The Triumph Stag is the other lesser-known Sean Connery Bond car from the movie Diamonds are Forever. It was only on screen for a few seconds which could either be due to the Triumph’s tendency to fall apart (more on that later) or the fact that this sports convertible was going to play havoc with 007 Scottish wigs. Anyway, let’s not split up for now and instead From that we focus on the insidious but very handsome Triumph Stag.
Designed by the skillful hand of Giovanni Michelotti, the Triumph Stag was based on the 2000 platform but about six inches from the center. Reinforcement was provided by large sills, additional rails on the floor and a clear Targa-style tee bar located above the driver and front passenger. It’ll also provide extra protection for occupants in the event of a rollover – never a good idea in a 1970s car, but you should at least have more sporting opportunity in this one.
Ambitiously, the Stag was intended to be a more luxurious car than the smaller Triumph sports cars that existed before it. Given the success Mercedes had with the SL, this seemed like a good idea. America was one of the Triumph’s biggest markets, and because of their love of V8s, the new car had to have one of the six initially intended models for which the car was developed. This, unfortunately, will return to haunt the stag.
Instead of the Rover V8 that was preoccupied with the excellent service in the Range Rover and many of the Rover saloons, the Triumph Stag had its own V8 made of two Saab inclined four-cylinder engines linked together. Power was a modest 145 horsepower, but a decent torque figure of 170 lb-ft meant it was an easy cruiser. In addition, there was the inevitable exhaust explosion that undoubtedly sounded amazing while flying down a country lane. To warm up, of course.
Now, there are plenty of reasons these cars had a reputation for unreliability, not the least of which was the industrial upheaval that was happening almost daily in British Leyland in the 1970s. There were some engineering flaws as well, which often resulted from a last-minute decision to fit a different engine. The placement of the water pump as well as the use of dissimilar minerals in the engine that inevitably leads to wear and “silt” in the cooling system did not help. However, over time, most of these issues were fixed by the diligence of the ardent owners.
This 1974 example has a larger coolant, for example, to help with the silt problem, and as long as you change the coolant on a regular basis with anti-freeze wear, you should be fine. With the advancements of modern technology, you can have a great waterless alternative that addresses the problem. Then all you have to focus on is the possibility of an extended timing chain…
But since most owners will only use their cars on peak days and holidays, you’re not likely to lose sleep on them. And when you’re driving a Stag, you’ll appreciate the smoothness of its drivetrain. All controls are light and easy to use, and this is reflected in the gearbox that favors slow, slow shifts as you make your way down the road listening to the plush V8. Even the ride is flexible thanks to the long travel and excellent damping that handles a lumpy Tarmac easily without becoming afloat. There’s even a power steering to make the Stag as easy to drive as possible.
Our speckle is likely a Mk.III due to the stainless steel sills (although they were restored in the not too distant past, so could have been added later) and the engine was rebuilt 6000 miles ago. The wood seems to be in good condition and the tires are relatively new around the recently refurbished alloy wheels. All this means this live example is ready to go for £16,750 – not bad when a number of stags fetch over £20,000 these days.
Specifications – Victory stage
engine: 2,997cc, eight-cylinder, N/A
Connecting: 4 speed manual with overdrive, rear wheel drive
power (hp): 145 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 170 @ 3500 rpm
mpg: heavy mustache
CO2: old smoker
First registration: 1974
Registered miles: 81,000 miles
new price: £1,995 17 seconds 5 days
welcome: 16750 GBP