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Derek Gardner (R.I.P., 1931-2011)

January 11, 2011

Derek Gardner. © Copyright unknown.

After days of keeping my head down and travelling, I discovered only last night that former-Tyrrell Formula 1 designer, Derek Gardner, has passed away at the age of 79. 

Born in 1931, Gardner worked for the Matra company in the late-60’s before joining Ken Tyrrell’s Championship winning team in 1970, eventually drawing up his first car for the British team later that year in his garage. Débuting at that year’s Canadian Grand Prix, Jackie Stewart was able to put the Tyrrell 001 on pole, but was unable to reach the finish.
Gardner went on to design two of Stewart’s title winning cars, the Tyrrell 003 (1971) and the Tyrrell 006 (1973) and also penned the infamous Tyrrell six-wheeler for the 1976 season. Then Tyrrell driver and future World Champion, Jody Scheckter was not fond of the six-wheeled machine, yet was still able to take it to victory at the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix.

Thereafter, the Tyrrell team began to fall into decline and Gardner left Formula 1. Soon after he began working as a researcher for the Borg-Warner clutch company, although he would continue to design boats long after his time in racing teams had passed.

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