Classic Sports Cars; 1971 Triumph Stag
Envisioned as a luxury sports car, the Triumph Stag was designed to
compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz SL class models. All Stags
were four-seater convertible coupés, but for structural rigidity -
and to meet new American rollover standards at the time - the Stag
required a B-pillar "roll bar" hoop connected to the windscreen
frame by a T-bar. A removable hardtop was a popular factory option
for the early Stags, and was later supplied as a standard fitment.
The car started as a styling experiment cut and shaped from a 1963-4 Triumph 2000 pre-production saloon, which had also been styled by Michelotti, and loaned to him by Harry Webster, Director of Engineering at Triumph from the early to late 1960s. Their agreement was that if Webster liked the design, Triumph could use the prototype as the basis of a new Triumph model. Harry Webster, who was a long time friend of Giovanni Michelotti, who he called "Micho", absolutely loved the design and spirited the prototype back to England. The end result, a two door drop head (convertible) had little in common with the styling of its progenitor 2000, but retained the suspension and drive line. Triumph liked the Michelotti design so much that they propagated the styling lines of the Stag into the new T2000/T2500 saloon and estate model lines of the 1970s.