This is the beginning of my build diary. The build started on 1 November 2000: to jump to this point use the button on the left.
28th July 2000
Step 1: went to visit the factory, as recommended by everyone. Left a bit later than planned and got a bit lost on the way there: took the wrong turning off the M20. When I got there, Steve, one of the blokes who works at Fisher Sportscars, was there setting up a Kent engine in a Fury. Had a wander round the factory while he was doing that and came across a Fury being built at the factory with a Blackbird engine. Chatted to Steve about my abject hatred of drum brakes and was assured that rear discs could be used with calipers off a Sierra. Also talked about the loom, which is my main worry about building the car. Steve said there were two options, either using the bike loom just for the engine and a fresh loom for the lights or adapting the bike loom to suit. I think I'd prefer to have a separate loom for the lighting, but I'll have a think about that one. Finally, the best bit: a ride in the Fireblade demonstrator. Unfortunately I forgot to take my sunglasses, so visibility was a problem. Didn't need to see anything to realise how fast it was though: came back with a very sore neck despite Steve assuring me that he was being on the cautious side because he hadn't driven it for a while. Decided that building a Fury was definitely a good idea. Tried to buy a build manual, but they didn't have a copy so left it at that. The rest of the day was mostly awful, but that's another story....
4th August 2000
OK, so not much done yet, but I'd been busy at work. Time to start things moving, so I sent a fax to Fisher asking for a price on (most of) the bits I reckon I need to build a rolling chassis. It's not a simple case of adding the prices on the web site together due to pre-occupation with decent brakes: I want the disc conversion on the back, and I'm going to use alloy hubs with 4-pot brakes at the front so I don't need the whole assembly. I do want to get all the reconditioned part off the same car (with a receipt to prove it) so I can get an age-related plate and not a Q-plate: I haven't got anything against a Q-plate and if I have to have one then so be it, but if I can have an age-related plate instead with only a little more effort, then it must be a good idea.
10th August 2000
A sad day: my girlfriend Zena left for China for 9 months. So I'd better get on with ordering the Fury so I'll have something to do!
11th August 2000
Good intentions went nowhere. But today I WILL ring Fisher and chase up that quote. Also start to look at ordering the stuff I need to make the carbon fibre panels. Think I ought to do some work first though.... OK, done the work, rang the factory and spoke to Steve. He said it was something that Mark Fisher should do (leave the money bit to the boss, I guess) so I'll ring next week. In the meantime, it's time to get some bits for the Pugster......
15th August 2000
Got the price for the first stage of the Fury build. A little bit more than expected, but in the right ball park. Thinking of using some trick Nitron dampers rather than the Spax ones which Fisher use. Certainly all the fellow Pug users don't reckon Spax much. Anyway, where's that cheque book?
Monday 21st August 2000
Got the build manual. Oh dear, have I got the right kit? The manual is sparse, to say the least. No photos, nothing on the Blackbird install. Nagging doubts setting in..... The kit should be ready for collection at the end of September. Things to do before I pick up the kit are to rebuild the front end of the Pugster, paint the garage floor, make up the carbon fibre panels for the interior and make some trestles to do the build on. Oh, and find an engine.
Friday 8th September 2000
Ordered the carbon fibre cloth from Carbon Composites. I've decided to make up the panels myself. Firstly, because pre-made panels are ridiculously expensive and because I'd like to learn how to lay up carbon composite parts. It seems like such an easy way to build strong, light parts when compared to making them from steel or ali. Anyway, I like carbon fibre, OK?!
Saturday 16th September 2000
Went to the Donnington Kit Car show. I was a bit worried that there wouldn't be anyone there because of the fuel shortages, but I rang Donnington
and they said all the exhibitors were there. I also checked that Fisher Sportscars would be there as one of the main reasons for going was to have
another look at the Fireblade demonstrator to check out a few queries I had regarding the build. The show was excellent. I went with my brother Ben
who lives in Nottingham and is 6' 4". We had great fun squeezing him into all the various cars there. He could fit into them, but once he was in the
steering wheel was so firmly jammed between his legs that driving would have been impossible. He does seem quite keen on a Robin Hood 2B, though,
although his girlfriend made him promise he wouldn't buy a kit car at the show! His girlfriend seems to find it quite incredible that mine not only doesn't
mind the fact that I'm building a kit car but is actively encouraging me. Still, that's women for you.....
Tuesday 19th September 2000
Rang Mark and decided to go for the engine with carbs. Apparently they're easier to tune. And it was the cheapest. Looking back, it could be a problem if I don't meet the April deadline: fitting a cat on an injected engine would be difficult but possible. Fitting one on a carbed engine would just be impossible. Having decided which engine to get, engaged in a bit more serious chequebook abuse.
Thursday 21st September 2000
My carbon fibre cloth arrived all the way from Hawaii. I've decided not just to use carbon fibre, but to put aluminium honeycomb reinforcement in. If I'm going to spend all this money and time on custom carbon panels, I may as well do it properly. Time to start finding out where I can get the ali honeycomb from.
Tuesday 26th September 2000
Order the trick dampers from Nitron. It took a few e-mails to get the specs sorted, but I think that everything's settled. I've gone for the rubber-bushed dampers even though I'm planning to race the car. I reckon a bit of civilizing play in the bushes will be worth it the rest of the time. Anyway, I'm racing the car so that I can race, not win.
Tuesday 29th September 2000
Ring Mark about picking up the Fury. There's no way I can collect it now because of the ongoing Pug brakes saga. Fortunately (well, sort of) they're a bit behind schedule. I'm going to China to visit Zena on 11th October so we agree that I'll pick it up at the end of October when I get back from China. It's looking as though it'll have to be a rush build to get it through the SVA and then a rather more thorough rebuild to get all the twiddly bits (i.e. the interior) just the way I want them. Since most people seem to do plenty of post-SVA mods anyone, this is probably just par for the course.
Saturday/Sunday 30th September/1st October 2000
I can't really do any work on the Pug and I can't start making up the carbon panels until I get the ali honeycomb. So I use all of my persuasive abilities to coerce my father into lending me his car and pop off to Halfords and Homebase. Get a new battery for the Pugster from Halfords (I managed to kill the old one by leaving the door open for over a week in the garage which drained the battery and finished it off for good) and some 2'x2' wood and chipboard. Spend the rest of the weekend making trestles out of the wood and chipboard. Rather impressed with the end result although my father (who's an architect) says that he's not very impressed by my 'shear strategy' and suggests a bit of reinforcement. Seems like a good idea and I had some spare chipboard.
Wednesay 4th October 2000
Finally find somewhere I can get some ali honeycomb from. It's a place called Multisport and I've ordered a 4' x 2' sheet. I've measured it all up against the drawings in the manual and this should be big enough for all the panels on the transmission tunnel.
11th - 24th October 2000
Visiting Zena in China.
Monday 29th October 2000
Hire large van: long wheelbase Transit. Hire companies are possibly one of the biggest scams known to mankind. RENT A VAN FOR £29 A DAY! they say. 'Two days', I say, thinking 29 times 2 = 58. That'll be £121 they say. 'Eh?!'. It turns out, of course, that on top of the £29 per day there's the excess waiver, the 3rd party insurance, the administration fee, the kitchen sink inclusion fee etc. etc. Still, £121 turned out the be the cheapest so £121 it was.
Tuesday 31st October 2000
Leave work early and go to collect van. I forget that the Picadilly line doesn't stop at Kings Cross and end up having to walk all the way to the van hire place (about 3 miles). Still, good for the soul. I eventually get the van, which only took about 40 minutes (including having my picture taken for security reasons) and then we were off. Now I'd driven normal Transits before and reckoned myself a bit of an old hand at van driving: Capital Gold on the radio, cup of tea in one hand, cutting up all other drivers while eyeing up the ladyeees etc. But this thing was a monster! An IVECO Driver, it must have been about 20ft long. Went to IKEA to buy some cheap £15 shelves for the garage, went home, had dinner, went to the garage, cleared up all the crap on the floor, dumped the shelves, and headed home.
This document maintained by Dan