The unmistakable Triumph Stag is loved by many enthusiasts. It’s a shining example of a classic British GT sports car born before the days of airbags and satellite navigation.
No stranger to the limelight, the Stag has featured in many TV shows and movies such as the classic James bond, “Diamonds are forever”. It also featured in Channel 4’s recent episode of “For the Love of Cars”, where a full restoration was carried out.
Originally launched in 1970, the car was British Leyland’s answer to the Mercedes SL. It certainly had the looks, styled by Italian designer, Giovanni Michelotti who had previously had a hand in the Spitfire & and the GT6. It also sounded great, with an all new 145bhp 3.0 V8 engine fitted.
On paper the car should have been a success. Unfortunately due a combination of factors, including financial difficulties with British Leyland, industrial unrest and an oil crisis in the Middle East, sales of the Stag suffered. There were just less than 26,000 produced during its 7 year production lifetime.
A lot of owners experienced various engine overheating difficulties, which didn’t help with the cars reputation. Although it was demonstrated on the Channel 4 program that these weren’t due to the engine design but more likely arose from production problems. To eliminate any problems a lot of enthusiasts had the original V8 swapped for other engines, including Rover V8’s, Ford or Triumph V6’s.
Today there are estimated to be around 35% of the Stags originally produced still in existence, which is a testament to the cars appeal and it despite its flaws, it still certainly has a place as one of the best British sports cars made.
22 September 2017
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