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Triumph Stag

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    3 Reviews
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      21.06.2010 20:08
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      Find a good one and it will give you pleasure and not be a pain!

      I started to get into classic cars years ago and only last year did I buy an old MK1 Stag for a bit of fun.It was a 1972 model and Tax exempt,had only had 4 owners and low miles just 55,000 but was on its second engine,a new old stock MK2 unit fitted back in 1982.It had alot of history going back to the end of the 70s and loads of MOTs backing up the mileage.Even had club valuation for £10K,not that means alot as that was done in the 90s.It had been extensively restored so bodily had no major signs of rust,quite remarkable for a British 70s classic.
      Paint job was poor,it had microblistered above the primer level so needed stripping and repainting.The removable hard top was in good order but was a two man job to take on and off,a stupid idea really.The soft top was e replacement one and looked as good as new.
      Mechanically it was very good and would be difficult to fault.It was the best version,manual with overdrive,that worked too! It even had power windows that worked,power steering that was a bit light for me but was fine.
      I had it repainted to a reasonable standard and enjoyed it for a few months before selling it on.I decided not to keep it as we were moving house and it was just bad timing,I regret selling it but pleased to say it went to an enthusiast who loves it.
      That V8 rumble,it felt quick too 0-60 in under 9 secs was good going back then.It had very poor economy only 18-20 mpg at best but classic insurance was cheap at £100 and no road tax was a bonus!
      Who says us Brits couldn't make a decent car in the 70s? Most of these are still on the road or being restored so thats got to be good.The myth about the dodgy engines was down to the poor cylinder heads made for the early Mk1 cars,the cooling system has to be kept running at 80%+ efficiency or it cooks itself.The Mk2 cars had redesigned heads with better waterflow,but this was too little too late,the early cars sealed its reputation of poor reliabilty.If you find a good one,good luck! A project car will cost £1000s to put back on the road so buy a decent one with a Triumph engine and save alot of grief,they are out there be patient.They need regular oil changes and an annual coolant flush to keep tip top.
      Driving experience is 5 star,top down,T bar idea very clever and looks so beautiful, an unfairly maligned true British underdog.

      Thanks for reading my review and I hope you found it interesting.If this has been useful to you and you take time to leave Your rating it will be appreciated and hope you will take a look at my other reviews sometime.I also leave reviews on the Ciao website about this and other items,many thanks!

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      04.11.2001 00:21
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      My dad has had his stag for about 3 years now, The stag was a part present from me and my brother for my dad. He finds a great thing top mess about with in his retirement. The stag we got him is in British racing green and is a soft top...but we did get a hard top as well in the deal The car itself is a 2.0 litre monster and its sounds great. He finds it great fun to drive across the country lanes up north. A stag is the sort of car which was designed to turn heads and this car certainly does. If you want to get noticed when cruising down the high street then get one of these. The car is really easy to repair with my brother doing most of the mechanics. However as the car is really old you do miss out on some of todays creature comforts like power steering and electric windows. The best thing though is there is not a cup holder in site!!! BLISS!! Im sure my dad will have his car for a very long time and at only £5,500 it's a bargain.

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        05.03.2001 04:04
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        What is it like to own and run a classic car such as a Stag? Well, if you are mechanically minded and you do your own maintenance, it’s fun, pleasurable and distinctive. If, on the other hand, you are not mechanically minded and pay someone else to do your maintenance, it’s fun, pleasurable, distinctive AND expensive. Simple as that. I like Stags. They’re beautiful. I have never owned a classic, and have never done anything much more complicated to a car than putting oil into its engine, so I definitely need to pay someone else to maintaining a car. And maintaining a Stag is not exactly run-of-the mill – although anyone can work on them, you absolutely should find a specialist. The car is not one of the simplest – there are plenty of classic cars which are easier to maintain. Despite this, I took the plunge, and bought a beautiful 24-year old Stag about 18 months ago. British Racing Green, it is. And did I tell you it is beautiful? Giovanni Michelotti must have been at the peak of his abilities when he designed it. But I digress… It turns out that Stags differ from the common perception in four respects: 1. They are not all that rare. 2. There are many specialists out there. 3. Their engines are not horribly fragile. 4. Most still have Triumph V8 engines. Here’s the detail. 25,939 Stags were built, between 1970 and 1977. Of those, it is estimated that over 8,000 are still on the road in the UK. So it is quite easy to find one if you want. A tatty car fetches around £3,000, a good one £8,000+, and a superb concours specimen up to about £15,000 tops. But, you say, £15,000 tops? I can’t buy anything nearly as nice as a sparkling reconditioned Stag for so little! Exactly. Most cars have been comprehensively restored (though not all; if you must have unrestored originality, that is available too). Restored means – usually – a co
        mplete strip-down and bare metal respray; replacing carpets, a full engine rebuild, replacing or restoring mechanical parts and bits of trim as necessary… basically, if you buy a car which has been restored recently and restored properly (get evidence!), it is pretty much like buying a new car. So, in other words, a newly-restored Stag is pretty much like a new car built to a 1970s design. There are numerous Stag specialists around. A quick trawl through the classic car press, or a contact to either of the two owners’ clubs (Stag Owners Club, Stag Register) may reveal one near you. And of course the owners’ clubs are sources of help an expertise which can be very helpful. I joined the Stag Owners’ Club, and I don’t regret it. Its enthusiastic members are all helpful and welcoming. The club organises a number of meetings, runs and longer outings, and participation in classic car shows if that is your “thing”. If it isn’t, the monthly club magazine is renowned as one of the best, as befits a club which advertises itself as the largest single-model classic car club in the country; it is full of technical advice, tips, stories, announcement, advertisements and so on. Stag engines have a reputation for being fragile – but they aren’t. They were fragile in the distant past, and many owners of these cars back in the 1970s paid dearly for that. But the general view now is that if they have lasted over twenty years (and they have) then they can’t be that fragile any more! The reason is that dealers and owners have learned how to look after them. For example, always use antifreeze; never let it overheat (at all). You don’t have to treat it gently “with kid gloves”, but you do need to service it regularly, and more often than a modern car. And, yes, routine services and some parts can tend to cost a bit more than with a modern car too, as can parts. Parts, by t
        he way, are easily available, with no exceptions worth mentioning. How it works, I don’t know, but you can always find any part of a Stag if you need to, without difficulty. The Stag Owners’ Club has set up a tooling fund company to re-manufacture some parts. Finally, the conversion issue. Many Stags were converted to other engines – mainly Rover and Ford – back in the dark ages. But there are few such conversions surviving now, and they fetch incredibly low prices. I don’t know much about them, so I don’t know what you would let yourself in for if you buy one – but I suspect you would end up with a car which is not as easy to sell as one with the correct engine (one possible exception is enthusiasts who fit a huge 4.2 or 5 litre engine – but that is a bit specialist). I think that the original conversions coincided with the idea that the engines are fragile – then the conversions back to the original Stag V8 developed as people learned to look after them properly. Whatever, what is definitely true is that a Stag engine is a powerful, flexible 3-litre V8 with the most lovely burbling sound in cardom. The engine was built only for Stags; it contained a number of novel features (in the 1970s). Unfortunately, Triumph was starved of cash and resources to develop it by the British Leyland takeover; as a result, it was never used in any other car, and its shortcomings have been sorted out by owners and specialists rather than by the manufacturers. So that’s all the misconceptions put to rest. Living with the Stag: well, first of all, it is beautiful, did I tell you? I use it as my honest, every-day car. It gets me to work (when I drive to work, which can be anything from 17 miles to 70), I use it to go shopping and sometimes on the school run. True, it has taken a little while to get its reliability up, but I’ve got it now. I had problems with a difficult-to-diagnos
        e steering knock, with an intermittent fuel pump problem, and with the carburettors – all sorted now. It is simply lovely to drive, with a distinctively V8 deep rumble. The interior, which looks almost like new (and which smells wonderfully, evocatively, 1970s-new-car-ish – something to do with the plastics they used in those days) is comfortable and very practical. I have had rear sets belts fitted (they aren’t compulsory for a car of this age); one of the drawbacks of the car is that the only satisfactory way to fit them is upside down, with the inertia reel at the bottom; this makes it less easy for the wearer to lean forward than with a normally-fitted belt. Some owners get the upholstery re-done in leather; I am sticking with the original vinyl, which is still in excellent condition and is very practical. This year I plan to replace the original wood veneer dashboard with a more fancy veneer and a wooden steering wheel, something many owners do; and at the same time I’d put in a better stereo, probably placing loudspeakers in the cubby holes either side of the rear seat. If you are new to classic cars, you should know that classic car insurance policies are a must. Normal companies won't give a quote for a classic, or a silly one if they can be bothered. Spend a few minutes with a classic car mag to find a specialist - or go through the owners club. Classic car insurance is actually cheaper than insurance for modern cars, as long as you don't do a high mileage. And if the car is pre-1974 (I think) the road fund tax is free. As you’ll know, the Stag is a convertible. The soft top is fantastic – easy to erect (though not electric of course!), and – on mine at least – totally free of leaks. The rear windscreen is flexible plastic, which is a bit of a shame (glass rear windscreens on convertibles didn’t come in until much later); but it unzips so you can drive with a roof bu
        t no rear screen. Neat. The rear three-quarter blind spot is large, as with many ragtops, as there is no rear quarter window. There is a modification some people have tried which involves un-zippable rear quarter windows (if they are not removable, they suffer unacceptable damage when you put the hood down); I’d think seriously about this if the soft top ever needs replacing. The hardtop is a story in itself. Very solid, made of steel and glass, it needs two men to lift it. Yes, two men, not any two people, because it is really heavy – one reporter described it rather well as “gut-wrenchingly heavy”. It is a real pain to lift off or (even worse) to lift on; but once fitted, it is a model of brilliant design. Lots of glass, terrific visibility, a great line, and even opening rear side windows. And no, absolutely no, leaks, whatever the weather. The handling is fine. It is not as sharp and precise as a modern car, to be sure. All that means is that I don’t drive it in the same way, as say, my Hacker Maroc. Maybe it’s the old fashioned power steering, I don’t know. But the acceleration from the 146bhp engine is good, the car is fun to drive, and comfortable, and I feel reassured and safe in it. So there you are. My personal opinion on owning this classic car. Of course, like any a classic, you have to face the age issue. The manufacturer is not around if you have serious problems, so you have to find someone else to help – not someone to complain to. And a design over a quarter of a century old cannot be as reliable as a 1990’s car; but it is more fun. This is the only car I have ever owned which literally brings a smile to my face every time I open the garage and see it, and every time I hear the engine note when I start it. Oh, and did I tell you – it’s beautiful.

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