The birth of the Triumph Stag came almost by chance after stylist Giovanni Michelotti, already responsible for the Triumph Herald, 200 saloon and TR4 models, borrowed a tired 2000 for the basis of a new show car in 1965; the only proviso was that Triumph would have the first option on the design if it approved. When the company saw the result, a striking two door, four seat convertible, it snapped it up before it went public.
The previous year Triumph had evolved a new engine range comprising two related units: a slant four cylinder in capacities from 1.5 to 2.0 liters and a 2.5-liter V8, the former subsequently used in the Dolomite, TR7 and Saab 99. The V8, however, then in fuel injected form, could not be fully developed in time for the Stag’s proposed 1968 launch, while new US emission regulations and tooling problems caused further delays.
By the time the Stag was launched in June 1970 the wheelbase had been shortened for a more sporting flavor and a windscreen-braced roll-bar installed, while the V8’s capacity had increased to 2,997 cc with twin Stromberg carburetors replacing the fuel injection. Producing 145 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 170 lb.ft at 3,500 rpm, the Stag was capable of 116 mph and 0-60 mph in 9.7 seconds. The Stag’s image was that of a gentleman’s grand tourer; indeed, Triumph itself saw the Stag as a British rival to Mercedes-Benz’s 250/280SLs.
The Mk II version appeared in February 1973, distinguished by black painted sills and tail panel, twin coachlines and the deletion of the soft top’s rear quarter windows. Improvements included a now-standard-fitment hardtop, a sealed cooling system and higher compression ratio; outputs remained similar at 146 bhp at 5,700 rpm and 167 lb.ft at 3,500 rpm. Overdrive and automatic transmission continued as options, joined by alloy rather than wire wheels. Production ended in June 1977.
First registered on 4 April 1975, this totally original Mark II comes with a substantial collection of invoices and bills together with a hand written service history form the second owner.
Finished in Carmine Red with Saddle Tan interior, this Stag is a five-owner car, three of which were from the same family.