Envisioned as a luxury grand tourer, the Triumph Stag was designed to fill an apparent gap in the market occupied mainly by the Mercedes-Benz SL class models. All Stags were four-seater convertibles, but for structural rigidity the Stag required a B-pillar "roll bar" hoop connected to the windscreen frame by a T-bar.
The car started as a Michelotti styling experiment for the 1966 Geneva Auto Show. Giovanni Michelotti had previously styled the 2000 saloon for Triumph and he asked Harry Webster, Director of Engineering at Triumph, for a car to use as a donor for his show project. The donor car sent to Turin was a 1964 saloon which had been used internally at Canley and after its final duties as a support car for the 1965 Le Mans Spitfire team, was driven to Italy and left for Michelotti to cut and shape. The agreement was that if Webster liked the design, Triumph could use the car as the basis of a new Triumph model. Harry Webster, who was a long time friend of Giovanni Michelotti, absolutely loved the design when he saw it, as were the Triumph directors, and in Summer 1966 the car was collected from Turin and driven back to Coventry.
The car that arrived at Canley, a two-door drop head, had little in common with the styling of its progenitor 2000, but it retained the suspension and drive line. The design was taken forward to production by the Engineering Department at Triumph and it was they who added the T-bar arrangement to cure the scuttle shake of the original open car. Although the first prototype cars produced by the factory for testing were originally powered by the straight six engine from the saloon/TR range, it was always intended that the ‘already on paper’ V8 should be used for the car when it had been suitably developed. As it was, all production Stags were fitted with the 2997cc Triumph V8 engine, the only model of production car which used this engine.
An interesting aside is that Triumph liked the eventual result of the front and rear ends of the new car so much that, when it came to revamp the 2000 range in 1969, they used the styling lines of the Stag. Ironically, due to the hold up in the launch of the Stag, the ‘Mk II’ Triumph 2000/2500s were released 8 months before the Stag, making it look as if the Stag design copied that of the saloons, when in fact it was the other way round.
Stag was eventually launched to the UK public on 9th June 1970 as a convertible with a manually stowable soft top, with a detachable hard top or with both soft top and hard top.
Through this part of our site you can find out information of the history about the car as well as the key people who influenced the look and sound of this beautiful car.