The Triumph Stag was a monumental occasion for the brand when it was unleashed in 1970, an innovative design with a permanent rollbar as a prominent styling feature of the design. Marketed as the brands first and only V8 roadster, the Michelotti penned design had the likes of Mercedes firmly in its sights. The 3-litre grand-tourer offers a style, versatility, accommodation for 4 people that simply was unique in a market for 120 mph cars.
This 1973 example has seen a fair amount of documented work, with 2.5K worth of spending suggesting that while the presentation is a little loose from certain points of view, the car has seen a recent hood and offers the benefit of being a manual gearbox model with an overdrive of Triumphs most luxurious offering.
The has seen a succession of owners over its lifetime, with it being taken on by the current owner at the beginning of 2021. It left the Solihull plant with a magenta paint finish but has since been repainted red. Past MOT records suggest that the car has covered very little in terms of miles in recent decades, with around 3,000 miles covered over the last 21 years. The owner has a sizeable collection of classic cars and is selling due to work and family constraints. The car is currently in dry storage.
It was subject to a £2,500 renovation in 2002, including an engine rebuild, with new chains, guides and tensioner kit along with a new jackshaft kit. The car has also received suspension work and has been subject to welding.
The hood has been recently been replaced with a very good donor along with a new windscreen seal. The car has also been checked over, serviced and maintained by an ex-Tony Hart mechanic, which in Stag circles is a considerable asset. At the same time the fuel lines and spark plugs were replaced, along with additional attention to the carbs, ignition and timing and diaphragms to ensure it runs as well as possible.
The interior presentation is good, with no issues in terms of damaged components, with just the ageing process and a little wear taking its toll on the final verdict. The hard-wearing seats are all good, with no obvious signs of damage or wear. They retain their shape and firmness. The carpets are good, with signs of wear on the edges where to meets the door sills. The boot carpet is in decent condition and is dry. The door cards are complete, with light wear but remain undamaged with just a little distortion noted at the base. Both of the passenger doors safety lights are also operational. The headlining follows the positive condition of the soft-top and is clean with no major damage.
The dashboard shows no significant signs of damage, just a light patina of age noted on the veneer elements. The top of the dashboard and facia are good with no cracks or sun damage. The dials, switches and controls do show signs of age but are all legible with a little more wear noted on the centre console switches. The passenger window motor doesn’t fully retract - the owner sites an issues with the switch which will be resolved as part of the sale, and the windscreen wipers are currently not functional. The gearstick, handbrake and steering wheel are in line with the age of the car but are not displaying any unsightly damage and present well.
The structural aspect of the car is generally positive, with the engine bay suggesting that it has seen work carried out to maintain its integrity, the floor pan has also seen past work and appears to be mostly solid with some signs of surface rust penetrating into the metal. The lower sections of the sills will need further inspection but the boot floor is good, with the inner footwells and rear subframe appearing to be rigid. The panel work is straight with the occasional minor dent, with evenly fitting panels and no signs of body distortion, although the boot lid does not quite flush.
The doors open and close without resistance, although the passenger door requires some form of adjustment as it sticks occasionally. There are a few typical under-paint blemishes on the car, roundly in-line of what is commonly seen on Stags; the nose area, inner arch lips and bonnet showing signs of rust development. Other areas of rust damage can be seen on the front and rear lower edges of the valances and the inside lip of the boot, where the number plate lights are housed. The hood well, external base of the doors, lips and outer wheel arches are solid with much of the other panel work afflicted with minor blemishes but not enough to distract you from the car overall presentation.
The car shows signs of wearing its original coat of paint at some point in its life, having been originally sold with a magenta finish. The red paint on broader panel areas reveals a decent finish with a well-applied coverage to reveal a good shine. A closer look reveals that the car might want some cosmetic work, with the major focus being on the region beneath the front headlamps, with minor flaws such as chips on the passenger door edge and evidence of hasty hand-painted brush marks seen on both outside sills above the chrome sill plate. Evidence of poor masking can be observed around the rubber of the windscreen.
The canvas hood retracts and raises with no issues and is a good fit. There are no signs of wear, rips or evidence of outdoor elements. The metal side frames of the roof show wear but the rear screen has no damage at all. The chrome trim is complete and generally in good condition, although both sets of bumpers would benefit attention, with the front items showing patches of pitting and the rear item displaying more in terms of age related issues.
The fittings on the top of the B post is a little tatty, but overall the roll bar is good, with its padded material largely intact. The glass is free from damage, with light signs of age but no cracks, chips or laminate issues. The door rubbers are generally positive, with small signs of age in places. The lights are good, with no significant signs of lens or glass damage. The alloys do show light signs of pitting but are free from any kerb damage and could be refurbed without any problems. The matching tyres show a decent level of thread but are over 20 years old.
The car has received a mechanical check-over by a specialist who has ensured that it runs well. As a result, the engine starts up with no hesitancy, with no warning lights on the dashboard. There is a lack of excess exhaust smoke, with no excessive smell of fuel or oil. The engine is happy to be left on running, with no issues with the idling of the unit. No knocks or tapping was evident. The car has been used recently and ran well on a longer run, with the owner reporting that there is no differential whine. He also confirmed that the clutch and gearbox operation was fine, and stated that there are no suggestions of issues from the steering or ride. The brakes bite as well as you might expect for a 50-year-old design, with no issues in terms of noise or juddering. The car has also been fitted with a new battery.
The Triumph Stag has been living in the shade of its potential glory for many years, the premise of a British V8 touring car that offered comfort, space and a distinctive character that can still turn heads. This is why the car is fully deserving of worthwhile attention thanks to a solid knowledge base of advice and specialists to bring this car back to glory. The versatile Stag offers a truly unique experience that few other cars of the era can match.
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