1972 Triumph Stag for $3,500

Garbage pile


If you’re a Triumph enthusiast, then do we have a find for you! Under that pile of junk there’s a 1972 Triumph Stag and it sounds like it might be a great buy. The seller claims that the car has been sitting in this Seattle garage since 1989 and that it has only covered 39k miles since new! It is obviously going to need some attention before it can be driven on the street, but the body and BRG paint look great from what can be seen in the photos. An inspection would be a good idea before agreeing on a final price, but the $3,500 asking here on craigslist doesn’t seem too bad at all. The seller is even willing to deliver to a buyer within the area! Sounds like a great way to get into a V8-powered sports car that has seating for four. Thanks goes to Robert R. for the tip!

1972 Triumph Stag

Here it is pulled out of the garage. It’s dirty, but looks complete and in decent shape. As with any barn find, you are going to have to do some investigative work to figure out why it was parked in the first place. It could be an easy fix like a new master cylinder, but you will want to make sure there isn’t a hole in the side of the block or something. As Josh recently proved, a seemingly simple and cheap project can turn into a full blown engine swap. I know Josh feels good about getting his Triumph back on the road, but there were days that he really regretted that purchase. Just be sure to do your research so you know what you are getting into. It might turn out to be a bargain or a it might end up being a real pain in the British butt.


  1. JasonH

    It’s sitting like there’s no engine in it. I bet that’s the block for it in the garage picture.

  2. L.M.K. Member

    I see an engine block under it in the as found photo & it’s sitting high in the front so ‘caveat emptor’ as always. Looks like a nice project either way. I hope someone here gets it & updates the rest of us …..

  3. Frank Opalka

    The only car I ever worked on with the head studs and bolts in 2 different rows, nasty to get off.

  4. ClassicCarFan

    Interesting. I’m a bit of a Triumph fan so these do have appeal for me. They were flawed from the start with engines that over-heated, warped heads and failed (also dodgy timing chain issues) but when they are running properly they are said to be a very pleasant motor to drive. As with many classic cars these days, the experience gained with Stags over the years mean that all the well-known engineering problems have available fixes now so anybody rebuilding one today can make it genuinely reliable. They were a bit more up-market than the other classic Triumphs like the Spitfire, TR7 etc and they are one of the few affordable genuine 4-seater Brit convertibles available.

    The big question with this car would be (assuming that the car still has the original Triumph built 3-liter V8 ) – what state is the engine in currently. Ad says it is “not currently running but complete” but doesn’t give us a lot of information. Looking at the photos the front end is well up in the air so presumably the engine in question is OUT and the block shown in one of the photos is the one from this car?

    If the heads are warped they might be reclaimable by skimming flat again but from what I remember reading about these engines there is very little spare material that can be skimmed so if the warp is too bad the head is scrap. You can find good replacement heads but understandably they are a relatively rare commodity and therefore not cheap.

    So….if this car was off the road back in 1989 due to head warpage and gasket failure problems then getting the engine overhauled and running again might be quite a challenge. Not insurmountable, but quite possibly more than just a regular rebuild. There’s also always the risk that if the current owner dismantled the engine (possibly many years ago) did they really keep track of all the various parts?

    Having said that, once sorted out a Stag with the original engine in place is more valuable than a swapped engine. The color combination is nice and wire wheels look great, though the auto box is less sought after than the alternative manual + overdrive.

    IMO the price doesn’t seem like a real bargain for a half-dismantled project car with some potentially unpleasant engine issues to solve- but I guess if the body/paint, interior and all trim are in decent shape then it might could be a good deal…. ?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Engine block on floor in picture = not a Stag I’d be interested in. Especially at that price.

      • Mark W

        Actually, considering how awful that Triumph engine was, if the engine is pulled that is a selling point!

      • John Palk

        At least the heads are off, took me a week to remove mine.

  5. Pedro the Parrot

    I know…drop a Chevy small block in. Doh!

    Like 1
  6. Horse Radish

    The garage photo shows a V8 block in front and out of the car.

    “currently not running, but complete”
    be translated as:
    “Complete but major (motor) assembly required.
    Just washed it to flip it,
    Found it cheap and selling it for a lot more.
    You invest time and work and I make a profit.
    Got the phone number scrambled, so you cannot google how many Craigslist ads I have currently running….”

    Like 1
  7. TBall

    Heck, for the right money,

    I’d take them both….

  8. yanmarley

    Why is there so much hate on this website for people who (they think are trying to) make a buck off a car sale – even to the point of getting their panties in a wad over mysterious engine blocks and making up stories to fit their fantasies? Reminds me of when people bring their “wiser advisors” along to purchase a vehicle and they can come up with the most ridiculous claims to try to chisel the seller down a few bucks. Hope y’all read the seller’s update where he states that the engine is indeed in the Stag and that the block on the floor is not part of said car. Try to be happy – it looks like a decent body and may just be a good car – remember the old car salesman’s adage – “buyers are liars” and have fun – there are lots worse things in life to fret over than a couple of someone else’s bucks.

    Like 1
  9. JimmyinTEXAS

    @ClassicCarFan, even if the engine is twisted there is a wide variety of swaps that have been accomplished with these little cars. I used to dream about finding one, for cheap, that the motor was really bad in, and swapping in something a little more reliable. There are 289s, 302s, some rover iron and I am sure there are others. With some of the newer engines I think a V6 eco-boost would be a good choice

  10. philip l Millward

    this is now my Stag , engine is in it and running well it needed a new valance battery box and radiator support

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Congratulations, Phillip — post some pictures and keep us informed!

  11. Michael Wah Young

    I have the same stag. Identical, last time it ran was 1982. It was my brother’s. In his garage since 1984. I will do a turbo V6 swap. LOL.

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