Sylva Striker

Launch:             1986

Summary:         The Sylva Striker is possibly the most prolific of all the sylva models and certainly the model that put Sylva on the map and can be argued that it was Jeremy’s most important model. The Striker was a radical evolution of the Star and Leader dropping the viva donor car in favour of purpose built suspension and lighter bodywork. There have been 4 versions of the Striker, a brief summary below. The transition through the Marks and into the Phoenix causes much confusion; I think the correct sequence is below. NB. I am awaiting full confirmation from Jeremy or Paul Kuzan shortly.


Only one was ever built. It was based on a Leader chassis with Viva front sub frame and an Escort English axle at the rear. This car was built for Jeremy’s brother Mark. It was powered by a Mazda 10a rotary engine and was known as the “Rotary Rocket”.


This was the main Striker model, using the Escort Mk2 as a very capable single donor. This was the first car to use twin longitudinal Watts linkages and Panhard rod to locate the Ford axle.  At the front rocker arms and inboard shocks were used , they have become a JP Trademark, the first few cars used the Viva front uprights, later cars used a cut down Escort McPherson strut.  A simple GRP nose and rear body with separate front cycle wings complemented the alloy side panels.  Stuart Beddows raced the first Striker in the Kit Car championship with some success powered by a very rapid all-steel cross-flow; it was later fitted with a Mazda 12A rotary.

Legendary suspension and chassis design created a fantastically handling car which all of Jeremy’s later cars took a lead from.

Shortage of Escort donors in later years demanded a Sierra based kit version. This used uprights, diff, drive shafts and hubs from the donor and would have been powered by the Pinto or iron block Zetec engines.

A reason for the popularity of the Striker was that it was not another 7 clone. The chassis had straight sides making it more rigid, twin watts linkages at the rear gave great traction and virtually eliminated bump-steer, and rocker arms moved the coil-overs out of the airflow and fed suspension loads correctly into the ball-joints. It had a fabricated front bulkhead giving added rigidity and a unique look to the windscreen.

A Clubman body was available that dropped over the standard chassis.

In 2002, there was much surprise when Jeremy sold the Striker Mk2 to Mel Coppuck of Raw Engineering.  Many; including the author; believed that Jeremy would never sell the Striker. Raw have made a number of modifications and variations since, including a range of fantastic Toyota engines and the full bodied Fulcrum.

Current Manufacturer/Project Owner: RAW Engineering


This version of Striker was aimed to be a budget version with a fibreglass tunnel and outboard shocks. It used Chevette uprights and steering rack. The first Mk3 had a lower ‘A’ bracket (ala Caterham) and twin leading arms at the rear. This car was sponsored by Chamberlain (of Le Mans fame). They supplied a fantastic 1300 cross-flow built by Rodger King. Jeremy raced this car successfully once it was converted to Mk2 rear suspension!  Although it was cheaper not many of these were sold as customers preferred the rocker type front suspension and it was dropped quite quickly.