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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Still Stag-gering: Triumph's Star-Crossed Flagship Turns 50

Posted July 21, 2020 8:24 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Stag Triumph

The Triumph Stag should have been an unqualified success story. With glamorous Italian styling, a luxurious interior, four-wheel independent suspension, a removable hard top, an overhead-cam V-8 engine and a stirring exhaust note, it was conceived to surpass the Mercedes-Benz SL series. Unfortunately, though brilliant in conception, its execution fell short of expectations. With a half-century of experience behind us, we can now see where Triumph succeeded, why it failed and how a dedicated group of enthusiasts has kept the Stag alive.

The story begins in 1965, when Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti asked his friend Harry Webster, then director of engineering at Standard Triumph, if he could spare a Triumph 2000 chassis for a project he was planning for the Turin Motor Show. Michelotti enjoyed a close relationship with Triumph and Webster, having designed the Spitfire, Herald, Vitesse, Italia (not technically a Triumph, but built by Vignale on a TR3 chassis and running gear), TR4, and 1300 and 2000 sedans. Webster agreed to Michelotti's request, supplying a tired factory support car that had been used during the 1965 Le Mans effort, on the condition that if he liked the finished show car, he would retain the right to buy it for Triumph before it went on display.

Why did Triumph, which maintained a styling department of its own, go to Michelotti for its cars?

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