successful to some degree, the P 34 is a favorite amongst grand prix model builders. I've seen this one built and it is impressive. It also seems to be one of those kits that becomes difficult to find from time to time until Tamiya reissues it. Should this subject interest you, I can quite easily recommend it to you.



July 2017

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