The cars : Triumph Stag by Tickford

Keith Adams tells the story of the Tickford-updated Triumph Stag from 1982. Would you have bought one?

Tickford Triumph Stag (6)

Tickford was asked in 1982 to upgrade a Black 1975 Triumph Stag for a customer, and it is the only one they fully did. He wanted his car to be more luxurious and eye-catching together with faster and more aggressive looking. The engine was suitably modified and a less restrictive stainless exhaust fitted.

The engine was fitted with an additional oil cooler and produced 200bhp with a top speed of over 120mph. Handling was improved by lowering the suspension and uprating the dampers, together with 6in alloys fitted with 225/60 Pirelli P6 tyres.

Tickford Triumph Stag (2)

The wheelarches had to be flared to cover them. Bodystyling was inspired by the Aston Martin Vantage with the grille being blanked out by a plain panel and ducting via a deep scoop spoiler. A power bulge bonnet was fitted and the car painted black with the chrome work finished in semi-matt black to tone in.

A Burr walnut dashboard, Connolly hide and Wilton carpeting completed the interior along with a high-power stereo and electric door mirrors. It is still thought to be owned by its first owner and is rarely seen. A number of others had mainly interior upgrades, with Burr Walnut dashboards and leather seating.

Keith Adams


  1. The interior looks nice. The outside looks as though it has been done by a 17 year old with no taste

    • Great looking car spoiled somewhat. Bit like what Khan does to Defender’s.
      Stag was fab apart from overheating problems which are oddly easy to cure. Why it was never a 4 litre dumfounds me. 3 litre just not enough even by late 70’s / 80’s std. Just shortsighted BL again and union fighting. Oh what could have been. Even for a 3 litre they sounded great but the bark blighted by lame pp performance. Doubt 200 HP lasted long.

  2. Definitely not my cup of tea, especially the exterior. However, it does give some inspiration that the Stag could have still looked fresh if it had still been available in the 1980s, thanks to a few subtle cosmetic updates. Of course this is being hypothetical. Yet it does highlight how timeless the original design was which, like the first generation Range Rover proved, would not have been that out of touch with embracing more recent design trends such as painted, moulded bumpers and colour-coding the secondary trim.

  3. @1
    As most tickfords of this time did, the capri looks no better, the metro.. well almsot like a failed 6r4 conversion.. have a look and tell me no difernt!

  4. The car in black looks decent enough but leaving a little amount of chrome would have been nicer. i.e. would suit the burr walnut dash for that luxury feel. Also, I’ve never cared for black alloys on any car – think they look tarty and cater best for the charver image…

  5. How about standard silver-finish lattice alloys from the 1982 Rover SD1 Vitesse, anyone?

    After all, the same design looked rather fitting on a Jaguar XJS from 1985 onwards, so would have looked just as appealing on the Stag.

  6. The first thing I thought of when I saw the blanked out grill was how much it reminded me of some of the late Tatras.

  7. Great article. The build pictures are from inside our building at 8 Tanners Drive, Milton Keynes.

    I recognise the green curtains covering the car storage area. Where did you get them as I can’t find any in our archive here at Tickford?

  8. I like it, but then I grew up with 80s cars and never got the Stag the first time round.

    Offers a glimpse into a world where Triumph was/is still around, offering modern sports saloons and convertibles.

  9. In 1982 you needed a modified 3 litre V8 to liberate 200bhp. Most 2 litre Turbo diesel 4’s can manage that without breaking sweat today whilst consuming about 2/3rds less fuel.

  10. The sad thing is the original car looked so good, and finished in a relatively uncommon colour too.

  11. Gangsta Stag!

    Actually, I quite like it other than the ridiculous bonnet scoop. Would be even better with some silver Minilite alloys!

  12. I don’t think it looks that bad. It has however lost a lot of it’s “Britishness” and looks more American muscle car

  13. @8 – I never thought about the XJS having Vitesse style wheels – but I guess you’re right! Looked great on both cars, so I suppose they would have looked superb on a Stag. This one though has lost the petiteness that made the Stag so pretty, and just looks like a heavy-handed 80s body-kit special I’m afraid. And as for the interior – my Nan used to sew the leatherette seat covers for Stags (amongst other Triumphs), so nice as the grey leather is, I’ll keep my dream Stag original thanks!

  14. Nice to see the Stag getting a mention! The tinted side windows look naff but the rest of it looks fantastic. The Stag was a badly built car but no worse than anything else of it’s era, it’s T bar made it very strong & it’s V8 made it wonderfull. The budget news suddenly makes a 1973 Stag a very good buy.

  15. Yes, the car still exists, one of the classic car mags (C&S?) ran a 2-3 page spread on it not so long ago. The last of the images here look like they come from that article.

  16. Gross even though it was done profesionaly, original is best and beautiful, it should be made law that such cars cannot be altered or modified.

  17. @13

    Bur then most cars with 2 litre Turbo diesel engines would weigh 2 to 3 times more than a Stag 🙂

  18. Tickford were the epitome of their ilk, and it would be great to see what they would do with a MG6.

  19. Too much black for me. Bumpers should be chrome, wheels alloy IMHO.

    And while I could live with the roll bar, why oh why couldn’t Triumph master the art of the frameless door window. MG managed it with the B. To me a window frame just kills the look of a convertible.

    Rant ends. For the moment!

  20. It’s a shame BL didn’t get Tickford to work on the Stag when it was still in production.

    In upgrading the engine, they probably would have cured the overheating problems for them.

  21. @ 13. yes true you can get 200bhp from a 4 pot now but you don’t get a v8 burble or silky smooth power. if you have a v8 the fuel isn’t a worry. some piss it up a wall every night or smoke it away. I love v8s give me one anyday over a tinny 4 pot with a big bore tryin to sound meety…

  22. As usual with Tickford their body modifications of the eighties were cumbersome and this one of the worse, the colour doesn’t help either. It would look better if it had larger wheel rims and lower profile tyres. I assume the owner has had the cooling system upgraded with a larger core radiator?

  23. How to ruin a good looking car, absolutely terrible. Any Stag will turn heads, this will turn stomachs. Laughable.

  24. I personally thought it was a down grade in outside looks
    I don’t care for the engine personally

    With slight changes to improve what the stag that would have been appropriate
    Whilst updating would mean all colours — this is not really updated
    Fixing inherited problems ie:
    The weird spoke wheels
    The aquarium style windows
    Engine — sporty reliability

    These were problems that needed to be fixed to sell the car into the future that was not done
    Triumph had a good classic on their hands and for one reason or not blew it.

  25. O…kay…. I use to have a trad Stag but sold it. I’ve got a ‘dog’ now and I thought you know trad-Stags are so common ! Wonder what the Stag would look like if it was in current production ? So now I’m inspired ! So work with me here. If you love your Stag, just feed me some comments about what you’d like to see if it was still in production… Obviously front lights would change…become a single unit, LED’s, white lights, rear stop light ? like a Bentley ? all along the arch of the underside of the boot lid ? or under the Triumph real number plate plinths ? Front wings – side vents ? side louvres ? bonnet – louvres or vents aka F-type Jag… ? slim side light repeaters… ? motorbike slim side mirrors like in the yellow Transformer car from the film ? Arches – front ? Rear ? Discs on the back ? Bigger wheels – which alloys ? So many things to consider to make a conceptual design that would be cohesive. What do you think ?

  26. Yetch! Not impressed. And it does look a lot like that Interceptor car (based on a Ford I think) from the first Mad Max film. I always wondered but have never managed to find out who was the father of the skinny girls kid in Thunderdome, at the end. PS never fly a prop plane that close to a sandstorm – if you do you’ll need a handy German.
    I hate to be the one to wash that Stag too, black over black with a side order of black – a recipe for disaster.

  27. Remember arranging insurance for this car in the late 80s to mid 90s , the only was a lovely man who lived in Southport.

  28. Poor Stag….

    They _could_ be modified tastefully; when I was working in Texas in the early-80s one of the guys there had a Stag. He’d bought it new in the UK when he was posted here with the US Military, took it back to the ‘states at the end of his posting [there were tax advantages….]

    Painted an odd light-peppermint green. Front and rear bumpers removed, Wolfrace-style slot-mags… and most importantly – a tweaked Chrysler Slant-six fitted under the hood, along with a mahoosive radiator [remember, it gets hot in Texas!].

    It was his daily-commute car; doing around 170 miles a day and cruising happily at 75MPH.

    He campaigned it in SCCA events too. Yes, some may think dumping the Triumph V8 was a crime but would you want to depend on it to get you to work and home again when you’re doing 40K miles/year in semi-desert conditions?

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