Historic 1978 Monaco GP-Winning F1 Car Is On the Block

1978 elf team tyrrell cosworth 008 f1 car for sale
1978 Monaco GP-Winning F1 Car Is Up for GrabsBonhams

Formula 1 cars come up for auction with some regularity, but rarely do they have as eclectic a racing history as a car that will be offered by Bonhams in Monaco in a few days.

And the fact that this example was at one point owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason is far from the most interesting thing about it.

Les Grandes Marques a Monaco will soon see Bonhams offer the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix-winning Tyrrell-Cosworth 008, which was piloted by French driver Patrick Depailler for Elf Team Tyrrell. The car also made the cover of Autoweek in our October 20, 1978, issue, with Depailler behind the wheel at the Montreal GP.


And it promises to be one of the most closely watched sales in the relatively small world of F1 cars in collector hands.

If you're well versed in F1 history, you will recall that Elf Team Tyrrell is intimately tied to Jackie Stewart's three Drivers' World Championship wins. The team also won the FIA Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship title twice.

As Stewart retired in the early 1970s, Depailler along with Jody Scheckter formed the backbone of the Tyrrell team.

a race car with a large engine
The 3-Liter Tyrrell-Cosworth 008/3 gave Patrick Depailler a win at the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix.Bonhams

Designed by Maurice Phillippe, who had worked previously for Parnelli and Lotus, the 1978 car powered by a Cosworth V8 was one of five built for the season, with the car offered at auction being the third. And it's the one that was Depailler's first choice starting with the South African Grand Prix that year at Kyalami, and through the end of the season.

Depailler overcame Niki Lauda to win the Monaco GP in 008/3, securing his first racing victory in what was his 69th GP event—and securing the car's battle record. His former teammate Scheckter came in third, driving a Wolf-Ford for Walter Wolf Racing.

But the racing history of 008/3 did not end with the 1978 season, even as Depailler went on to score World Championship points in three later races. 008/3 would take second places at the Austrian and South African GPs with Depailler behind the wheel, with Ronnie Peterson taking first place in both of those races.

008/3 would also take Depailler to fifth place at the Canadian Grand Prix that year, in what would be its last appearance under the Tyrrell team.

The car traded hands for 1979, with Melchester racing team putting South African female driver Desiré Wilson in the cockpit.

"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," the auction house notes.

Depailler died in 1980 during testing for the Alfa Romeo team at Hockenheim, just days ahead of the German GP.

a close up of a steering wheel
The spartan layout of F1 cockpits of the era, resembling aircraft gauges, can still surprise with their simplicity. Bonhams

Following its active racing seasons, 008/3 would join the collection of John Foulston, seeing the track again in Historic F1 events, winning at Donington Park and Brands Hatch. The car later entered the collection of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and eventually made its way stateside.

The auction house estimates the Tyrrell-Cosworth 008 to bring between €1,100,000 and €1,400,000 on auction day.

Visit the auction website to view the full list of lots and detailed auctions schedule.

In fact, quite a few F1 cars will be going up for auction this weekend from the Jody Scheckter collection.