Wednesday, October 1, 2014
1974 Citroen SM
It may not look like much today, but this Citroen SM was once one of the grandest touring cars of them all. It combined the smooth riding suspension of Citroen’s famous DS with a Maserati V6. Sounds exotic, doesn’t it? Well, it was and unfortunately many found their way into their owner’s backyards because few mechanics were willing to work on them. Heck, the seller of this one is a mechanic and he would rather sell it as-is in lieu of getting it running again. Find it here on craigslist out of Post Falls, Idaho where the seller just dropped the price to $4,000. Thanks goes to Mark M for the tip!
Admittedly, it does look a little frightening in there! Just look at all the hoses and then there’s those mysterious green orbs. The Maserati logo on the air clean and the script on valve covers were probably just the last straw before mechanics closed the hood and walked away. It’s a shame too because these cruisers were very smooth riding and the Maserati power was a welcome addition to what was already a cutting edge car. In fact, many of the innovations developed by Citroen have found their way into modern cars today.
The exterior may make it hard to believe, but this old French contraption probably has a lot in common with the car sitting in your garage right now. It has a V6 engine that drives the front wheels, four wheel disk brakes, power steering, rain sensing wipers, and self-leveling suspension. What, your car doesn’t have that last one? Many luxury vehicles actually do utilize a similar system today. They may not have the green orbs and most likely use air instead of oil, but the concept is the same.
As you can see this car is going to need a lot of help. Not only will you have the challenge of getting it running and suspended again, but you will have to figure out what to do with this interior. Get a load of the brake pedal… er, button? The one spoke steering wheel is something you will only see in France too. This was considered a luxury car so it is trimmed accordingly, but was done in a much different manner than manufacturers did here in the States. The seats look firm instead of resembling big leather pillows. The location of the radio was obviously not priority to designers over there though.
It’s going to take a special someone to save this special Citroen. Parts will be hard to find and the restoration will probably cost more to than it will be worth in the end. Few of us are brave enough to take on the challenge, but there is a handful of people out there who actually enjoy pain. No one really knows where the SM model name came from, but I have an idea…