Monaco Grand Prix Tyrrell-Cosworth 008 Driven by Patrick Depailler Returns to Monte Carlo

240430 1978 3-Litre Tyrrell-Cosworth 008 Formula 1 racing single-seater [678]

MONTE CARLO, MONACO – April 30, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) –  The 1978 Tyrrell-Cosworth 008 as driven by French star Patrick Depailler to win the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix will be offered at The Bonhams|Cars Monaco Sale, ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ on 10 May. Estimated to fetch between €1,100,000 – €1,400,000. 

For several years in the long-term ownership of renowned racing enthusiast Nick Mason, drummer of the superstar Pink Floyd rock group, this wonderfully evocative low-line Formula 1 car if offered in particularly well-presented form and runnable order.

The historic and immensely respected ELF-Team Tyrrell – twice winners of the FIA Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship title and – with the legendary Jackie Stewart as its No 1 driver responsible for the cars in which he secured his three Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship crowns, 1969 (with Matra chassis), 1971 and 1973 (in Tyrrell-built designs) actually won the legendary Monaco Grand Prix around the streets of Monte Carlo in 1971 (Jackie Stewart), 1973 (Jackie Stewart) and 1978 (Patrick Depailler).

The French national ELF oil company had long backed promotion of French racing drivers upon the world stage, and popular Patrick was first elevated to Formula 1 World Championship level in the Tyrrell 006-series cars as early as 1972.  After the death of his fellow countryman Francois Cevert in the last Grand Prix meeting of 1973, and the concurrent retirement from racing of Jackie Stewart, Depailler was selected to join Jody Scheckter as regular drivers for the rebuilt Tyrrell team from 1974 forward.

For 1978 ex-Lotus and Parnelli team designer Maurice Phillippe who took his place produced the typically minimalist Tyrrell 008 to be driven by Depailler and his new French team-mate Didier Pironi.

Of the five 008 series cars built – of which three survive today – car ‘008-3’ now offered here was team leader Depailler’s regular first choice from the year’s South African Grand Prix at Kyalami – round 3 of the series – to the end of the year.  Upon its debut the French star finished a fighting second to winner Ronnie Peterson’s Lotus ‘wing car’ after a tumultuous wheel-to-wheel last-lap battle.

The cheery yet very self-contained Depailler – then scored his momentous Monaco GP  win in ’008/3’, beating Niki Lauda’s Brabham-Alfa Romeo into second place by 22 seconds.

After a joyous reception from the French and Monegasque crowd Depailler was garlanded by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, before being greeted by an overjoyed Jackie Stewart, presenting for American TV: “Patrick!”, he bawled into his microphone, “Ye’ve won the Monaco GP.  This must be the greatest day of your life!”.  To which ‘Mr Cool’ grinned casually, nodding his head before replying “Well…yes…one of zem…”.

To a journalist friend he would add “I was fairly confident before the race. The Tyrrell is good on full tanks, and I thought I would be quicker than most people in the early stages.  Also, we made the right decision with tyres, with very ’ard on the left and softer ones on the right.  Everything worked perfectly.  When I ’ad a big lead, I began to worry about all the things that could go wrong.  Now I ’ave won a race at last, I amazed ’ow easy it is!”.

Later in the season Patrick Depailler in Tyrrell ‘008/3’ scored further World Championship points on three occasions, second in Austria, fourth in the British GP and fifth in Canada.

Sold to the British-based Melchester racing team for 1979 ‘008-3’ was then driven by the strikingly talented South African female driver Desiré Wilson.  She contested the essentially British national 1979 Formula 1 Aurora-AFX Championship race series, finishing 11 of the 14 events contested – and taking two Formula 1 podium placings, at Zolder, Belgium, and Thruxton in England. Since she went on to become the only female driver to score not just one, but two, FIA World Endurance Championship-qualifying race wins in later years, her association with ‘008/3’ adds still further lustre to this beautiful car’s racing history.

This legendary Formula 1 car will be presented on May 10 at the Bonhams|Cars Monaco Sale, which follows The Miami Sale at the FORMULA 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX 2024 on May 4.

Sale: The Monaco Sale ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’
Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Date: 10 May

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Source: Bonhams|Cars

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