TRIUMPH STAG REVIEW

V8 power, four seats and Michelotti styling – the noble Stag has it all. We explain how to buy this handsome Brit bruiser

Unlike its Spitfire baby brother, the Stag is more GT cruiser than back road barnstormer, something that’s reflected in the multi-adjustable driving position; even the steering column can be tweaked for rake and reach. Press-on enthusiasts prefer the rarer manual/OD cars, but we reckon the auto suits the car’s relaxed demeanour rather better.

Triumph 2000 owners will feel right at home behind the wheel, since much of the cockpit furniture is very similar, but this is by no means a criticism – quite the reverse, in fact.

The 3.0-litre V8 majors on low-down torque, making it ideal for covering long distances, and it makes at least as wonderful a noise as the Rover V8 that was so often transplanted into Stags during the 1980s. It’s a bit heavier than the Rover unit, but the car leans more toward lazy oversteer when provoked than miles of dreary understeer.

VITAL STATISTICS

Engine                                    2997cc/V8/OHC

Power (bhp@rpm)                  145bhp@5500rpm

Torque (lb ft@rpm)                 170lb ft@3500rpm

Top speed                                112mph

0-60mph                                  11.85sec

Consumption                            21.5mpg 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

BODYWORK & CHASSIS
 

Rust is an obvious concern – it’s a product of BL circa. 1970s, after all. Take all the usual suspects – wheelarches, inner/outer sills, floorpan – as a given for examination, but there are other, more specific areas to consider. Areas of the panel ahead of the bonnet, for instance, are in the direct firing line of thrown-up stones. The unusual swage lines above the outer headlights have vertical faces than can be tricky to repair, since they’re not easy to align with the adjacent wing and bonnet. Cheap pattern parts are to be avoided here. It’s a similar story with the panel beneath the grille/headlights, although localised repairs are easier here. Also check the front and rear top wing seams – filler is common here.

Staying on the shiny side of the car, the rear panel around the tail-lights is vulnerable to rot, likewise the lower rear valance. The leading edge of the bootlid can trap moisture beneath the chrome trim strip and rot from within, too. Bodged repairs in the A-pillar can ultimately cause those big doors to sag slightly on their hinges, so check for proper alignment within the door frame.

Moving underneath the car, the main suspect to examine up front is the vulnerable front crossmember (which is sited directly beneath the radiator – and whose lower support is also prone to rust), but it’s crucial to ensure the chassis rails and outriggers are all sound. The rear floorpan warrants particular attention, as do the subframe mountings.

ENGINE

Much has been said about the Stag’s 3.0-litre V8 engine – most of it not terribly complimentary – and while it deserved pretty much every criticism it received in period, usually for overheating, most have been sorted by now. Key to reliability is use of a coolant containing a corrosion inhibitor – failure to do so causes the alloy cylinder heads to corrode and warp and the waterways to become clogged with silt. Radiators and associated plumbing should ideally be routinely replaced every 10-12 years.

RUNNING GEAR

The V8 demands regular (every 30,000 miles) replacement of the single-roller timing chains if it is to reach 150,000 miles between rebuilds. Death rattles from this area should set alarm bells ringing, since chipped teeth or – worse – complete breakage will cause a catastrophic valves/pistons impact. Check the hydraulic timing chain tensioners, too – they rely on engine oil for lubrication, so low oil level/pressure is bad news. Wear in the shaft bearing that drives the water pump, distributor and oil pump is one likely cause of low pressure.

Transmission options are four-speed manual/OD or Borg-Warner Type 35 three-speed auto. The manual’s synchromesh will eventually wear, most likely on second and third gear, while layshaft wear is evidenced by a noisy bearing sound that disappears when you dip the clutch. Worn driveshaft universal joints will cause automatic upshifts to lurch rather than slur, although too high an idle speed can have a similar result. The diff’ is strong, but will start to whine with age. Steering and brakes are largely tough and dependable, though the former can spring leaks over time.

Trim is largely durable, and cossetted cars should be fine. In any case, much of it is still available, so a tatty interior shouldn’t be a deal-breaker on an otherwise good car. Look out for a cracked glovebox surround (where the passenger seat rests when tipped forward) or dashtop (UV damage) and baggy seats (collapsed inner foam and rubber).

OUR VERDICT

Find a sorted Stag, and you’ll be in possession of a soulful, family-friendly GT car that still turns heads – as much for its burbling V8 sound as its beautiful Italianate lines. Its impressive survival rate – allied to slowly rising values – goes to show its enduring popularity. Factor in exceptional parts backup and one of the biggest, friendliest owners clubs in the country, and the Stag’s case is complete.

CLUBS

Classic car clubs have a wealth of information about buying, maintaining and spares availabilty for their cars. Relevant clubs for this car are as follows:

Triumph Stag Register

View website

Recent triumph stags Added

Dscn6720Sponsored Ad
1975
£24,995
MK2
  • 108,650
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1100060
1975 TRIUMPH STAG MK2 - MANUAL WITH OVERDRIVE - ONLY 2 OWNERS FROM NEW!
5
0208 226 3052
View details
P3220001Sponsored Ad
£11,500
  • 41,100
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: DIY1092547
Resprayed in white. 4 previous owners. Fully restored Stags with this mileage are advertised for ...
27
07949387550
View details
Img 1373Sponsored Ad
1973
£21,950
3.0 Auto
  • 124,474
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: DIY1088462
Fully restored over the last three years. Original, matching numbers car with history back to the...
37
07881234483
View details
Img vnp001Sponsored Ad
1972
£14,500
  • 33,400
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: DIY1099587
Wonderfully clean example. Subject to a recent restoration. Lots of work done, ready for a new ow...
8
01442819360
View details
Img 9086Sponsored Ad
£POA
  • 30,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1097059
This Stag Coming Soon. Triumph Stag Mk11 Manual One Owner. Here we have a stunning original one...
1
01564 718 630
View details
Blue stagSponsored Ad
£23,995
Show Winning!!!
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1090757
Triumph Stag Mk11 Manual in blue. Here we have a stunning rebuilt Stag from the last owner, come...
6
01564 718 630
View details
46678 1Sponsored Ad
1973
£Auction
  • 36,400
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1099182
![CDATA[Launched in 1970, the Triumph Stag was a luxury grand tourer. Envisioned as a luxury spor...
5
01753 437 779
View details
46522 1Sponsored Ad
1972
£Auction
  • 19,200
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1099133
![CDATA[Like the Triumph 2000 it was developed from, the Triumph Stag was styled by Italian maest...
5
01753 437 779
View details
Triumph stag no1Sponsored Ad
1975
£15,995
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1099109
1975 TRIUMPH STAG
3
0117 901 2459
View details
Img 1442Sponsored Ad
1974
£11,500
  • 78,600
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: DIY1081673
Comes with newer engine (36000 miles) than shown on milometer. Professionally restored, converted...
48
07973418754
View details
See all triumph stags for sale