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lancelot link 1st November 2016 19:25

New project - formosa spyder
Taking into account what I am starting with and , obviously , not wanting to post this on the S*mmio site ...I thought it would be ok to start the thread here and update it as and when I can get stuff done ....If admin want to move it to General chat or Tribute object ...thats cool .....

I took delivery of my starting point this morning ...A 2/3 section of a Miglia Speedster with single door skins , no bonnet , no dash and no headrest and a Cordite bulkhead section.

I'm going to glass the doorskins in place to re-cut door apertures once the rear wings have been modified and made symmetrical , correcting the cockpit and door length issues as well ....the body is going to be widened slightly and rear wings plumped up a bit in the process .. Headrest will be added after and a separate bootlid ....

Bulkhead will be a permanent fixture and a flip front created from a re-vamped Z300 bonnet with altered grille aperture and modified to flip like a D type leaving the lower rear section of the front wing in place ...portholes will be removed and a vent put in their place ...

redratbike 1st November 2016 22:52

Woo hoo!

Roadster 2nd November 2016 00:31

looking forward to this Garry

Paul L 2nd November 2016 21:09

Looking forward to seeing how you put all these different pieces together.

What donor car are you going to use?

Good luck, Paul. :)

lancelot link 14th November 2016 19:04

I found myself free for a few hours today , so made a start on the new body.

I have decided to keep the cockpit position the same as the S*mmio , avoiding the need to move the bulkhead , pedals , stretch steering and gearstick etc...The original concept work well , so why change it ?

The bonnet will be stretched back to the screenline to give it a longer look on the front without changing too much . The nose will be slightly longer than a S*mmio helping give a long nose look too .

I'm starting with a Miglia / Cordite body so I need to move the cockpit a bit but as the car is going to be a few inches wider and I am changing the cowl area and cockpit shape , moving the cockpit is not too bad a job ...

I have started on the pass. side rear wing and rear deck area ...the arch is being modified to give it a lower top lip and a slightly less round shape compared to the original ...The rear wing has been split along the flash line and the rear pulled out a few inches to take the pinched tail look away ...

I have started to fit the rear centre section of a D type to the rear as well , as I want to take the flatter rear panel look away and give this car a more curvaceous rear to match my intentions at the front a bit more ...It will need to be tied into the rear wings with a gentle , flowing curve ...

Its all looking a bit of a mess at the moment , but bear with me !!

front cowl has been cut away and a dash panel from a 356 is going to go in to give me a dash and short cowl area ...

I am hoping to get the panels glassed back together tomorrow and hopefully a bit of shape to the rear corner ...

when this corner is sorted , it will be templated and transferred to the other side to match it up ...

Paul L 14th November 2016 20:07

And so it begins…

Although I'm starting to get flashbacks already…

But what's that you say?


Originally Posted by lancelot link (Post 84233)
...when this corner is sorted , it will be templated and transferred to the other side to match it up ...

Matching sides you say?



Burn the witch! Burn him!


Jokes aside, I am sure this will look great when you have finished. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

striker1660 14th November 2016 20:52

hi gary,what wheel size are you assuming 15" x51/2?

lancelot link 14th November 2016 20:59

15'' , yes but around 5'' I think ...I'm making them a snuggish fit for a 15 , but not so large that the usual 14'' MGB can't still be used ...the bodies are going to be a few inches wider than a S*mmio , getting the wheels just slightly inboard from previously ....

the slightly wider body will compliment the rounder rear and longer nose ...hopefully !!

Influences are the slightly later Ferrari TRC's from 56/57 , Maserati's from the same era 200si . 300s etc and anything that resembles them ...

lancelot link 16th November 2016 20:03

Took a trip over to Tribute today and rummaged through their scrap 'glass pile for some bits and pieces ....Thank you will put a few hours in to the car again tomorrow and hopefully get the rear corner and rear deck a bit closer to looking something handy .....

lancelot link 18th November 2016 19:31

With the help of my mate , Glan , we got a bit more done this week ..a bit more work on the rear wing and rump area ...I really like the way we have fattened up the rear and given the rear end more of a curve ..We are concentrating on one side at a time ..

The rear has got to have a headrest added a bit later and a bootlid and aperture created , but the rear deck , created with a roofskin donated by Tribute is starting to look good ...

I have also re-cut the door aperture , removing the Cordite-like dogleg and shortening the door height a few inches , as I want a deeper sill area for the inner framework I have planned ..the front section of the body has been moved out an inch and the sill is starting to be re-shaped to join the rear section and lose the area where the body tucks in just in front of rear wing ...

The new dash section from a Porsche 356 has been temporarily fitted to hold the shell together ...

molleur 18th November 2016 21:59

Looks good already, big improvement. Thanks for the update.

lancelot link 18th November 2016 22:54

No worries ...I made a big decision today to keep the cockpit further back totally goes against what i said a few days ago , but the stretched rear was going to look too long if I centred the cockpit ..even cheating the bonnet wouldn't fix it enough for me ...I can't see me doing another body after this , they are quite pricey and time consuming to do I didn't want to compromise my vision for this one ..and I keep going back to the 'sat just in front of the rear wheels' scenario..

I have a very definite , simple idea for internal framing ..bodies will be flow coated inside to hide matt patterning and frames will be something like 40mm tube main body with 25mm tube bracing , all visible , so no cockpit lining ..

I have a simple solution for bulkhead re-positioning and will supply a steering extender if required and a stretched gear shifter that will be a bolt on replacement ...

Paul L 19th November 2016 16:15

Gary - The rear is shaping up very nicely. :cool:

I also like your deep sill door openings.

Which is in keeping with the Ferrari styling you mentioned before.

Does this also mean you will be able to have the doors "frame mounted" like the A352?

As that alway seemed like a better approach than the simple external hinges through fibreglass of the Cordite.

When I first read that you were widening the bodywork, I thought it was going to allow a cut donor underneath.
( Similar to the way the A352 keeps a large chuck of the Spitfire to avoid a full strip down. )

But if moving the bulkhead is an option, then I guess your build needs to start with just the rolling chassis?

Still, after looking at some photos of a Maserati 200 you are going to end up with a very nice looking kit. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

lancelot link 19th November 2016 19:14

PAUL , THANKS FOR PUTTING THE PICS UP ..I am having some issues with my photobucket account at the moment , not sure why , it logs me in but just returns to the log in page ..

Yes hinges will be attached to the internal frame ...The tubular bracing will be a feature of the car and not hidden away ..I have a local tube company lined up to make the side rails once I have patterned them ..rear frame will be remarkably similar to the rear of a S*mmio .
I really like the hinges on No. 47 , they look like late Spit boot hinges drilled ..I have some of those but not an unlimited supply , so will probably try and get a similar thing laser cut for me to use ..
Bootlid is looking like probably going to be a side mounted pin and latch affair to lift it off , rather than hinged ..I want to bootlid to climb into the headrest at the moment , but , as already proven , things change and develop along the way ..
Vents on the side will be a version of a Mistral styled vent ..
Bonnet is going to be a heavily modded Z300S bonnet I got from Tribute (thankyou) chopped , channeled , section , tweaked and fettled to create a flip upper section with less of a droopy nose and more of a Ferrari-esque grille like the 410s and 625 trc renderings ....

I wanted the shorter doors and upright A pillar to get away from the obvious Cordite and Miglia renderings which were based around Porsche 550 doors at the time as well as allowing me to use a prettier internal frame and bracing with the higher sill ....

lancelot link 19th November 2016 19:26

This pic probably shows the door aperture a bit better lower section created in foam skinned with fibreglass to give us a solid base to add filler to ...I have , today , added a similar amount of material to the front and rear upright shuts too by fibreglassing them and they wil be shaped up and filled to blend .. the idea is to have about a 3'' door shut , giving enough material to house a decent depth of door as well somewhere to bolt through into the frame and house a latch mech. as well ..

The pic also shows the straighter sill line that now doesnt tuck into the rear arch anymore ...

oxford1360 19th November 2016 20:57

Looking good, Gary.

molleur 19th November 2016 21:01

Nice work on the doors! Looking forward to more build pics.

Jeff H 20th November 2016 13:24

This should be very nice when done Gary,

Look forward to seeing it develop.

lancelot link 22nd November 2016 19:17

Here's some pics of a bit of work that Glan did on the car today ...

As the rear pass. wing is nearly finished and at a stage it could be patterned ...Glan has made some slice patterns and we transferred them to the otherside , so the drivers rear wing could be cut and moved outwards the same amount. About 10mm needs to be added to its height as well .

We also made the 3mm hardboard spacers that will give us an even 3mm gap around the new door panels .....

This picture also shows the slice pattern that will duplicate the rump curve to the drivers side too ....

lancelot link 24th November 2016 22:49

Glan had a day on the car today ... he cut the Miglia door to fit our new aperture and gapped it with the 3mm hardboard pieces I cut out for him ..The doors have a flat spot on the top , not as flat as the original S*mmio , but still flatter than I want on this body re-vamp Glan has tweaked them and bogged them up to have a much more appropriate roll to them from top to bottom ...I decided I didn't want the door to end at the cockpit edge without any detail a slightly raised radius has been introduced to that edge ..I'll take some pics tomorrow ...and the sides of the cockpit now have a curve to them when viewed from , front , rear or above as opposed to the straight sides on the originals will show it better than I can describe ...

I found a few hours to glass , foam and fill the drivers side rear valance area and make a start for Glan to shape it up using the slice patterns ...hopefully tomorrow should see the rear wing sections shaped up a bit and I want to find the time to re-position the rear arch and reshape it on the drivers side to match whats been done on the opposite rear wing ...

Paul L 25th November 2016 20:13

Sounds like lots of good progress. :cool:

I might have missed it posted somewhere else, but who is Glad?

Good luck, Paul. :)

lancelot link 25th November 2016 20:43

Glan is my mate who is a retired laminator and pattern maker ...he was involved in some early Hot Rod stuff , 34 Corner , Rodshop etc as well as the Wizard Roadster Beetle stuff and early Chesil I think ...he finished his working life at Sunseeker in their development dept ...

I was hoping to get some pics on here today , but spent the morning swapping some engines about and only got a few hours in on the bodyshell ...Glan carried on straightening out the pass. rear and cockpit area ...We made a start on the other wing but didnt get as far as we would have liked ...

lancelot link 26th November 2016 19:45

I took these pictures today ...although the raised edge to the cockpit is so slight it wont show in the pics ..they give a good idea on the new outline that is being formed around the cockpit will flow into the front dash when finished ..

I spent a couple of hours on the rear drivers side wing this morning ...when Glan and myself finished yesterday , we were struggling to find a measurement discrepancy on the rear ...the tape measure kept contradicting itself and , after a day on the car , we were both scratching our heads , it is no secret that the S*mmio range have wheel arch issues and despite being re-worked , the Miglia has similar irregularities ....I want this body to be as straight as we can manage , so it needs sorting ....I attacked the problem with a fresh approach this morning and dived in at the deep end , cutting the rear wing off !! .....

I am so glad I did moving it back and in slightly at the rear , so the tail is tucked in but the width at the centre of the wheel arch isn't changed ...the wing has corrected itself ..a few slits in the rear section , to correct a twist , and I was able to tape up the gaps and re-glass it in place some big dollops of filler can do the rest of the work ...

Paul L 26th November 2016 20:20

Gary - Obviously, I know what a big difference some 'cutting & shutting' can make. :icon_wink:

So it definitely worth putting the effort into the plug to ensure no customer has to get the jigsaw/angle grinder out.

The curve along the cockpit sides looks good and will really look the part when it blends into the dash. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

lancelot link 26th November 2016 20:25

As a footnote ...I was measuring several things today and working out layouts etc...I'm not keen on the extended gearstick way that Miglia used to do ...Its not a terrible idea but I want to have another option as well ...The bulkhead is going to be moved back 8'' an 8'' extension on the gearstick shifter will deal with that shift backwards .....but...... if you reverse the suspension towers , left on right and right on left set the engine back 8'''s not a new idea , been done before , but the relatively simple swap over and a new gearbox mount supplied with the bodies , would tackle the same issue and put the engine in a nicer , set back position ...Using a stock Herald prop shortened to suit or a Spitfire one with a couple of little machined spacers either end , again supplied , would get that dealt with too ......I think thats the way I would build this car ...Bolt on towers , bolt in replacement gearbox mount chassis mods ...Happy days ...

Jeff H 26th November 2016 21:41

A lot of thought going in to this at an early stage,

Can only be a good thing, I think people's expectations are higher now regarding kits, when you look at how straight the DNA and MEV products are now they have set the bar high.

Plus, IMHO if the quality is good the price asked will be achievable, I know you are not going to be asking a kings ransom for this any way but it all helps.

Like the idea of a raised edge around the cockpit, it will also help if the customer wants to fit a flat tonneau style cover and may stop some water blowing in.

Paul L 27th November 2016 07:54

Gary - Even if I have my tongue in my cheek at times, I hope I am still being seen as positive/constructive about this new project.

So I just want to echo some of Jeff's key points.


Originally Posted by Jeff H (Post 84470)
… A lot of thought going in to this at an early stage … Can only be a good thing …
I think people's expectations are higher now regarding kits … if the quality is good the price asked will be achievable …

Personally, I believe that thinking about how the kit will actually be built is probably more important than how it looks.

As the cost of the kit itself and all the other parts used pales in comparison to the value of the builder's time.

These days, you have a choice of a something like a Tribute Kobra that can be completed in a few short months. :cool:

Compared to 'traditional' Sammio & Miglia projects that can take years to finish, or are simply abandoned all together. :icon_sad:

I actually prefer the look of the Sammio to the Kobra, but these days construction time would play a key part in me choosing a kit.

If anything, this Formosa Spyder appears to require more rolling chassis preparation work than any Spyder, G46 or Cordite before it. :eek:

So, ideally, this prototype really needs to be fully built up to an "on the road with an MOT" standard before the first kit is sold.

That way, the full list of "extras" required will be known in advance of a build starting.

So far, you are moving the engine/gearbox, replacing the prop shaft, modifying the steering column, etc.

Will you be reusing/moving/replacing the Herald radiator and associated "plumbing"?

Even if all of these jobs are "relatively simple" there seems to be a lot of them.

Therefore it is even more critical that everything supplied works "out of the box" without any further adjustment being required.

Which brings me back to Jeff's original point that all the effort spend at this early stage can only be a good thing. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

lancelot link 27th November 2016 10:17

Paul , THANK YOU FOR THE INTEREST ....I really don't have all the answers yet ..but I can tell you that the car is , as you say , a different build style to the glue-on kits ...I am not totally intending to offer this as a full on kit ..but a bodyshell that fits a Herald or Vitesse chassis that I have come up with the answers to build into a car ...leaving the builder , once again , to put their own spin on it ...I am not offering a replica of anything that has to be built in a specific way ..but , in the same way that Hot Rod bodies are supplied , it will be a case of ''here's your body , it fits this , I have built one like this , but you are free to go whichever route you like ...''

That was the original concept for the S*mmio , but I think some people expected more from it ...

Its a car that is built in the ethos of the old Specials of 50/60 years ago , with a Hot Rod aptitude ..

Touching on your comments about degree of difficulty in build above ...yes , it has more work to do than a S*mmio in some ways ..The Cobra you quoted is a quick build , but some glue-ons are still quite labour intensive ..thats why people like Nubodi charge the fees they charge ..its just different types of jobs ..

I will be able to offer a fully refurbished , fully roadworthy one of these for less than a Nubodi turnkey that isn't fully refurbed underneath ...but thats the different nature of the donors and build styles ...

Most people will , I suspect , strip their donor chassis right down to build the car ...bolting the towers back on on the opposite side , fitting an alternative , supplied gearbox mount , an alternative prop and an extra link in the steering , if required ( I think the stock column may slide back enough anyway ) is going to add virtually no extra time to the re-assembly than a refurbed S*mmio ...likewise , radiator re-positioning etc. is going to be no more involved than a S*mmio build ...extra work will be door hanging , minimized by quality gaps - hopefully ..boot hanging ....possibly pin and latch ..dunno yet ...thats about it ...

The intention is to offer a floorpan that comprises of 2 pans joined by a tunnel with rear bulkhead attached and they will be glued to the cut down front pans that have been shifted back 8'' ... you prep the chassis , fit the rear framework for the fuel tank , fit the floorpan , attach the 2 side rails to the rear frame and relocated bulkhead a moonbuggy with a floor and rear bulkhead , if you like .. the body then gets stretched slightly at the sills , lifted over the frame and locates at bulkhead and rear bulkhead , the sides are pulled in to touch the rear bulkhead and floorpan and bonded on using appropriate glue like stikall or similar or can be fibreglassed in place this process and the lack of having to line the cockpit with ply etc ..will save time in other areas of the build .... so its swings and roundabouts really ...

Jeff H 27th November 2016 10:18

If you like how it looks then just buy it, worry about the rest later, any problems can be sorted with thought and time and money.

Or just buy an airfix kit that comes with all the glue and instructions.

Barber 27th November 2016 11:27

Fascinating reading. Thanks gents.

lancelot link 27th November 2016 13:05

Its probably important to add that this bodyshell option is going to be marketed in a slightly different way ...what I mean by that , is that the S*mmio was/is a cheap option got what you paid for , a bodyshell and frame that , with a bit of effort , became a pretty little car for not a lot of money , when compared with similar styled vehicles to the S*mmio etc. . The higher spec. Porsche 550 / Cobra's , D and C types . MEV etc...
Keeping it cheap meant I needed to bang out lots of units to attempt to stay afloat ...quantity over quality quickly became the situation ..especially as moulds and tooling got tired and there was no reserves to amend that situation ...having experienced bodies from early and later batches ... The first 20-30 were definitely better .

This time , I am not looking to sell lots of units a slightly harder build ( I don't think it is really ) is possibly going to put a few people off ..add to that the bodyshell and framework with floorpans etc. is expected to be around the £2500-3000 mark , primarily down to a higher spec body ..all visible framework will be tig welded round tube etc. ..and I will lose some budget builders there too ...but I am not looking at getting so busy it gets messy again it works for me ..the S*mmio , Miglia and A352 are still a viable option for anyone on a lesser budget .

I wouldn't be too bothered if I only sold a few packages and just built a few cars to retail alongside those sales ...

I would like to think the value of these cars , built correctly , will sit somewhere between high end S*mmio/Miglia sales and decent Cobra / Chesil figures .....I think I can build a turnkey in that range , so hopefully its achievable by most folk .

Paul L 27th November 2016 15:20

Gary - I think we are singing from the same hymn sheet here. :cool:

As I'd like to see you charging more for a quality kit that you have had time to develop fully.

Although I'm not actually sure that there is a "budget builder" market as such.

Whilst the price of Caterhams, Westfields, Ultimas, etc. are clearly in a different league…

I can't think of any Sammio customer build threads on the forum that have been "cheap" builds, can you?

It appears that people loved the way the Sammio looked and all what to build the best version they can.

Being at the lower end of the price range might have helped people "take a chance"...

But picking up on Jeff's comment, people have put thought, time and money into their builds.

I'd just like to see the build time being limited to construction and personal modifications, not fault fixing.

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Originally Posted by Jeff H (Post 84474)
If you like how it looks then just buy it, worry about the rest later, any problems can be sorted with thought and time and money.

Jeff - Whilst it is certainly true that thought, time & money will fix most problems…

I'm merely suggesting it would nice not to have the problems to deal with in the first place. :icon_wink:

Given the amazing job you did prepping and painting the dark blue SWB 250…

I really can't imagine you telling a customer that with a bit of effort they can fix any problems themselves.

Please Note: I'm not suggesting there will be any problems with your paint.

More that I'd like to see the body shell built to the same high quality standards that you apply to painting. :cool:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anyway, apologies for taking this build thread off topic.

Good luck, Paul. :)

rattler 28th November 2016 18:35

Don't take all the fun out of building a one off car I like a bit of head scratching just built a cycle kart out off a lawn mower no tax no lnsuranc no registration lots of racing in France

Paul L 28th November 2016 23:30

After a lot of words, I thought I should at least add a photo...

lancelot link 30th November 2016 19:19

A bit more achieved this week ...I know its not incredibly interesting at this stage but I'm trying to document the build as I go ..and this is as good a place as any to put it on record .....

The dashboard and scuttle area has been moved back about an inch and a half ...I wasn't happy with the long cockpit and want to give the car ''lots of front '' , so this move allows me to bring the bonnet line back a similar amount also means a better position regarding the bulkhead and a stronger platform for the screen... The dash and scuttle are being shaped up using Porsche 356 panels ...

These two pics just show the drivers side starting to be matched up to the passenger side with foam and filler etc... Also a front on pic showing the new line of the scuttle from side to side , if you look at the rear door shuts on either side , it shows the width addition and altered curve to the body quite well ..pass. side is nearly shaped ..drivers side shows original shut and the foam block in the process of being shaped, glued to the outside edge ... ...some blending still to be done ..but we are getting closer to starting on the front end ..which I am really looking forward to ....

I have also started to cut the new bonnet line and lower front wing section ...A piece of Mistral front vent kindly donated by Tributes scrap pile has been tweaked slightly and grafted in to break up this area .....Luckily the other side was in Chris's pile too , so hopefully get that fitted tomorrow ...the front of the Miglia wing is very upright , the curve from the body flattens out as the panel travels forward to the front arch ...possibly as a result of stretching the Cordite panels to fit the Spartan chassis in the early stages of Miglia development.....we have exaggerated the curve along the body and need to do the same on the front wing ..the front arch is due to be reshaped too .... its getting a flatter top line , similar to the rear and a tapered rear edge that will kind of , follow the line of the vent a combination of filling out and re-shaping should 'plump' up that area a bit ...

lancelot link 30th November 2016 19:44

The new working title for the project at this stage is FORMOSA 120 ..But that might change ...I don't think Spyder is right for this particular bodyshell ...

striker1660 30th November 2016 20:15

Hi Gary, given the italian influence, i looked up Janus in italian and this came up with Giano, company name ie.Giano Sportscars?, suggested name for the model Sportiva or Italia.

the Giano stands for god of opening/movement has a twin head design if you look this up.

Just some alternative idea's.

Roadster 30th November 2016 23:47


Originally Posted by lancelot link (Post 84547)
The new working title for the project at this stage is FORMOSA 120 ..But that might change ...I don't think Spyder is right for this particular bodyshell ...

Looking good Gary,
My suggestion for the name is "Formosa Finale"
It may not be a S&""!@ but its a fitting evoloution/conclusion to the bloodline

Mister Towed 1st December 2016 07:13


Originally Posted by lancelot link (Post 84547)
The new working title for the project at this stage is FORMOSA 120

Formosa Centoventi it is then. :)

lancelot link 1st December 2016 10:06

120 is approx the number of units sold under the original S*mmio banner by the way .....

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