Fury/Phoenix or a Seven?

Fury/Phoenix or a Seven?

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Discussion

Andy-G

Original Poster:

23 posts

138 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
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Hi,

I have been looking at kit cars for a while as I want one for track and road use probably 50/50.

I think I have decided on a Fury or a Phoenix and I was wondering what are the differences, if any between the two cars if they are similarly spec'd.

Also what will be faster round a track if you take out other comparables a Fury/Phoenix or a 7 style car, on the basis that both are well set up and driven by the same driver.

Are there any downsides that I should be aware of with Fury/Phoenix cars compared to other seven style cars?

Thanks.

Andy



Chris71

21,494 posts

199 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
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Strange sense of de ja vu! biggrin

Categorically not an expert, but my reasoning, being in a similar situation was the Striker (or other Seven) is a bit more straightforward - less bodywork in the way, easier to get to the oily bits - and fractionally lighter. However, the full bodied cars can be significantly quicker at high speed due to lower drag and the Seven body is also prone to producing front end lift making it less stable at high speeds.

On the upsides, both are pretty rare, but Sevens are more common.

I guess if you're driving to the track having open wheels might make it easier to get to the adjusters on the suspension?

Oh, and the weather protection is better on a full bodied car with a curve screen. wink

The above is all secondhand information or conjecture, but that's my understanding of the situation.

Oh, last thing - if you intend to compete it might be worth seeing what most people in the local club have? The kit class at my local sprints is saturated by Sevens, although mostly Caterhams to be fair.

Corpulent Tosser

5,447 posts

202 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
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I have had both, Striker and now a Fury, I always did like the Fury style even when I had the Striker but at the time I wanted a 7 type car, but am am glad I now have the Fury.

I don't use the Fury on the road but there is a distinct benefit of one if you do, there is storage space in the bodywork at each side, OK not a lot but if mine was a road car things like waterproofs would be stored there, actually as the exhaust runs under one of these 'storage spaces' I could warm a pie or two there wink

There is also some protection - not a lot- from the wider bodywork supports.

But you should and will buy what you prefer the look of.

Sam_68

9,939 posts

202 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
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Andy-G said:
I think I have decided on a Fury or a Phoenix and I was wondering what are the differences, if any between the two cars if they are similarly spec'd.
Not a huge amount.

At risk of boring you with a history lesson, the original Phoenix (also called the Striker Mk. 4 or Striker Clubmans) came first, and was basically a 'Seven'-style Sylva Striker with a streamlined bodyshell, for racing. There's a picture of an early Sylva-manufactured car on my profile. The later Phoenix bodyshell that is still being marketed today is basically just a mild re-style of the original.

The Fury started out as a 'road' version of the Phoenix with doors, windscreen and hood. It has a different chassis with more steel panelling and lower siderails to accommodate proper doors (as a result of which it's slightly heavier), but essentially similar dimensions and suspension geometry in live axle form. The Project was then sold on to Fisher sportscars, who introduced a 'Spyder' version which basically reverted to the original, door-less and windscreenless Phoenix bodyshell, but still on the Fury chassis. They also developed their own IRS suspension, independent of Sylva.

The two cars both originated as Sylvas, but because they evolved in the hands of different companies there are now detail differences between them, but not enough to be really significant. The Phoenix remains the lighter of the two, though (all other things being equal) so is potentially slightly quicker.

Andy-G said:
Also what will be faster round a track if you take out other comparables a Fury/Phoenix or a 7 style car, on the basis that both are well set up and driven by the same driver.
I think it's been pretty well established that it would be the Fury/Phoenix. They've won the 750 Club Kit Car Championship with monotonous regularity against 'Seven' style competition. If nothing else, they've got a definite aerodynamic advantage at circuit racing speeds.

People on this forum will probably be bored of me quoting this statistic, but I've owned both a Caterham and a Sylva Phoenix with very similar spec. Crossflow engines, so I can give you a direct comparison: the Caterham was flat out at about 120mph due to aerodynamic drag, whereas the Sylva will pull a good 135mph, with commensurate advantage in terms of top-end acceleration.

Andy-G said:
Are there any downsides that I should be aware of with Fury/Phoenix cars compared to other seven style cars?
The bodyshells are lightweight and due to the larger size of individual mouldings are more prone to cracking than 'Seven' type cars. The Fury/Phoenix tends to be more race-orientated, so tends to be more workmanlike in terms of interior finish, etc. (though there are exceptions), but other than that I can't think of any significant downsides.


Edited by Sam_68 on Wednesday 3rd June 18:35

Sam_68

9,939 posts

202 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
quotequote all
Chris71 said:
...less bodywork in the way, easier to get to the oily bits.
I'd wouldn't necessarily agree with this bit.

The front bonnet of a Fury/Phoenix hinges forward in one piece, so arguably access to the engine bay is better (you can get access to the radiator without removing the nose cone and - although the differnce is trivial - it simply hinges up rather than having to be lifted off and propped somewhere out of the way).

More importantly, the rear body sections and scuttle of 'Sevens' are almost always bonded/bolted/rivetted into place, so you can only access the rear suspension from underneath and the dash wiring by removing the dashboard or groping about underneath from the footwell. Admittedly, most Fury/Phoenix builders also bond their rear body tub in place, but you don't have to and I've seen a number of cars where the whole rear body tub is fixed using bonnet pins, Dzus fastners, or whatever, and can be removed completely in a matter of seconds to give full access to the fuel tank, rear suspension and dash wiring. The bonnet can be unbolted in 5 minutes, too, if you need to do major work like removing the engine, so the only permanently fixed panels are the sills, and the only item that is more restricted in terms of access is the exhaust silencer.

RichardD

3,539 posts

202 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
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Sam_68 said:
...If nothing else, they've got a definite aerodynamic advantage at circuit racing speeds.

People on this forum will probably be bored of me quoting this statistic, but I've owned both a Caterham and a Sylva Phoenix with very similar spec. Crossflow engines, so I can give you a direct comparison: the Caterham was flat out at about 120mph due to aerodynamic drag, whereas the Sylva will pull a good 135mph, with commensurate advantage in terms of top-end acceleration....
I remember around the time looking for my first nippy car I had an Autocar review of the Caterham 7 HPC. Two litre Vauxhall power with 175bhp rather than the usual 150bhp in a Cavalier. The Cavalier would top out at 135mph and the 7 at 125mph even with the extra power.

Which meant I ended up with a Fury biggrin (which I had seen 135mph on the clock from the standard 2.0 Zetec driving)

Good job I've not got it now (went sensible and got a big fat comfy four wheeled sofa ("TVR" is on the bonnet hehe) - as PH has shown me what other engine options are available and even though impractical would be hard to move away from.....

Disco_Biscuit

827 posts

151 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
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How about an MNR Vortx

MNR

robcollingridge

480 posts

240 months

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
quotequote all
Andy-G said:
Hi,

I have been looking at kit cars for a while as I want one for track and road use probably 50/50.

I think I have decided on a Fury or a Phoenix and I was wondering what are the differences, if any between the two cars if they are similarly spec'd.

Also what will be faster round a track if you take out other comparables a Fury/Phoenix or a 7 style car, on the basis that both are well set up and driven by the same driver.
I've built a Fury R1 over a Striker R1 because the cockpit it a lot wider.
The bodywork can cover side impact protection bars (optional).
The bodywork gives you better protection from the wind and road debris.
The Fury has better aerodynamics and thus a slightly higher top speed for the same configuration of engine/transmission.
It looks better to IMHO. :-)
Access to the engine and other bits is just as easy.

Other than that there is not a lot to choose between.

Andy-G

Original Poster:

23 posts

138 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
quotequote all
Hi,

Thanks for all your comments I think that I now definitely want a fury/phoenix style car, I prefer the look of them and better aerodynamics plus the weather protection is a benefit but would never really influence me too much. It is interesting to know that the phoenix is slightly lighter this does sway me slightly more towards a phoenix but a few of you seem to of chosen the Fury over the Phoenix could you let me know your reasons for this. Was it just finding one that matched your spec for your budget or was there other factors why you choose the Fury over the Phoenix? Also other than Pistonheads is there anywhere else where I would be able to find some for sale and is there any particular things that I should be looking for when viewing them.

Thanks

pigeondave

215 posts

185 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
quotequote all
I believe the Fury is wider than the Phoenix.

I got a quick ride in a Phoenix at Laon this year and it was so tight that there was no way I could grab the 5th harness point. Best check the width for yourself.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

212 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
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Phoenix is based on the diminutive Striker chassis, hence quite a narrow cockpit and no doors. The Fury is wider and has the option of doors (since Fisher made them anyway, not sure this was an option from Sylva?).

Sam_68

9,939 posts

202 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
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Mr2Mike said:
...The Fury is wider and has the option of doors (since Fisher made them anyway, not sure this was an option from Sylva?).
Yes, it was launched by Sylva (in 1992) with doors - the whole point of the exercise was to build a 'touring' version of the Striker Clubmans/Mk.IV/Phoenix - in fact it's the doorless, 'Spyder' version that was never built by Sylva.

Red Firecracker

5,166 posts

184 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
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It's worth investigating the Sylva Spectre. I've seen some pictures a mate took of the first demonstrator being built and it is very interesting.

Furyblade_Lee

3,911 posts

181 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
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The Fury cockpit is definately wider than the Phoenix, i have owned both. If you are much more than 13 stone then you may be better off with a Fury, but do try a few to be sure, it is not an exact science! The main problem you will have if you are after a car engined Phoenix is that there is not that many out there. Certainly in recent times, most Phoenix have been built with bike engines. Good luck in finding one! The Fury is much more plentiful, there are roughly 10 times as many Furys and Phoenix been built in all varieties.

Another option if you definately want a Phoenix and do not mind a bit of work, is to buy a tatty Striker and fit a Phoenix body to it, should go straight on as it is the same car essentially. I personally think the Phoenix is a little prettier than the Fury, as it really tapers in in the waist (hence the narrower cockpit), really noticable when viewed from the front. But they drive pretty much the same, more dependent on final spec than type.

Sam_68

9,939 posts

202 months

Thursday 4th June 2009
quotequote all
I'm 16 stone on a bad day and I fit the Phoenix just fine, FWIIW, but I know some other people find it a bit of a tight fit for some reason. It doesn't half bugger up your power:weight ratio, mind you!

The other problem is that the engine and transmission tunnel are offset slightly to the left, to help balance the weight of the driver. This means that the passender seat well (which is already narrow enough on the drivers side) is even narrower... which tends to cause problems with girlfriends as many women have wider hips than men, of course.

But as Lee says, you'll fine there are many more Furies available anyway. Apart from antything else, the Fury was built for many years, until quite recently, by a guy called Mark Fisher of Fisher Sports Cars, who marketed the car much more effectively than Sylva ever managed. The Phoenix, by contrast, was never really pushed that hard by Sylva and afterwards went through a series of hands (some quite unsuitable and at least one quite a dodgy character), so never had very settled production. It will be interesting to see how it does in its current hands.

Apart from the usual checks on chassis condition and basic build quality, there are only a couple of things I can think of that I'd particularly want to check (applying to both Fury and Phoenix):
  • Check silencer clearance and ventilation of the sill pod on the exhaust side. The silencers can come very close, or even touch, the fibreglass and can scorch trhough them. I've never known one catch fire, but it makes a mess cosmetically, so worth checking.
  • As previously mentioned, the bodywork is quite lightweight, so check carefully for stress cracks and star cracks on the gelcoat, if cosmetics bother you.
  • If it's a live axle car, make sure the rear suspensionhas been built correctly, using rubber bushes and big fail-safe washers between the bush and the retaining bolt. A lot of people mistakenly fit Rose joints or nylon bushes, failing to realise that the linkages put torsional loads into the axle under roll. These result in very high wear on nylon bushes, or potential cracking at the suspension mountings if Rose joints are used. You can get away with partial Rose jointing, so long as there's at least one rubber bush on each linkage arm, but I don't think there's much advantage in it, so I can't see the point. And even on fully rubber bushed cars, I've known the bolt pull through the bush on the Panhard rod (which gives interesting handling characteristics), hence the need for washers as a fail-safe.

jeffw

844 posts

185 months

Friday 5th June 2009
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To give you an idea this is the seating in my Phoenix which is a good inch or so narrower than a Fury. I'm 15-16 stone and my hips touch either side. Still been to the Ring three times in it (275miles without stopping 2 up )


jimgiblett

48 posts

217 months

Saturday 6th June 2009
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I have owned both the Phoenix and now a Fury. As others have said they are very similar in may ways but I decided that I wanted a full screen and as retro fitting a screen to a Phoenix looked too complicated I went for a Fury. In my case with a spyder body and full screen allowing wider rear wheels and weather protection.

The full bodied cars do tend to be faster due to the aerodynamic gains and only marginally heavier. If there is a downside it will be that the bodywork is a little more complicated to fit and a bit more expensive to fit.

Open wheeled cars tend to be a little more hard core as the buffeting is considerably more and stones getting thrown up by th front wheels can inflict damage to either the car or the passengers.

- Jim




- Jim

Sam_68

9,939 posts

202 months

Saturday 6th June 2009
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jeffw said:
Still been to the Ring three times in it (275miles without stopping 2 up )
Bugger me! How do you manage that - in flight refuelling?! Or do you have a dark and shameful secret in the form of the World's first diseasel Sylva?

Nice to know I'm not the only fat bd with a Phoenix, though. biggrin

jeffw

844 posts

185 months

Saturday 6th June 2009
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The secret is a 9 gallon fuel tank and a gauge that never goes under a 1/4 full....spluttered into the petrol station wink My passenger slept most of the way (we where both wearing full face crash hats).

On the ring






Edited by jeffw on Saturday 6th June 17:58


Edited by jeffw on Saturday 6th June 17:58

Comadis

1,723 posts

180 months

Sunday 7th June 2009
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Sylva goes back to its "old" style....

check this out:

http://www.sylva.co.uk/

more or less a remake of the Phoenix...but mid-engined, based on the Riot.