Triumph Stag Reviews from UK and Ireland

1972 Triumph Stag 3.0

Model year1973
Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 3.0 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired61000 miles
Most recent distance65000 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Beautiful to look at and a lovely noise too

Faults:

Battery died after a prolonged period of non-use; rheostat that controls the instrument display brightness failed; odometer reset failed. All to be fixed next service.

General Comments:

Wonderful package.

Stags were unquestionably the archetypal bad BL car when new - they were shoddily built in every way. Panel fit was poor, paint finish was muddy, and worst of all, the engines were famously unreliable.

This last was what killed the car at the time. Owners and enthusiasts have since established what the problems were. The alloy heads / iron block combination gave rise to electrolytic corrosion in the waterways. The water pump is mounted above the engine, so if you lose even a small amount of water, it stops going through the pump and doesn't circulate. The capacity of even a well-sorted factory-fit cooling system is marginal for a car of this size.

All this can be fixed. You need a 50:50 anti-freeze : water mix all year round, not just in winter. You have to pay attention to the water level not just in the expansion bottle, but also in the radiator itself. The later high-pressure cooling system, and perhaps and auxiliary fan, can then cope with even very hot days.

And then you're sorted.

Stags don't really rust. Well, they do, but in an honest way; aside from the sills, they don't rust in places you can't get at. If you can't see rust on a Stag, then chances are, there isn't any.

The engine noise is just awesome. It's somewhere between a rumble and a rasp which just gets better as the car picks up speed. There may only be 146bhp there, but there's 170 lbs/ft of torque, so the car can really pull.

Handling is so-so. The wheelbase is long, and with rear-wheel drive, the back end tends to want to overtake the front. It is perfectly adequate for posing purposes.

The ride is smooth and comfortable. You can drive 300 miles in a Stag and get out not feeling tired. The only issue perhaps is the noise level - with the roof up, this is a noisy car at speed, between engine, road, and slipstream noise. Be prepared to invest in a good loud stereo.

Technically it has 4 seats, but in reality adults get uncomfortable in the back after about half an hour. It is perhaps a 3-seater, or a 2+2.

Stag owners tend to keep their cars a long time. The reason becomes obvious when you drive one.

I will never sell mine, except as a p/x for a really good Jaguar XK140 DHC.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2007

1973 Triumph Stag V8 convertible 3.0 V8

Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 3.0 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carFord Orion

Summary:

Unreservedly recommended

Faults:

Intermittent starting problem at 95,000 miles. The car would always eventually start, but on one occasion it took an hour. Problem was traced to a faulty solenoid.

Worn steering rack replaced at 105,000 miles, which was expensive, but transformed the handling.

General Comments:

Ignore everything you may have heard about Stag unreliability. It isn't true. A well-maintained Stag is reliable and a joy to drive.

The seats are slightly flat, but you can drive all day without discomfort.

The interior is snug with plenty of leg room in the front, and less so in the back. The back seat is really an occasional seat for adults, though kids will find it OK. If travelling, use it as luggage space. Boot space is generous.

You also get electric windows, power steering, and a steering wheel adjustable for reach and rake.

The V8 makes a noise like half a mile of ripping calico. Acceleration is adequate though not particularly stellar, but the car cruises beautifully and effortlessly at 55 to 60 and makes a fabulous noise doing it. Handling is good with a tendency to oversteer, but the care will twitch if you overdo it in the wet.

Rare and pretty enough to turn heads, but not so rare you can't get the parts support. Fabulous!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2003

18th Nov 2005, 16:33

I would absolutely agree. I have been wanting a Stag since the age of 18, and now 40 (mid life crisis my wife says) I have bought one, enjoy every minute of it. One word of warning for any would be Stag owner, buy a good one.

20th Nov 2012, 23:16

LOL... your story sounds mightily familiar to mine!

www.projectbuck.blogspot.com.au

11th Mar 2013, 03:53

One of my favourite cars of all time. I'm 46, so had my own mid-life-crisis. I've changed career and given the ex-wife her marching orders, so the only thing left to complete this is to buy a convertible.

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 6 reviews