Riding on Six Wheels: The Hispano-Suiza

by | Oct 5, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

The Tyrrell P34 commonly aka the “six-wheeler” was a Formula One race car that was designed by chief designer Derek Gardner and raced in 1978. The car used four specially manufactured 10-inch-diameter wheels and tires at the front and two standard-sized wheels at the back; on those front wheels the P34 used disc brakes from a Mini Cooper. The six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 was considered one of the most radical entries to ever succeed in F1 competition and was one the most recognizable design in the history of world motorsports. The photo (at right) is of my late friend Steve Morgenstern sitting in what I thought was a six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 when we were attending historic races at Donington Park many years ago. We got to see the Tyrrell race but Steve is actually sitting in a Williams F1 car. Thanks to our Senior International Correspondent John Larsen for the correction.

And while that was in 1978, Hispano-Suiza did it first in 1924, albeit with the wheels in a slightly different configuration as you can see below.

Hispano-Suiza was a Spanish automotive and engineering firm that was best known for its luxury cars but the above car, a 1924 Victoria town car, was built in the company’s French factory and cost $35,000 at the time. That prices translates into $515,867 in today’s dollars.

How I made this photograph: I shot the photograph at left in Denver’s Forney Museum of Transportation in order to show the extreme length of the car and give some taste of the ambiance of the Forney itself. Shot with Canon EOS 60D and Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens (at 18mm) with an exposure of 1/40 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 800. It was then processed in Photoshop using Color Efex Pro.

  • The Forney Museum of Transportation
  • 4303 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
  • Monday-Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
  • Adults…………..$14.00
    Children(3-12).$ 8.00
    Children under 3.Free, Museum Parking is also free


Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s available from Amazon for $21.49 or used copies starting at giveaway prices—less than nine bucks—as I write this.