Dream garage #4 – Citroën SM

Citroen-SM_1972_800x600_wallpaper_03

This was Citroën’s first and, to date, only foray into the sport coupe segment. And for something that was an initial effort and rather brief, the SM was a tremendous automotive success.

It’s sales figures may not have been impressive, but it’s gained an enviable cult status matched by few other cars. So what made it so special? Lots of things contribute, but perhaps the most obvious are the looks. That smooth, long bonnet, the swivelling glass-covered headlights, and the tapering rear remind the beholder of Citroën’s own DS. The interior is eye-catchingly gorgeous, and puts to shame a lot of the crappy innards current car manufacturers have the gall to grace their products with. The seats, the dials, the funky little gearstick, all look like they were lovingly crafted by a team of architects, engineers, painters, sculptors and 60’s fashion designers.

Another very important datum to keep in mind was the fact that Citroën owned Maserati at the time, and it’s the italian brand that gives the SM its sporty pedigree. It was powered by a V6 engine, either a 2.7-litre or a 3.0-litre, while the gearbox was available in either manual or automatic depending on the market. Because the SM was only produced for 5 years (1970-1975), and there were only around 12,000 units produced, SMs are rare… and expensive. I saw a shiny black one with a very inviting brown interior on sale near my house for a whopping €17,000.

Their upkeep can be steep from what I’ve read, because of the exclusive Citroen technology. That also seems to have been a factor in its early demise. But perhaps what contributed most to its end was the 1970’s  oil crisis, a recession at the time and new U.S. car regulations that closed the American market off to Citroen.

And so this short stint came to an end, but even so, Citroën had themselves yet another legendary car in their history.

Citroën SM Gallery

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