My first automotive infatuation

By » Mon, November 19 2012

The first Hot Wheels car I ever remember playing with was a Tyrell P34. I didn’t know it at the time -I just thought 6 wheels were cooler than 4- but this car was groundbreaking. F1 team owner Ken Tyrell and his chief designer Derek Gardner were looking to improve the aerodynamic properties of an open wheel car (F1 rules mandates all cars be open wheel). By using four 10-inch wheels they could smooth the airflow over the front of the car. Adding a 2nd axle increased the contact patch of the tires and allowed for a second set of front brake discs, thus increasing the swept surface area.

Tyrell and Gardner were right and the car showed great promise, although lack of development of the 10 inch tires meant they were only able to secure one win. Lack of development of the 10 inch tires, coupled with front brake cooling problems sealed the fate of the P34. But tire problems or not, the P34 will always be remembered as one of the most revolutionary cars ever built.

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