The Stag looked like a potential world beater when it first appeared in 1970. Triumph had high hopes that it was going to mark a real change in the company’s fortune, but expectations of its success were set to be cruelly dashed. Here was a stylish four seater V8 convertible that could drastically undercut the foreign opposition. With a hard top to convert it into a cosy Coupe the only Grand Tourer that got anywhere near the stag’s versatility was the Mercedes SL, at twice the price. Available with manual or automatic transmission it sounded wonderful and went very well, with a top speed of 120 mph. Launched to excellent reviews it quickly acquired a reputation for poor reliability in the field. Under, developed, the over head cam 3 liter engine had a tendency to overheat and blow its head gaskets, damage its crank eventually its timing chains if neglected. These problems led to its withdrawal from the all important American market and from that point on its fate was sealed.
It struggled on, in mildly improved MK II from, until 1977, never receiving the Rover V8 conversion it had been out for right from the very beginning. The transplant was left to outside specialists, although the original V8 has long since been made reliable. It is not surprising that today good Stages are much sought after as their sheer driving pleasure remains a solid attraction.