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Ever Wanted To Own A Championship Winning Ferrari F1 Car? Now’s Your Chance!

A whole range of racing cars driven by F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter are coming up for auction, including some very special cars!

| By Robin Nooy | 9 min read |

There was a time in Formula 1 racing where not one, not two, not three but pretty much half the field had the talent and material to compete for race wins, and thus the championship. During the 1970s, a time that’s considered the golden age of F1 racing, many stars rose to the top. Think of names like Gilles Villeneuve, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, James Hunt and so on. But not just drivers became icons of the sport, individual cars had the tendency to do so as well! A lot of people will fondly recall the John Player Special Lotus cars, the Marlboro-sponsored McLarens, or the blue Matras and Tyrrells of the day. And whenever Formula 1 is the topic at hand, Ferrari is never far away. Even today, such stand-out names and achievements vividly resonate with fans of the sport. And luck would have it, you have a chance to own actual F1 racing history, as 12 cars owned and raced by the 1979 F1 World Driver’s Champion Jody Scheckter are coming up for auction!

Jody Scheckter in his 1972 F1 debut year –

Jody Scheckter, the only South African F1 Champ

Jody David Scheckter is born in East London, a city on the southeastern coast of South Africa. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1970 and quickly built a name for himself as a racing driver. He moved up to Formula 1 in 1972 as he made his debut in the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, driving the Yardley Team McLaren M19A. The following year he was again behind the wheel of the M19A in the South African Grand Prix but switched to the McLaren M23 for the second half of the season. The results weren’t great though, as he failed to score any points and finished only twice out of six race starts.

The Yardley McLaren M19A as driven by Jody Scheckter in the 1972 & 1973 Formula 1 seasons.

During his early years, he was known as a rather reckless driver, as he often got caught up in, or even caused heavy crashes. During the French Grand Prix of 1973 for instance, he took out reigning F1 Champion Emerson Fittipaldi. In the race after that, which was the British Grand Prix of Silverstone, bad luck would strike again. Scheckter spun and took out almost half the field of cars in the crash that followed, causing some teams to demand a ban for the South African talent. Things would change though, as he witnessed the fatal crash of François Cevert at Watkins Glen. Scheckter was behind him in a practice session when Cevert crashed his Tyrrell. He stopped, got out and tried to help Cevert but it wouldn’t matter as the Frenchman had already passed away. This left a lasting impression on Scheckter and it showed in his racing. By no means in terms of a loss of speed, but more in the sense he became a more mature, calculative racing driver instead of a reckless young man.

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The 1973 Yardley McLaren M23.

The switch to Tyrrell in 1974 meant Scheckter was a full-time Grand Prix driver for the first time in his career. During that first year with the team, he won the Swedish and British Grand Prix’ and came in third in the championship. The 1975 season proved less successful for Jody Scheckter and the Tyrrell team, yet he did manage to win his home race, becoming the only South African to have won the South African Grand Prix. His final season with the Tyrrell team proved his most noticeable, as he piloted the highly unconventional six-wheeled Tyrrell P34.

After what Scheckter described as a horrendous drive in that very car, he switched to Wolf Racing for the 1977 season. With three more wins that year, but performance dropping in 1978, Scheckter switched to Ferrari for his final two seasons of F1 racing. And that switch turned out to be a golden move as things finally came together for the South African ace! But before we dive into his Championship-winning Ferrari, let’s first take a look at what is a genuine unicorn in F1 racing history, the wildly cool Tyrrell P34!

The Wolf WR1 as raced in the 1977 season of Formula 1.

Six Is Better Than Four

People often say four is better than two, and arguments support that claim, but according to that same logic, would six be better than four? The people of Tyrrell seemed to think so at least, as it developed the revolutionary six-wheeled P34 for the 1976 and 1977 Formula 1 season. Designed by Derek Gardner, Tyrrell’s chief designer at the time, developed the car with the idea to drastically reduce the frontal area by installing much smaller wheels at the front. To counter the loss of grip due to the much smaller contact patch, Gardner designed the P34 with a double front axle and thus four 10-inch wheels, all tucked in behind the plough-like front wing. Power came from the Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 engine, and the car was painted in Tyrrell’s signature blue colour with simple Elf sponsoring in white.

When it was presented, the P34 shocked the F1 paddock to the point other teams filed protests with the FIA to outlaw the car. The P34 didn’t break any rules at the time though, and was allowed to race in the 1976 season, becoming the only six-wheeled car to ever line up for an official Grand Prix. The car made its debut in the Spanish Grand Prix with Patrick Depallier behind the wheel and Jody Scheckter driving the 007, the predecessor of the P34. Scheckter would have his first race in the new and radical machine in Belgium, immediately scoring a fourth-place finish. A second-place finish followed in Monaco (see the YouTube video below), and the car shockingly won the Swedish Grand Prix in Anderstorp at the hands of Scheckter, with Depallier coming in second. Out of 12 race starts, Scheckter managed to bring home points in 10 races, proving the P34’s potential.

The car was revised for the 1977 season but proved less competitive than the year before. Scheckter by then had left for Wolf Racing and was later quoted to say the Tyrrell P34 was “a piece of junk”. Nevertheless, its success sparked other teams to investigate and develop six-wheeled F1 cars of their own, but a rule change for the 1978 season meant that, from then on, any Formula 1 eligible car would have no less and no more than 4 wheels. The car that’s up for auction is not one of the original P34s but rather an extremely close recreation of it, which was built in 2008. It was built with an unused period chassis and a Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 in the back similar to the one it ran in the 1976 and 1977 seasons. It’s eligible for historic racing events, which I sincerely hope the new owner will do, as it’s such a radical and unique design. And above all, the Tyrrell P34 is the only race-winning six-wheeled car in Formula 1’s history and it deserves to be seen in public whenever possible! The estimate for this recreation of the Tyrrell P34 is EUR 450,000 to EUR 650,000 and I’m curious to see if it will break that or not.

The World Champion winning 312 T4

The crown jewel in the collection that’s coming across the auction block in May is the Ferrari 312 T4. Not only because it’s one of Ferrari’s most important Ferrari F1 cars, which rarely come up for sale or auction but also because of what it represents. This Ferrari 312 T4 is the very car in which Jody Scheckter achieved all three of his 1979 Grand Prix victories (Belgium, Monaco, Italy). It’s also the last F1 Driver’s World Championship and Constructor’s World Championship-winning car under Enzo Ferrari’s company leadership, before Il Commendatore passed away a couple of years later, in 1988.

But it’s about more than accolades when it comes to the 312 T4. It’s also a fascinatingly gorgeous car, mainly thanks to the ground effects concept it uses, plus the 3-litre Tipo 015 flat-12 engine in the back, keeping the body extremely flat and low. The 312 T4 is one of the developmental steps in the 312 T series of F1 cars, which Ferrari developed and raced between 1974 and 1980 designed by Mauro Forghieri. Combined, the 312 T cars took home 27 Formula 1 Grand Prix wins, three Driver’s and four Constructor’s Championships, making it one of the most successful designs in F1 history. For the 1981 season, the 312 T series cars were replaced by the 126 C, Ferrari’s first turbocharged F1 car. However, Ferrari’s turbo years weren’t as successful, as the 312 T4 in which Jody Scheckter won the 1979 title would be the last car by the Scuderia to win the Driver’s Championship for 20 years!

Piloting these scarlet-red racing cars were names like Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Clay Regazzoni, Gilles Villeneuve and of course; Jody Scheckter. Both Jody and Gilles scored three wins with this 312 T4 in 1979, but Jody’s more consistent point-scoring finishes ultimately gave him the edge over his teammate, clinching the title with a difference of just a couple of points. That very car is now being offered for auction as part of the Jody Scheckter collection. Only one other driver has been behind the wheel of this car other than Jody Scheckter and it is in extremely original, unrestored condition. The estimate is set at EUR 5,250,000 to EUR 6,500,000 but Ferrari’s of this stature have a habit of breaking through estimates, so who knows what it will end up selling for.

If that multi-million dollar estimate is a bit too much for you, there are plenty of other interesting cars being auctioned as part of the collection too. How about a 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, or a 1971 Merlyn MK21 Formula 2 car? Even a 1975 Tyrrell 007 (see below) and 1977 Wolf WR1 (see further above) are up for grabs, plus a handful of other Formula cars from Scheckter’s racing career. The entire collection of 12 cars will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s during the Monaco auction weekend on May 11th 2024.

The 1975 Tyrrell 007 driven by Jody Scheckter.

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Editorial Note: All images for this article are sourced from, and used with permission by RM Sotheby’s unless stated otherwise.

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