The Triumph Stag was launched in 1970. This article attempts to provide a balanced description of the car, for those new to the concept.
Development of the Triumph Stag started in 1966, with the intention to launch the new model in 1968. It was a short gestation period, even by today's standards. The initial 2-year target was ambitious, and after being hindered by financial constraints it was finally released in 1970. It was very well received by the motoring press of the day.
Technically, the car was very advanced at launch in 1970, including independent suspension all round, servo-assisted disc/drum brakes and power steering and electric windows as standard.
In 1972, the product team received the go-ahead to revise the styling and mechanicals of the car to what is known today as the Mark 2 Stag. The Mk 2 was launched in 1973. Mk 2 models can be differentiated externally by emblems changing from light grey background to black; sills and rear number plate panel being in matt black rather than body colour and the clear side panels in the soft top being removed to avoid creasing and splitting problems.
Internally the instrument dial designs changed along with the removal of the map reading lamp fitted to the glove-box lid and also interior lights moved from ‘B’ post to the centre of the T-bar. The engine had a higher compression ratio along with redesigned domed pistons and combustion chambers.
Unfortunately, in 1973 the car was withdrawn from the US market, amidst the Middle East Oil crisis and a significant number of warranty claims. The US market was critical for the success and longevity of any model in the 70's, and without the US the Stag could never achieve volumes that would make the model viable.
Initial estimates of 12,000 vehicles per annum were never achieved, with the highest being in 1973 with 5,500 sales.
Following some styling changes in 1976, the model ceased production in 1977 with a total sales volume of 25,939.
At the time of writing in 2018, it is believed that there are still 5,224 remaining.
Acknowledgements: Harry Webster and Brian Bayliss; “Triumph Stag”by James Taylor; British Motor Heritage Trust, Gaydon