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Reader Find: 1971 Triumph Stag Survivor


As the resident Triumph lover on staff, I salivated when I saw this car! This early Triumph Stag is a rarity in original condition like this one. It’s located in Fridley, Minnesota and is listed for sale here on craigslist with a price of $9,900. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Greg F. for this find!


Apart from the aftermarket fog/driving lights, this car looks very original. The seller mentions minor rust but I missed it in the pictures, so it can’t be too bad. These have a tendency to rust right in front of the rear wheels along top of the rocker panels (there’s an exposed seam there visible in the first picture) and underneath the front valence on the passenger side where the battery is located.


A lot of folks wonder about the unusual top arrangement of the Stag. The design was born out of a Triumph 2000 Mk. I, and while the original prototype has no roll bar or T-bar, it was deemed not stiff enough. The standard story is that after installing a roll hoop, a broomstick was used to try the T part of the bar and it worked. The convertible top (or hard top if fitted) actually goes over the T-bar hiding it when it’s up. You can see from the wide door opening that Triumph was going after a different market with this car.


A close up of the interior bears that out. This stag has a beautiful dash compared to most others I’ve seen. And yes, that’s real wood, not fake! This is a four speed manual car; better than the automatic in my opinion, but not as good as the four speed + overdrive option.


You know the old saying “…when she was good, she was very very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid?” That describes the 3.0 liter overhead cam V8 in the Stag perfectly. It’s a silky smooth engine when right, but cooling and quality issues have put many Stags on the sidelines. I suspect this 61,000 mile one runs well, but we actually aren’t told anything about it’s condition, just to call the seller. If you’re interesting in a luxury tourer that’s a little unusual, maybe it will be you making that call!


  1. AlanB

    you didn’t give the link … here it is:

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  2. Kent Pearson

    There is a replacement radiator which solves the cooling problem. It’s available in Britain don’t know if it is over here.

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  3. Pfk1106

    Nice car, i think the stag looks like a spitfire with the mumps.

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    • Red'sResto

      I was going to say the same thing. The more I look at the side profile of this one the more I see the outline of a Spitfire, minus the aft roofline. Nice find!

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      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Giovanni Michelotti designed them both :-)

        Like 1
  4. Jeffrey Rust

    Thanks for looking out for us TRiumph fans!

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  5. Howard A Member

    Yeah, I always thought the Stag was a Spitfire on steroids. That motor scared me, but I think these had it all over the Jensen. I’ve always wondered why they weren’t more popular. Sure had everything going for it. Price maybe? With a simple motor (like a GM 4.3 and 5 speed) this would be a cool car. And being a huge “Rifleman” fan, yes, I’ve heard that saying. Micah Torrance( Paul Fix, the marshall) in one episode quit being the marshall, and got drunk singing that song, ” There was a little girl that had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good, she was very, very good, and when she was bad, she was horrid”.

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  6. Pete

    I always get suspicious when little info is put in print, just call for more info. It is easier to tell fibs over the phone than printing them ……

    I would budget for a major engine rebuild and more.

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  7. HeadMaster1

    Bond drove one of these, that’s good enough for me………The 3.0 litre is a great motor for sound and smoothness, but I’d love to see a 5.3 LS in one of these, that would be a blast

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  8. Ryan miller

    Hi everyone. My dad restored this car in the 1980’s. I was a kid, but I remember this car very well. The engine has been rebuilt a few times that I remember, as I remember it overheating a few times. I was 12 or 13 when we sold it to a couple in Minnesota(seeing this story and the location of the car confirmed it(and how many maroon/tan, manual, wire wheel stags are there still in the USA?)) I do remember liking to go for a ride in it with my dad. It looks like I am a few years too late to try and snatch it back up.

    Like 0

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