4.3 Vortec Swapped: 1973 Triumph Stag

This is the second V8 swapped Triumph Stag we’ve seen in the past few months, but this example is much cleaner than the last car. The Stag features a 4.3 Vortec V8 swapped in from a late model S10 pickup with just 60,000 miles on it. In addition to the engine swap, the Stag appears to be an extremely honest two-owner example that was bought new in California and is now offered up as part of an estate sale. The seller maintains that this is a turnkey driver with no obvious faults other than a non-original hood scoop that may offend the purists in the family. Find it here on craigslist for $13,000. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find.

The Stag is a slightly outside-of-the-box choice for British car fans who don’t want to do the usual MG or Austin-Healey thing, and even in standard form, it represented a unique grand tourer experience. Of course, the complaints regarding the reliability issues of the Triumph-developed V8 are well-documented, with some automotive pundits going so far as to call it one of the worst engines ever made. The design of the original V8 was essentially a four-cylinder in duplicate, which isn’t exactly a great starting point. From the decision to delete fuel injection, resulting in a drop in power, to the cylinders being bored out so much that cooling capacity was reduced, the Triumph V8 was sort of a hot mess. The interior, at least, reflected the best of the British touring car experience.

The Vortec V8 looks right at home under the hood, and represents a night-and-day difference in terms of drivability and reliability. Having the original engine is certainly what most purists would prefer, but if you simply want to own a Stag without having to worry about the trials and tribulations inherent in keeping a British-built V8 on the road, this is the answer you’re looking for. And since there’s clearly an appetite for these cars based solely on the fact that we’ve written about more than one, it seems likely even the die-hard Triumph fan can emphasize with wanting to make an upgrade like this a reality. For the record, the hood scoop appears to have been very cleanly installed.

As an added bonus, the seller notes that the interior was also re-done at some point, and it still appears to present as-new. It comes with a white hard top and a black soft top. The seller notes that the work that’s been done on this Stag was carried out to a high degree, calling the shop that performed the engine swap a “perfectionist” with all the details accounted for, with a new wiring harness, exhaust, brakes, shocks, and all necessary safety components gone through. When it comes to owning a classic, many of us will likely lament the fact that we’re spoiled by modern cars and can’t quite justify using it every day; this Stag seems to get pretty close to the happy medium of being a daily-friendly driver.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Super clean car and I’m sure the 4.3 V6 pushes it along nicely. I would prefer using a T5 manual transmission over the slush box for a more engaging driving experience. I think this is worth the asking. One thing for sure is this steed is less likely to spill its oil and coolant on your driveway or garage floor.

    Like 12
  2. Malsal

    4.3 out of an S10 is a V6 six cylinder not a V8.

    Like 22
  3. Malsal

    A 4.3 is a V6 not a V8.

    Like 4
  4. geezerglide85

    The add says 4.3 vortec V6 and automatic trans. I think a 5spd. woulda been neater, but I wasn’t builder. nuf sed

    Like 7
  5. Dave

    AFAIK, the 4.3 V6 was way more common than the V8. I’ve driven them in an Astro van and a GMC S15 Jimmy. Both engines were powerful and easy on gas.
    I read the linked article and it proves the adage that there’s no replacement for displacement.

    Like 3
  6. Connecticut Mark

    Is there an eight cylinder in other s-10’s other than like a cyclone?

    • JCA Member

      Idk but the Syclone was a turbo V6

      Like 6
    • Don Eladio

      No, never. 4 and 6 only.

      Like 2
  7. JCA Member

    Missed opportunity using the GM slushbox. And it even looks like it was originally a manual? I don’t think that is the stock auto trans shifter. I think a manual was rare in these cruiser models as it is so converting it to auto would make the crime even worse

    Like 5
  8. John Harmer

    This is a well thought out and finished conversion. The original engine was a Lemon with a capital L. You usually see these advertising as with a broken engine. This one is a capable daily driver.

    Like 4
  9. angliagt angliagt Member

    Located in Coeur d’Alene,Idaho.
    At least they didn’t show the license plate!

    Like 2
    • Don Eladio

      Thank the lord! How horrific would that have been? Imagine the nightmares that would have caused!

      Like 2
  10. Howard A Member

    What? Oh, right, that “British purity” thing. Now hold on, I actually think this is an ideal swap. As mentioned, the original V8 was dubbed “the worst V8 ever”, and rightly so, even though, the Brits thought it a marvel. The combination of cast iron block and aluminum heads was a poor choice, few survived. Now, I’m not a V6 anything fan, but the 4.3, a SBC with 2 cylinders removed, is the best of the bunch, because of it SBC heritage. That doesn’t mean it was a tire scorcher, fact is, it’s anything but, however, in an application like this, I bet it’s a fun, reliable car. Now, about those blinking headlights and shorted wiper motor, THAT’S a given.

    Like 3
    • alphasud Member

      Don’t forget the British also enjoyed warm bitter because they used Lucas refrigerators and they invented the term it broke because “we left the smoke out”. What was even more crazy is rather than marry two Dolomite engines they had the resources to the Buick 215/ Rover V8 as well as the English Hemi from Daimler.

      Like 6
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      We Brits didn’t think it was a marvel, we all thought it was junk from the beginning, and why they didn’t use the Rover/Buick V8 which was a well proven engine is unbelievable

      Like 8
      • Jay McCarthy

        Or the Daimler engine that was also abundantly available and very reliable

    • Brian M Member

      As I recall from my ASE parts specialist days, the 4.3 V6 shared bore and stroke with the 5.7 (350) V8, just two fewer cylinders.

      Like 1
  11. Billy boy

    I’m sorta confused as to the pillar between front seat and back. Without hardtop it would stick up.
    Anybody help me?

    • Brian M Member

      It’s actually a roll bar

  12. Jay McCarthy

    I know GM had a 4.3 V8 but that was defending n the Caprice and the 1/2 ton series pickup and vans, not ever in the S10 though

    • Jay McCarthy

      I have no idea what I just posted… sorry I did not just have a mini stroke

      Like 1
  13. mooseandsquirrel

    One of the few V8 equipped cars when new. Sad to swap in an American V8.

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