Specs, History & Where To Buy Triumph Stags Australia
March 20, 2018
Since its production from 1970-1977, only 25,877 Triumph Stags were sold. When it comes to car production and sales, that number is pretty low which makes this vehicle quite rare. Though most car owners and collectors would want their car to be considered rare because of the prestige that comes with it, things are a little different with the Stag. See, the Stag has been dubbed the Triumph Snag because of the many problems with its engine. A PR nightmare right? Despite this hiccup the model still had faithful fans that have restored and maintained their Stags over the years.
If you're looking to find more information about the Stag, then here's a little history for you.
The birth of the Stag
In 1965, the former Chief Stylist of Vignale Giovanni Michelotti sent a request to Harry Webster, Standard-Triumph’s Director of Engineering and Development. He wanted a Triumph 2000 that he could style and feature in the Turin Motor Show. Webster agreed, but his design did not end up being used for the motor show. What happened instead was the commencement of the development of the Stag.
It was the company’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz SL models and though the design was present in 1966, it needed another two years before it could be launched. However, the launch of the Stag continued to be hampered because of financial constraints and other issues, so the public didn't actually get a look at the Stag until 1970.
The search for the right engine to use in the Stag continued. Triumph 2000 saloon's straight 6-cylinder engine wasn't enough for the new person in charge of its development, Spen King. He was looking for something with more power.
To meet King’s power demands, the Triumph V8 3-litre power unit was built especially for the Stag and finally, the car was launched in 1970. The Triumph Stag had independent suspension, servo-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes, power steering and electric windows. It became known as the MK1.
The technology used in the MK1 was ambitious so it was not surprising when problems surfaced. The car had the tendency to overheat as there was a restriction of the flow of coolant due to the warpage of the aluminum head with poor castings. Another problem was the hardening of its drive gear that caused the water pump to fail. There were also clogged waterways caused by the leftover casting sand used in manufacturing. As more issues were discovered, the sales of the Triumph Stag continuously dropped.
In 1972, the company sought to address a number of the problems. They improved the water cooling system so it wouldn’t overheat and cause engine problems, and they also installed a separate expansion tank releasing at 20psi for the radiator. The air filter box was redesigned so it would draw cold air from the front of the radiator while the hot air would come from the exhaust manifold. Also, sill panels were fitted with chrome moulding.
While most of the MK1’s features were retained, the MK2 showcased a few more changes on the Triumph Stag. It's combustion chamber was reshaped and a dome was placed on top of the pistons. The company made the manual overdrive a standard and the A-type used in the MK1 was replaced with a J-type.
There were also subtle changes in the exterior of the car. The background of the grille and the rear quarter emblems became black and the sill panels and rear number plate panel became matte black. As for the interior, it was redesigned to accommodate headrests for the front row seats and the steering had a smaller diameter. A mohair material with fawn lining was used for its soft top and the side windows were removed.
Releases in the mid to late 70s were called Late MK2 or MK3. The Stag got a seatbelt warning and hazard lights. In 1975, it got tufted carpets and the air conditioning was removed. A push-button reset trip-on speedo was introduced and the handbrake lever grip was modified the following year. In 1977, the car’s last year of production, its auto gearbox was replaced with a Borg Warner 65.
A Bond car
The Triumph Stag made a cameo in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever in 1970. The car was famously commandeered by Bond from a diamond smuggler.
It's second stint was in 1974 in the BBC series New Tricks. It was the car that had trouble a few times, used by Gerry Standing's character.
Decades later, when the car had become a classic, it was featured in Car SOS in 2013 and For the Love of Cars in 2014. Both shows restored 1976 Triumph Stags.
Keeping the Stag alive
In Australia, there are several clubs for fans of the Triumph Stag. Owners of the car and like-minded people gather to socialise, discuss its maintenance, promote the Marque and receive and give help to those thinking of buying one. Joining groups like these ensure you only get an authentic Triumph Stag that’s not stolen.
Some of the most notable groups are, Stag Owners Club Australia, TSOA clubs from South and Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, Triumph Car Club WA, Triumph Car Club ACT, Triumph Car Club Victoria, Standard and Triumph Club NSW and Triumph Owners Tasmania.
Triumph Stags Available in Australia
Private owners that sell these cars have usually replaced the engine, wheels and other parts of the car but they usually mention this in their ad. There are several Triumph Stag models available online and sellers always encourage buyers to take a look at the car personally, before buying.
The price depends on the car’s condition and the year it was made. There are 1974 up to 1977 models available and the price of the Stags are at $8,500 - $24,950.*
Seach Gumtree Now
When choosing a car, you should consider the cost of its restoration. Models on this site were from 1975 up to 1977 and are sold at $5,000 - $30,099.*
Seach Carsales Now
Though many car parts and accessories are available for the Triumph Stag, there aren't many cars listed for sale. There's a 1972 model that needs restoration that costs $8,500 and a 1977 model that claims to be well-maintained that costs $24,950.*
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*At the time this article was written
Fancy owning a Stag?
The Triumph Stag might've received a lot of complaints in its supposed heyday but it’s become somewhat of a treasure. Owning a Stag is an investment that comes with the thrill of driving your own classic, luxury sports car. And the longer you maintain one in your garage, the higher it’s value goes. And when the time is right, you can sell it and get yourself a nice little return on investment.
Money Centre can help you in your decision to invest in classic cars. Give us a call and we’ll explore which option is best for you.