1972 Citroën SM

Photos provided by the vendor
*** Engine photos added ***

Highlights

  • Desirable carburetors model
  • Owned since new by one family of entrepreneurs from central Italy
  • Recent mechanical service with all spheres replaced and belts changed
  • Well preserved and very original

The Appeal

The brilliant thing about Citroën of old, is you gain the impression that they cared far more about advancing the development of the motor car than they ever cared about making money.
The SM has to be Citroën’s ultimate passion project. Some say they bought Maserati just to use their V6 engine and the end product was a car so bristling in innovation that it defies belief. 
The antithesis of conventional, the SM broke all the rules and showed the world what a car could be, bankrupting Citroën in the process.
We’re delighted to offer this very original 1972 example which the vendor informs us has been cherished by the same Italian family since new. Following a recent rejuvenation which included a respray and comprehensive mechanical service, we’re informed that this wonderful Citroën is ready to be enjoyed.

The History and Paperwork

  • We’re informed that this car has been owned by the same family all its life
  • Retains its original instructional material and Turin dealer sticker on the rear bumper
  • Various registration documents present
  • The vendor reports that the car was recently serviced although its prior service history is unknown

The Interior

  • Exceedingly original with a rich patina
  • Unashamedly unconventional controls
  • Very usable in its current state of preservation
The SM’s otherworldly nature is not confined to the outside. It’s almost as if the interior appointments are lifted straight from a ‘50s sci-fi spacecraft, which we find immensely endearing.
As you step aboard, the gold coloured dashboard fascia greets you with an array of oval Jaeger instruments, all of which look to be in very good condition. We particularly enjoy the prominent red warning light labelled ‘STOP’, commanding you to bring the vehicle to an immediate halt in the event of anything untoward. Despite a life in the Italian sunshine, the top of the dashboard looks to be free from UV damage which is great to see. 
The centre console is similarly charming and aesthetically pleasing. The vendor points out the highly desirable original radio which we understand to be in good working order, along with all the other switchgear besides the electric windows, which do not currently work.
We’re informed that the black leather upholstery is original and it has certainly accrued a rich patina with the passage of time. Apart from some creasing and light cracking, we couldn’t discern any damage beyond what we’d classify as wear commensurate with age. Overall, the upholstery presents really well and we’re glad that it has been preserved rather than replaced.
The carpeting is showing some signs of age and is quite discoloured in places. There’s every possibility that it is original to the car, and being 51 years old now, it’s survived incredibly well.
One of the strangest features of hydropneumatic Citroëns is the pedal layout and you’ll note that where you’d normally find a brake pedal, a peculiar rubber device known as the ‘mushroom’ sits flush to the footwell. There is little in the way of wear to the controls and nothing you wouldn’t expect to see with a car of this vintage.

The Exterior 

  • Elegant styling courtesy of Robert Opron
  • Recently repainted in white
  • Straight bodywork and sound underpinnings
Robert Opron’s teardrop styling not only made the SM beautiful, it also made it incredibly slippery with a drag coefficient of just 0.26Cd. It effortlessly combines crisp edges with voluptuous curves and is a real lesson in elegant design. With a narrower track at the rear, the back wheels tuck into the tapering body line and the car culminates at an abrupt Kamm tail.
This example has apparently been repainted recently and this looks to have been completed to a high standard. The bodywork appears really sound with no obvious signs of corrosion. A glance at the floor pans when the car is in its highest height setting suggests the monocoque to be in really sound order and vendor comments that it is free from rust.
All of the trim and glassware present well for their age, with no obvious signs of accident damage or deterioration. The wheels bear a few marks but remain very serviceable. 
Overall, this is a smart example that’s not been over-restored.

The Mechanics 

  • 2.7 litre Maserati V6
  • Five-speed manual gearbox
  • Variable power assisted steering
  • Self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension and braking system
  • Recent fluid service with all spheres replaced and belts changed
It would take all day to list the SM’s innovations but at the heart of most of them lies the hydropneumatic system, running off a peculiar green fluid called LHM. It’s responsible for the adjustable self levelling suspension, self-balancing brakes and Diravi self-centring steering.
All of the hydraulic spheres have apparently been changed  and the vendor informs us that the hydropneumatic system on this car is in full working order with no issues to report. 
As if the SM wasn’t special enough already, it is of course powered by a Maserati V6 which drives the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. The vendor tells us that the engine was recently serviced with new belts, plug leads and exhaust tail pipes. 
We’re informed that the car drives immensely well, rides beautifully, changes gear smoothly and comes to a stop in a timely fashion.

Summary

There’s so much to love and admire about the Citroën SM. This is a delightfully original example and therefore a fabulous collector’s item that we’re sure will provide endless entertainment.

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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 1972
  • Make Citroen
  • Model SM
  • Colour White
  • Mileage 60,500 Kilometres
  • Engine size 2700
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Controguerra
  • Country Italy
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
38 Bids
  • ri•••• €38,500 10/03/23
  • uk•••• €38,250 10/03/23
  • ri•••• €38,000 10/03/23
  • uk•••• €37,750 10/03/23
  • ri•••• €37,500 10/03/23
  • uk•••• €37,250 10/03/23
  • ri•••• €37,000 10/03/23
  • er•••• €36,750 10/03/23
  • ri•••• €36,500 10/03/23
  • er•••• €36,250 10/03/23

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