I must acknowledge that I am an idiosyncratic person. Is that by choice or is it innate? What do you think of ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care; I am who I am.

Who else would note the anniversary of the first Triumph Stag coming off the assembly line? On this day in 1970 the first Stag was produced. I have always really liked these cars; don’t ask me why. (On a total tangent: 1970 was a great year to be a young Baltimore sports fan as the Orioles won the World Series and the Baltimore Colts won the Super Bowl for the 1970 season. Of course, it’s been 35+ years since the Orioles won the World Series and the Colts play in a different city although the Ravens have won two Super Bowls in their 20+ year existence.)

Back to the Stag…this picture is from Another picture, this one from


If the styling looks Italian, it is; the exterior design was by Giovanni Michelloti. He designed many bodies for Ferrari and Maserati before becoming the de facto head of styling for Triumph although he did so as the boss of his own company. Michelloti would later design the iconic BMW 2002.

The Stag was powered by Triumph’s own newly developed 3-liter/183 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 144 HP/170 LB-FT of torque. From the Wikipedia article about the Stag:

“…[A] key aim of Triumph’s engineering strategy at the time was to create a family of in-line and V engines of different size around a common crankshaft. The various configurations Triumph envisaged would enable the production of four-, six-, and eight-cylinder power plants of capacity between 1.5 and 4 liters, sharing many parts, and hence offering economies of manufacturing scale and of mechanic training. A number of iterations of Triumph’s design went into production, notably a 2.0-litre slant four-cylinder engine used in the later Dolomite and TR7, and a variant manufactured by StanPart that was initially used in the Saab 99. The Stag’s V8 was the first of these engines to be fitted to a production car. Sometimes described as two four-cylinder engines siamesed together, it is more strictly correct to say the later four-cylinder versions were the left half of a Stag engine.”

The Stag quickly developed a bad reputation for reliability, particularly for overheating. In response to the perception or reality that these engines overheated, some owners replaced the Triumph engine with Rover’s 3.5 liter V-8, which itself was really Buick’s small V-8 of the early 1960s that Rover built under license from Buick.

The Stag was a disappointment for Triumph as the reliability concerns kept sales way below expectations. Only about 26,000 were produced from 1970 to 1977. Only 7,000 of those were exported and, most importantly for Triumph, only about 3,000 went to the United States.

The Stag has a large owners’ club in the UK. The club claims that 9,000 Stags remain in the UK; hard DVLA data (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the UK) suggests the number is closer to 7,000. Whatever the number, that’s actually a large percentage of those produced especially given the car’s poor reputation and the number that were exported.

Once again, don’t ask why these cars are appealing to me. I don’t know. It is a virtual certainty that I will never own one and with only 3,000 exported to the US 40-ish years ago I doubt many remain here.

What inexplicable attractions do you have?




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