Canepa design is offering an opportunity to own one of the most famous Formula One race cars in American history. The 1985 Tyrell Formula One is one of the last Cosworth machines to ever compete in this race series. Its 3-liter Ford V8 made plenty of power helping to propel this race car into the history books at the U.S Grand Prix and the Constructors Championship in 1985. These 012-series race cars are often found in vintage races throughout the world and have remained a popular choice in inspiring future designs.

The Scott’s Valley, California company, Canepa Design, has put this car through an intensive restoration lasting 3,000 hours. This company has always been known for its styling and performance upgrades to various manufacturers’ vehicles as well as the care and sale of collector vehicles. The history of this specific Formula One race-car is well documented and has a rich history with the Tyrell racing team – for more information on its availability contact Canepa at 831-430-9940.

Hit the jump for more details on the 1985 Tyrrell.

Race History

1985 Tyrrell 012 Formula One Exterior
- image 391990

One of the major changes taking place during the mid-1980’s was race teams moving away from naturally aspirated machines and towards smaller supercharged units. The Tyrell 012-series was introduced during the 1983 season and did not even make to the end of the 1985 season before it was replaced by the 014-series that featured a Renault turbo engine. That fact adds to the rarity of this model in more than one way considering that the Tyrell team had its greatest successes with the 012 platform.

In the first race of the year, drivers for Tyrell were Martin Bundle, Brian Lisles, and Stefan Johansson whom finished in a respectable 7th place in Brazil. After the first race Stefan Bellof was introduced to the team as the replacement for Johansson who had taken a job with the Ferrari racing team. This turned out to be a good switch because Bellof finished in first place for a non-turbo car and sixth overall in the next race. Several races were frustrating for the team and Bellof actually died while driving in the World Endurance Championship behind the wheel of a Porsche 962. Bellof is remembered for setting a fastest lap record at Nurburgring in a Porsche 956. He was a factory driver for Porsche when he won the Driver’s Championship in 1984 and also drove with Tyrell during 1984 & 1985.

Race Results

Team Driver Standing
Brazil Johansson 7th
Portugal Bellof 6th
Imola Bellof 23rd
Monaco Bellof DNS
Canada Bellof 11th
Detroit Bellof 4th
France Bellof 13th
British Bellof 11th

Tyrell Racing Organization

1985 Tyrrell 012 Formula One Exterior
- image 391991

The Tyrell racing team was formed by Ken Tyrell in 1958 and debuted in their first race at the 1968 South African Grand Prix. Once the company began to produce its own race cars they began to have more success – winning 3 Formula One Driver’s Championships during the 1970’s. As for the Ford Cosworth engine featured in this race car it would have its last win in Detroit at the 1983 Grand Prix.

The 1984 season would find Tyrell in the middle of controversy over the weight restrictions. Lighter cars were being ballasted down in the front and rear to improve weight distribution as well as meet the minimum weight for the race. After several other race teams had found lead shot in their pits it was found that the Tyrell team had been running their cars light during the race and then weighing them down during late pit stops. Allegedly the water injection tanks were topped off with water and upwards of 140lbs of lead shot. The team was formally charged with,

“-Taking on additional fuel during the race (then illegal)

  • Use of illegal fuel (the aromatic-water mix)
  • Equipping the car with illegal fuel lines (the lines from the water tank to the water injection system)
  • Using ballast that was incorrectly fixed to the car (the lead shot in the water tank)”

The breaking of league rules lead to the team being disqualified from the Championship race in 1984.


1985 Tyrrell 012 Formula One Drivetrain
- image 391978

The 1985 Tyrrell 012 Formula One car featured a powerful Ford Cosworth big block V8. The 3-liter engine made 540hp at 11,500 rpm put to the wheels by a Hewland 5-speed manual transmission. The Lucas fuel injection provided plenty of fuel for the high-revving engine to burn on its way to becoming the last race car with the legendary Cosworth motor. A carbon fiber monocoque structure and aluminum chassis were supported by double wishbone suspension front and rear.

Source: Canepa Collection

Matt McDonald
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  (329) posted on 03.15.2011

Would you believe that Tyrell also introduced a six-wheeled F1 car? If I can remember, they used it years before this one and was actually very successful.

  (257) posted on 03.8.2011

This one is definitely one of the most recognizable cars in F1 racing history. This can be thought of as a real life Mach 5 (from the Speed Racer cartoon).

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