1970 Triumph Stag

When it was introduced, the 1970 Triumph Stag was the car to beat; a powerful, spirited convertible that was the talk of the town, so to speak. It’s only real competition was the Mercedes-Benz SL models. It was a two-door convertible that could be converted into a sexy and fun to drive coupe with the addition of a removable hard top. Those were the good points. What Triumph, and the motoring world did not see coming were terrible reliability issue that came out of nowhere and crippled not only the individual cars, but also the company’s name and reputation. Those were not as easily fixed, and for the Stag, it was a death knell.

1970 Triumph Stag
1970 Triumph Stag

The major problem with the Triumph Stag was not so much the generally shoddy build quality, but rather the problems that existed with the engine; to make a long story short, it tended to overheat and blow its gaskets. This led to further damage to the crank and timing chains. The engine was a 3-liter, V8 that developed 145 horsepower. When it wasn’t breaking down or overheating, the engine could push the car to a top speed of 116 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in just over 9 seconds. Neither figure is particularly impressive.

1970 Triumph Stag (side, red)
1970 Triumph Stag (side, red)

Of course, these engine problems were quickly fixed (it still took a couple of years), but the damage was done, and the Stag died a slow death until 1977. The 1970 Triumph Stag was a good looking car that could have been something, but was hampered by incomplete development and a rush to market.

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