The Anti-SL – 1972 Triumph Stag

Who doesn’t like a small-displacement V8? Manufacturers with lofty reputations like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and BMW have sold small V8s. And, who doesn’t like Italian bodies? Manufacturers across the board have sold cars with Italian-styled bodies, from the pedestrian VW Golf/Rabbit to the exotic Iso, Maserati, and more. So a V8-powered sporting cabriolet with Italian styling couldn’t go wrong, could it? Well, ordinarily yes, but mix in labor unrest and British Leyland cost cutting and everything starts to go pear-shaped. Timing chains break, engines overheat, safety regulations result in a big, hideous rollbar from the factory, and the expected power doesn’t materialize. Nonetheless, the Triumph Stag is still alluring to a certain twisted percentage of the populace. You can find this 1972 Triumph Stag for sale in Bremerton, WA for a mere $3500.

1972 Triumph Stag for sale left front

The car is said to be a project in which the seller has lost interest. He acquired it 10 years ago and last ran the engine in 2008. Apparently, the chrome is in the trunk, which raises the question of when the photos were taken, since the car looks complete. Sure, red is an obvious color for a sports car, but doesn’t it look great? Although the ground is wet, which calls the quality of the paintwork into question, it appears glossy, even in areas from which water would quickly dissipate.

1972 Triumph Stag for sale right rear

This is the best shot in the listing – the car looks crouched forward and ready to leap. The mesh wheels, ordinarily too modern-looking for a car of this style, work perfectly to make it look aggressive. Unfortunately, this is an automatic transmission version, but with the next Stag in the Seattle area (with a manual, no less) for a robust $14,000, you can’t afford to be too choosy. Anyhow, this car with its 145hp is no backroads athlete, but instead a cruiser for comfortable long-distance travel. A well-known Stag expert has been able to get 160-170hp out of the engine – definitely worth investigating.

1972 Triumph Stag for sale interior

The interior looks like it doesn’t need more than a thorough cleaning. If you’re picky, you’ll notice the dash top is cracked, and the radio is missing. There may also be some wiring shenanigans going on, but it’s hard to say for sure – perhaps it’s related to the missing radio. A new top is also said to be stowed in the trunk – if the seller is saying he *believes* it’s in the trunk, does that mean he’s lost the key and can’t open it?

1972 Triumph Stag for sale engine

Make sure the coolant is clean, the radiator’s temperature even, and there is no rattle of the timing chains on startup or at idle. The seller says the car has its original Rover engine, even though it plainly says Triumph on the valve covers. The car does not currently run, so you’ll want to at least make sure it turns over. The seller also concedes the title has a cloud – what does that mean? He expects it to make registration harder and says the “price goes up dramatically” if he clears the title. The real value here, though, is that if things don’t work out for you and the Stag, you can probably do well selling it back to England since it’s right hand drive. How could you lose?

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