1971 Citroën SM

Highlights

  • Copious mechanical servicing and improvement has been carried out in current ownership
  • A usable example to be driven as is or further improved
  • Reportedly drives well with a functioning hydropneumatic system

The Appeal

Few objects are such valuable indicators of human achievement as cars and, to many, the Citroën SM represents the pinnacle of automotive innovation. With otherworldly styling, unconventional mechanicals and a quite unique driving experience, the SM is amongst the most significant cars of all time and we’re delighted to present this 1971 example.
With a great deal of recent mechanical maintenance, we understand that this Citroën is a healthy specimen that drives well. Cosmetically, there are a few areas that could be improved, but it would make a great candidate for a rolling restoration, or simply a car to enjoy in its characterful patinated state.

The History and Paperwork

  • This Citroen SM was registered in early 1971
  • We’re informed that the maintenance file contains invoices from 1984 to the present day
  • After several changes of owners, it was acquired by a mechanic who thought of renovating it in 1991
  • Subsequently lay dormant in a garage for around 25 years
  • The owner then reached retirement, deciding they no longer wished to keep the car
  • The current owner acquired it in 2017
  • Copious mechanical work has taken place in current ownership
  • On the Carte grise, there is an input error from the Finistère police headquarters recording the VIN as 580836 when it is in fact SB0836
  • The vendor informs us that the FFVE should be able to help correct the exact number if the car remains in France

The Interior

  • We’re informed that the interior is complete and largely original
  • While a few areas would benefit from some attention, it’s currently usable and eminently restorable
  • The leather upholstery exhibits some patina but remains in good overall condition
  • The vendor points out some broken seams on the driver’s seat and we notice a few other areas have some slight damage as well 
  • The clock does not currently work, nor does the radio which is apparently a faithful reproduction of the period radio to fill the space
  • Otherwise, all the switchgear and instrumentation reportedly works well
  • The old carpeting and boot liners have been removed but the vendor assures us that they remain with the car
  • The headlining remains mostly intact with some deterioration towards the rear of the cabin
  • There’s evidence of a few temporary repairs in places, such as some tape on the steering wheel

The Exterior 

  • Attractive blue paint scheme displaying a rich patina
  • Currently the tailgate is finished in a non-matching colour
  • The bodywork appears really straight overall with no big dents immediately apparent
  • The vendor points out six areas where corrosion has perforated the body which include:
    • 15mm hole at the bottom of the driver's windshield upright
    • 90mm x 20mm on the nearside rear wing
    • 30mm x 30mm perforation in front of the nearside rear wheel 
    • 20mm x 10mm perforation in the middle of the side member at the jack attachment point
  • We’re informed that the rocker panels have been replaced with painted galvanised steel items
  • The trim presents well overall with the usual blemishes and signs of age you’d expect to see
  • We understand there is one wheel nut missing
  • The wheels appear in reasonable condition and the vendor comment that the tyres are in good order

The Mechanics 

  • 2.7-litre Maserati V6
  • Manual gearbox
  • Reportedly drives well with ample performance in all gears, with no untoward play in the steering and good brakes
  • All six hydraulic spheres have been replaced along with the high pressure pump, circuit breaker and several high pressure pipes
  • The four suspension cylinders have also been restored 
  • Recent LHM change and the car’s adjustable suspension apparently works exactly as it should
  • We’re informed that the DIRAVI system will need to be refurbished
  • New front brake discs with all pads apparently still in good condition and the front calliper seals having been replaced
  • Functioning parking brake
  • The original sodium filled valves have been replaced with solid items which are more durable
  • The timing chain has reportedly been changed and the vendor informs us that this needs to be completed at 60,000 kilometre intervals
  • The secondary chains have been tightened to the recommended torque settings
  • The vendor adds that the four camshafts have been synchronised thanks to the disengageable sprockets and this apparently needs to be checked every 10,000 kilometres
  • We’re informed that all the servicing is up to date, with all the usual fluid, filter and plug changes having been completed recently
  • New radiator and engine temperature sensors and the vendor has added fan override switch
  • Refurbished starter motor / solenoid and a modern alternator has been installed too
  • The air conditioning compressor has been removed but is apparently supplied along with the original condenser
  • The DIRAVI steering rack has been reported by the vendor as the wheels do not return the wheels back to a straight line. However several craftsmen in France can renovate the DIRAVI for about €1500

Summary

We love the fact that the SM exists – and this example appears to have had all the complicated jobs done.
If you’ve always hankered after one of these remarkable cars, we think this would be a good example to use and improve over time.
Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1971
  • Make Citroen
  • Model SM
  • Colour Vert des Tropiques
  • Mileage 1,523 Miles
  • Engine size 2700
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Bretagne
  • Country France
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
33 Bids
  • da•••• €17,500 27/04/23
  • da•••• €17,250 27/04/23
  • da•••• €17,000 27/04/23
  • da•••• €16,750 27/04/23
  • da•••• €16,500 27/04/23
  • da•••• €16,250 27/04/23
  • da•••• €16,000 27/04/23
  • da•••• €15,750 27/04/23
  • da•••• €15,500 27/04/23
  • da•••• €15,250 27/04/23

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