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Triumph Stag

Triumph Stag Published: 3rd Jan 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Triumph’s Stag looked a worldbeater when launched back in 1970 and, much maligned impressive V8 GT has never been a better buy thanks to continuing development by an army of specialists and fantastic owners’ clubs! Values are rising and expect to see them positively soar during the next couple of years for this ‘British Mercedes SL’.

Driving

Sorted Stags are satisfying sportsters. It’s no sports car like the TR6 mind, but are far more suited to long distance jaunts. While not a taut handler (overnight power steering hardly helping), the Stag is better and more refined than a TR6 plus there’s a raft of improvements that can turn a normal Stag into a bit of an animal. Refinement is pretty good but while the interiors are comfortable and inviting, the touring experience a let down by hard tops giving off too much wind noise when fitted, drowning out the lovely sounding V8 which, in overdrive-guise, cruises at legal limit at only 2900rpm – quite frugally.

Values

‘Snags’ (of which specialists say there’s a good many around still) can start from as little as £3000 but will be a veritable money pit and best avoided – as can a badly bodged Rover V8 convert. Sorted Stags sell between £7000-£9000, while truly nice ones now sell for £15,000 upwards from Stag specialists. Bear in mind that, despite their popularity, this Triumph isn’t cheap to restore at home meaning professionally rebuilt cars can relieve you of £20,000 with ease – but that’s not bad value at all. Once favoured but now not quite so loved, non standard V8 converts are worth up to 25 per cent less but other improvements, such as improved trim, better damping and brakes etc are worth having but don’t pay over the odds for them.

Timeline

1970 Stag is launched in June. Engine had changed from the straight six to a dedicated 3-litre V8 sharing many components of the new slant four

1972 Overdrive sensibly becomes standard on manual transmission cars and the already suspect cooling system is slightly modified.

1973 MkII is introduced with higher compression ratio and twin coach lines. Hard and soft tops standard

1974 Seat belt warning lights and hazard flashers are added to the dash layout

1975 Some nice spoked alloy wheels and tinted glass become standard fitment

1977 Borg Warner 35 auto box is replaced by the Borg Warner 65. Production ends in June after 25,877 cars. Of those, only 6780 were exported

Best models

Standard


There’s little wrong with a stock Stag that’s had the touch of a good specialist as there’s many modern mods to cure the Snag’s’ known ills

Automatic


Although manuals are best to drive, automatics are most popular as it suits car, especially if fourspeed XJ-S ’box is fitted

Converts


Rover V8 was most popular conversion; fine if done well. Other alternatives include TR6 engine. Suspension mods worth having

Top five faults

Rust

Can be rampant; Mk2s are worst as thinner steel was used. Outriggers, jacking points, subframe supports, front and rear valances are common rotters as are slam panels. Also, inspect under the rear seat and the A posts for the dreaded tin worm.

Engine

Remains biggest worry. Look for water loss, fresh gaskets etc. Heads warp (new ones are available now – but at £2000!). The timing chains and their tensioners need changing every 25,000 miles or they’ll stretch and slip with dire consequences.

Transmission

Biggest worry is the quill shaft housing because, if it breaks, serious damage will result. Modern driveshafts can remove famous ‘Triumph twitch’ under power and may be fitted.

Running gear

Check power steering plus ensure the front suspension upper bush/bearing assemblies are not seized. At the rear, check the mounting bushes throughout the suspension.

Conversions

Rover V8 transplants still popular but how good is workmanship? Many suffer ill sorted damper and spring settings to compensate.



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