This is a 1972 Formosa 120 GR and if you haven’t seen one before that’s because only a relatively small number have been made – but the good news is that the company is still in business so parts availability isn’t a problem.
The Formosa 120 GR was designed by Glan Richards to evoke the style of 1950s-era sports cars without being a replica of any specific model. It was developed to be fitted to a Triumph or Reliant chassis for ease of construction.
Fast Facts – The Formosa 120 GR
- The Formosa 120 GR is a product of Mid-Century Evocations a company dedicated to creating vehicles that blend classic design cues from the 1950s. Formosa bodies are designed to fit onto chassis from the Triumph Herald, Triumph Vitesse, or Reliant Scimitar, this makes road registering far simpler and ensures that the cars have period-correct handling to boot.
- One of the key features of the Formosa 120 GR is its high level of customization. Each car is built to order or built by its owner, allowing buyers to specify various details including engine type, interior finishes, and exterior colors. This bespoke approach ensures that each 120 GR is unique to its owner and no two have ever been made identical.
- Those who prefer a little more power can swap out the original Triumph for something with a little more get up and go can install the engine and transmission of their choice. Many owners also upgrade the chassis’ suspension and brakes to give it a more sporting character.
- The Formosa 120 GR you see in this article is an unfinished build, it comes complete with the fiberglass body, the steel body frame, a Reliant Scimitar chassis, a 3.0 liter Maserati engine, a 5-speed BMW ZF manual gearbox, a set of wire wheels, a radiator, and many other parts needed to complete the build.
Making Your Own Classic Sports Car
Many have dreamed of one day building their own sports car. The engineering challenges involved in this process ensure that it remains an unfulfilled dream for many, but a small number of people actually roll up their sleeves and make it happen.
One of these people, the people who actually made it happen, is Gary Jane. He’s a well-known British hot rodder and the founder of the Sammio Motor Company who made a name for themselves building vintage-style kit cars.
For his new endeavor Jane started a new company called Mid-Century Evocations. He wanted to develop a roadster-style sports car with 1950s-era styling but importantly he didn’t want it to be a copy or a replica of any one specific car.
He enlisted the help of Glan Richards, an ex-pattern maker and laminator who, as luck would have it, had plenty of time on his hands after recently having retired from Sunseeker Super Yachts. Working together over a period of 10 months the two men developed their own design with style influences from the likes of the Jaguar C-Type, the Maserati 450 S Barchetta, and various Aston Martins of the time.
They then built a 1:1 scale fiberglass mould and made the first fiberglass body. Great care had been taken to ensure it would perfectly fit the dimensions of the Triumph Herald or Triumph Vitesse chassis, this meant that it could be fitted to the chassis and keep the same VIN which vastly simplifies the road registration process.
Later “long nose” versions of the body would be developed to fit the more sporting Reliant Scimitar chassis – a car that had come from the factory with a fiberglass body when it was first manufactured.
Above Video: We weren’t able to find much footage of Formosa 120 GRs on YouTube however this short clip does show an example that’s been finished in blue and white.
The company has now been operating for years and there are dozens of completed examples of the Formosa 120 GR on the road – though no two are quite the same given the fact that they’re each either built to the owner’s specifications or by the owner themselves.
The 1972 Formosa 120 GR Shown Here
The car you see here is a stalled Formosa 120 GR build that comes with all the major elements needed to finish it.
As you can see in the images it comes with the Formosa 120 GR body shell made in lightweight fiberglass, it also comes with the necessary metal support perimeter frame, a donor 1972 Reliant Scimitar (with chassis), a 3.0 liter Maserati engine, a 5-speed BMW ZF manual gearbox, a set of wire wheels, a radiator, a selection of instruments, and a Momo steering wheel.
The assembly process would likely be a challenging but rewarding job, made a little easier by the fact that Gary Jane is still hard at work building these cars himself and can supply the new owner with many of the parts they’ll still need to finish it including the seats, dashboard, front bulkhead panels, wire wheels, windscreen, and more.
The Reliant Scimitar chassis that comes with this car is a box-section steel tube design with independent front suspension with a live axle rear and coil springs used at both ends. The 1972 Scimitar was the GTE SE5 model which was capable of 120 mph.
Interestingly the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh gave their daughter Princess Anne a Scimitar GTE SE5 for her 20th birthday.
This Formosa 120 GR project car is now being offered for sale by H&H Classics as part of their Pavilion Gardens auction due to take place on the 29th of November in Derbyshire, England. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here. At the time of writing there is no price guide and it’s being offered with no reserve.
Images courtesy of H&H Classics
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.