Choosing the car

Caterham 21 VHPD Between November 2001 and January 2004, I had the pleasure of owning a Caterham 21.

The particular example I owned had had a relatively hard life as a Caterham demonstrator, and soon after I got it, I found myself the victim of some pretty extraordinary bills, as various important bits started to fail/fall off. I came to realise that if I stood any chance of keeping the 21 on the road, I had to either find a much better paid job, or start doing the necessary repairs on it myself.

By the time I'd finished with it, I'd replaced just about every major component, and spent as much on it as it had originally cost me. But, I'd enjoyed working on the car as much as actually driving it, and I started considering building my own car from scratch.

Dan's Furybird Then, on the Lynch the Leprechaun 2003 tour, Dan Bromilow heard me musing on this subject, and gave me the keys to his Honda Blackbird powered Fury (a.k.a. the FuryBird).

It was grrrrrreat . Over 200kg lighter than the 21, with almost as much power, a rev limit of 11500rpm, sequential 6 spd gearbox, aeroscreen and the world's strangest driving position

So I decided on the spot that I would build a bike-engined Fury - to the point of letting one of the other se7en owners take the 21 for a test drive, as he was interested in buying one

Over the next few months I didn't really make any commitment to this decision apart from attending the Open Day at Fisher Sportscars (who make the Fury), where I clapped eyes on a Phoenix. Without going into the detailed family history of Sylva Autokits, the Phoenix is essentially a earlier and smaller version of the Fury. They look very similar from some angles, but the Phoenix has a much pronounced waist, and a much more attractive arse. I can't think of a better way to put it than that. Here - have a look yourself:

Fury Phoenix

I took a seat in the Phoenix, and it fit, so I decided that I would build a Phoenix rather than a Fury. Yay!

Subsequently, everyone I know formed a private club where you had to own a bike engined Fury to join, but they'll be sick as parrots when they see my chassis - s'lovely

Mark of CB Tech Motorsport, and a Cam7er to boot, obligingly bought the 21 from me, and a week or so later I found myself at Stuart Taylor Motorsport ordering myself a Phoenix.


This page last updated on: Thursday, Aug 24 2006