- Mileage: 42,118
- Year: 1973
- MOT Expiry: TBC
- Exterior Colour: Scarab Brown Metallic
- Interior Colour: Brown Leather
- Top speed: 142
- 0-60mph: 8.3
- BHP: 178
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- Engine Capacity: 2670cc
- Engine Configuration: Fuel-Injected Maserati V6
The Citroën SM was launched in 1970 as a direct result of the marriage of Citroën and Maserati. This took place in 1968 and in two short years the SM had been created, which was quite a feat in the days before computer aided design or manufacture. The body styling was classic idiosyncratic Citroën, and under the bonnet lay a 2.7-litre V6 that Maserati designed especially for the car. No existing Maserati engine could be used because it would have fallen foul of France’s excessive taxes.
The SM featured numerous technological innovations, many based around its central hydraulic system. These include self-levelling suspension and headlamps, rain-sensitive wipers, fierce in-board brakes, and DIRAVI steering; the latter is a self-centering system with speed-sensitive assistance. With two turns lock-to-lock it is a precise system after a little practice.
When the SM was launched is was not a success. There was an initial problem with the engine chain tensioning system, which could cause spectacular issues. In most cases the problems were exacerbated by over revving the engine when it was cold. Being similarly priced to a Porsche 911 (and a semi-detached house) also didn’t help! Unfortunately, the onset of the Oil Crisis shortly after its launch only speeded the car’s demise, and in 1975 production halted after just 13,290 examples had been produced.
Despite the limited production run SMs were popular with the rich and famous. The late, great Mike Hailwood drove his SM to every European GP when he raced for John Surtees; he thought it the finest Gran Turismo available at that time. Leonid Brezhnev, Johan Cruyff, Bill Wyman, and author Graham Greene were converts, along with Idi Amin who actually owned two.
Continental Edison radio, Cibie fog lamps, Stainless steel exhaust, Leather upholstery, Five-speed manual transmission, MPH speedometer, Self-leveling hydro-pneumatic suspension, Power-assisted and speed-sensitive steering, Dual circuit four-wheel disc brakes, Self-leveling headlamps, Directional headlamps, Rain-sensitive wipers, Electric windows, Oil pressure gauge, Battery voltmeter, Height adjustable front seats, Front head restraints, Front and rear seat belts, Rear armrest, Spare wheel, Spare key, Various spare parts.
The SM’s attractive exterior is finished in the original colour of Brun Scarabée. The paintwork is presentable but as with many older restorations there are some age-related marks and imperfections to be found. Pleasingly all the brightwork is original and, for the most part, remains in excellent condition. The delicate glass headlamp covers are immaculately presented and irreplaceable items such as the rear reflector panel are undamaged. As a precautionary measure the current owner has had the underside professionally undersealed and cavity-waxed.
The cabin is wonderfully ‘70s in its design, with period features like the single-spoke steering wheel and gold inlays really adding to the sense of occasion. The interior of this example has been sympathetically refreshed without appearing overly restored, thus retaining plenty of original charm. The dash, carpets and upholstery present beautifully throughout, and still fitted in the centre console you’ll find an original Continental Edison radio – a rare gem designed specifically for the SM.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
With an intricate mix of both French and Italian engineering, the engine bay of this fuel-injected SM presents remarkably well. The car has always been in general service throughout its life and has been routinely maintained accordingly. Accompanying the SM is one of the most comprehensive history files seen in years.
The Maserati V6 was last rebuilt in the late ‘90s by a known SM specialist in France, and there are stacks of paperwork detailing all the work carried out since. The current owner of 10 years has had the car regularly maintained by Citroën Classics in Staines; the most recent service and inspection were carried out in July 2019 just 86 miles ago.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The SM sits on rare and desirable Michelin RR (Roues Résine) wheels. Originally designed for the SM rally cars they were manufactured from carbon-reinforced resin. Weighing in at just 4.66kg a wheel – compared to the 12kg of the SM’s factory steels – it’s little surprise that the Michelin RR is the holy grail for many SM owners. Sourced by the current owner at great expense they present well with only age-related surface marking to report. The original steel wheels and hubcaps are included with the sale.
This French-supplied SM was first registered in February 1973. The car’s previous owner was Adrian Fertado, a prominent enthusiast and ex-Secretary of the SM Club de France. Adrian owned the car for 25 years, before the current owner purchased it for his collection in 2009.
In 1990 the car was subject to a bare metal re-paint and complete engine rebuild, all fully documented with photographic evidence. We also understand the engine to have been rebuilt again some years later. The expansive History File accompanying the car is one of the largest we have seen, with a stack of invoices dating back to the late ‘80s and a couple of magazine features to boot. Over the last 10 years the SM has been looked after almost exclusively by marque specialists Citroën Classics. The last service was carried out in July 2019 at 42,032 miles. The front brake calipers have also just been rebuilt.
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