Parts Car or Project: 1973 Triumph Stag

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I have a tendency to give cars a chance at living that many others have given up on; it’s one of my many admirable qualities. One of the more popular reasons I see for cars and trucks being given up on is due to lack of paperwork, which seems like a poor excuse for dumping a car that may be worth saving. This 1973 Triumph Stag is a bit of a quandary to me, as the seller claims it has rust issues but also no paperwork; therefore, he’s listing it as a parts car here on Facebook Marketplace for $1,500 in Tiverton, Rhode Island. The engine was supposedly rebuilt before going into storage, which makes me wonder if the Stag is a decent project underneath that barn find grime.

The other challenge when assessing project finds like these is whether the seller is someone who deals in the world of project cars on a regular basis. Sometimes, the paper trail issue and/or the presence of rust can appear to be insurmountable obstacles in the eyes of someone who only deals with modern vehicles that have no rust and come with a title in the glove box. Older cars often have a little bit of both issues present, from rust blistering across various areas of the chassis and body and title paperwork that cannot be easily located. But it may be the case that the rust is fixable and you can find ways to register the car without a title, especially in states that don’t require title paperwork once a vehicle hits a certain age.

The fact that the V8 engine was rebuilt prior to this Stag going into long-term storage makes me wonder if this was someone’s restoration project at one time. After all, you don’t typically see vehicles get that level of service and attention if the rest of the car is junk, and British car owners typically have the experience to quickly deduct whether a specimen is worth sinking money into. Given the interior has also been partially removed, it seems like a previous caretaker had big plans for this Stag when time and money allowed, and given the seller knew about the engine rebuild, perhaps they can shed some light on the rest of the car’s history. I was nervously expecting to see copious amounts of rust inside the door, but not so on this side.

I understand for those of you in rigorous title states, the lack of paperwork is a non-starter. But plenty of other enthusiasts reside somewhere that it isn’t a huge roadblock provided you have a bill of sale and an old registration. While this Stag may not even have that much going for it, I’d still ask the question because again, some sellers see no title and assume no one can put the car back on the road. This Stag may be rusty somewhere other than what’s shown in the pictures, but from where I’m sitting, it looks worthy of saving. What do you think this Stag’s future should hold?

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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Probably rebuilt the engine to solve the many cylinder head and block problems that have plagued the cars since they were new. Haven’t seen an engine compartment like that since Hurricane Irma flooded south Florida in 2017. Engine problems, rust, possible salt water flooding. What more could you want. Not worth the effort.

    Like 10
  2. TomP

    I think most readers will pass on this project since there’s not alot of money to be made on a flip. It’s all about $$ in today’s world; the make/model/condition and non-popularity of a car is secondary. If it was a fastback mustang or a Camaro in the same condition for the same price you’d have people jumping all over each other to get at it.

    Like 4
  3. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    Stags do have a strong following, but sorting this one may be prohibitively expensive….only rabid Stag fans need apply on this example.

    Cool car, but sanity must prevail….

    God save the Queen….🇬🇧


    Like 2
  4. Mike

    What parts are left?

    Like 3
  5. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    In Grinch-speak, Stig. Stag. Stink.

    Like 5
  6. JMB#7

    It may not be a money maker, but it has plenty of parts. Price is realistic for asking, and probably negotiable. When it comes to cars like the Stag, I don’t think many buyers are too concerned about “flipping for profit”. Has potential for a hobby (barnyard) restoration.

    Like 3
  7. Big C

    This would be the car if you had a mechanically inclined 12-13 year old. Buy it, tell him, it’s yours and you can drive it, if you can get it going. Ya never know.

    Like 6
    • David

      Exactly this is what I do with my son, he is now 13. I have a “29 Chenard et Walcker that will be his after he restores it. Of course we will do it together in fact.

      Like 5
  8. Gary Thompson

    I like the cars..mostly because of the looks..Have owned a couple – one with a Chevy V8..Now, that was some Stag!

    Like 2

    Why would you do that to that car? Unbelievable. I have a great idea! Let’s buy/acquire this Stag & when we’re bored, we can just go watch it rot! More fun than watching paint dry. Wow

    Like 1
  10. Jay McCarthy

    What century was the engine rebuilt or does British Leyland include new grime as part of the rebuild kit

    Like 2
  11. DA

    At $1500.00, it is junque.

    Like 0
  12. luckless pedestrian

    Just adding the cost of the trailer rental to get it home would put one underwater… This is a parts car at best. Stags are a lesson in “just because something is rare (in the US anyway), doesn’t mean it’s worth a lot”. Owned a Stag for 8 years… interesting car… was fun while I had it… one of the best sounding V8s ever. Got a lot of looks and would draw a small crowd where ever I parked it as few knew what it was.
    My advice to those that want a Stag… find the cleanest, most sorted one you can find… particularly regarding rust and engine issues… they don’t command high prices.

    Like 2

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