Outstanding Example of a Fascinating Car. Award-Winning Example Maintained by SM World.
1972 Citroen SMs/n AC7200SB9355Delta Blue with Brown Leather InteriorThe Citroen SM is a truly fascinating car that epitomizes Citroen’s long tradition of innovation and disregard for convention. Their previous track record included the Traction Avant, one of the world’s first front wheel drive cars, the 2CV, whose main competition was the donkey cart, and the DS, a stunning family car that was aerodynamic, beautiful, futuristic, and offered the first mass produced application of disc brakes as well as a magic carpet smooth ride thanks to its adjustable height oleopneumatic suspension.The SM was introduced as Citroen’s flagship in 1970. The company had purchased Maserati in 1968, an important piece of Citroen’s plan to build a high performance GT that was related to the DS. Citroen asked Maserati to develop a six cylinder engine, which would be used both in this car and a new small Maserati to compete with Ferrari’s Dino, the Merak. The 90 degree V6 featured quad cams and prototypically Italian noises, and was coupled either to a 5-speed manual or an automatic transmission. The car was extraordinarily aerodynamic, with a Kamm tail, sloping roofline, and attentive streamlining, which gave the car a coefficient of drag of just .26. The front track was wider than the rear track, giving the car a tapered plan form, and the car featured disc brakes all round, which were inboard at the front to reduce unsprung weight. The height adjustable oleopneumatic suspension was similar to that of the DS and offered an exceptional ride. The list of innovations goes on and on, with the first introduction of variable assist power steering, automatically adjusted hydraulic brake bias based on the weight distribution of the car, and many others.The car was and remains a true revelation. Indeed, Road & Track declared it one of the 10 Best Cars in the World in 1971, and it was awarded the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 1972, a shocking achievement because even today, the award is typically bestowed on an American car. Indeed, the 1985 Volkswagen GTI was the only other non-American car to win the award until 2003. The SM was good for a genuine 140mph, making it the fastest front wheel drive car in the world at the time, and Popular Science also noted that it had the shortest stopping distance of any car they had ever tested.This particular example was originally purchased by a doctor in Woodland (West Sacramento), California and has always been in California. It was serviced for the first 25 years of its life by John’s Automotive, a shop specializing in Citroen SMs. He kept the car until approximately 1996, before selling it to its second owner, who stored the car for three years in Sacramento before selling it to its next keeper, also in Northern California. He sent the car to Jerry Hathaway’s famous SM World, a shop that specializes in the Citroen SM and has a well-deserved reputation for expertise in these unique cars. A comprehensive freshening of the car was undertaken at significant expense, including upgraded Reynolds EL chains and tensioners, rebuilt distributor, new headliner, new windshield, repaint, new carpeting, new trunk carpet set, polished cam covers, special polished stainless steel rocker beauty panels that Jerry had custom fabricated, rebuilt clock, upgraded r12 rotary AC compressor with cutout switch mounted on the center console, upgraded brass window winder gears, European rear license plate light trim piece, European headlight covers, and much other work. There is no record of an engine rebuild with the car, although the previous owner reports having had the engine rebuilt. The car was shown at a variety West Coast Citroen events and won several awards.In February of 2014, the car was comprehensively serviced at SM World at a cost of $5109.07, which included the following: service distributor, new spark plug and coil to condenser wires, set dwell, timing, and advance, rebuild carburetors, change LHM hydraulic fluid, check AC system for leaks (none found) and recharge, replace brake accumulator, check and adjust front suspension, R&R cam covers and inspect chains, tappets, and cam lock nuts (all OK), and new rear deck lid seal, among other work. Additionally, SM World rebuilt the steering rack in 2010 and the engine was rebuilt by the car’s previous owner. Additionally, the leather was recently replaced at massive expense using leather sourced from Bolzano, Italy which is of the correct type for the SM and extremely difficult to source. Cosmetically, the car is a very nice driver level example with a solid and straight body. It was repainted in 2002 and was done to nice driver standards, with a few surface imperfections and some chips which have been touched up. There is a crack in the finish on the right rear fender at the trailing edge where it meets the bumper. The chrome and brightwork (almost all of which is stainless steel) are in good shape with some surface scratches but no major issues. The glass and lights are in great shape and the car has been fitted with the European type glass headlight covers, which significantly enhance the aesthetics of the car. The wheels were also restored in 2002 and are in very nice condition.The interior is wonderfully weird throughout and makes an extremely strong impression with beautifully and correctly redone leather seats, front and rear. The carpets were also replaced recently and are excellent. The headliner was done some years ago and remains as new, while the balance of the interior appears to be excellent original, including the door panels, dashboard, and switches. The dashboard is superb and free of cracks, and is punctuated by a variety of strange features, from the oval gauges to the stylized column stalks to the ribbon type auxiliary instruments perched atop the center console. The single spoke oval steering wheel is another striking feature, and the shift gate is equally peculiar, being objectively beautiful while also appearing to have been pilfered from Barbarella’s accessory drawer. There is futuristic stainless trim on the length of the center console, which is incidentally where the original SM radio is situated, between the seats. The remaining areas, including the door panels, instruments, controls, and trim are in well-preserved original condition.The engine is an extremely impressive sight, with the immediate impression that the engine is very far away. The hood is long and the engine placed well behind the front axle line, right against the firewall. The bell housing and gearbox sit in front of the engine, and a curious shaft runs the hydraulic pump and air conditioner compressor, both of which are well away from the motor. The hydraulic pump feeds a diabolical looking network of tanks, hydraulic accumulators, and plumbing, all of which have been recently serviced and are in proper working condition. The valve covers were polished during the restoration, but the engine’s appearance is otherwise consistent with that of a well-maintained unrestored car. A high volume cone air filter was added to replace the bulky air cleaner housing and the engine is otherwise stock in appearance, down to the correct green finish on the hydraulic components, LHM warning placards, and even the bracket to hold a spare carton of LHM green hydraulic fluid. The trunk is also in excellent condition. The carpet and cargo cover are in great shape, and the original cover for the spare is in place, as is the jack.The car operates exactly as designed, which is novel, engaging, and downright fascinating. The engine starts easily, makes plenty of power, is well-tuned, and sounds great. The transmission shifts extremely well, with great syncromesh and a smooth action. The suspension adjusts swiftly to all heights ranging from “on the deck” to “Paris-Dakar”. The brakes are extremely effective, and the speedometer has labels around the perimeter that indicate that number of feet required to stop from a given speed. The steering is extremely responsive with exactly two turns lock to lock and the suspension offers a magically smooth ride that handles all variety of road imperfections in a way that is impressive today and must have been mind blowing forty years ago. The overall experience is quite sporting and engaging, and is sure to entertain and intrigue its new owner.It’s extraordinarily difficult to convey exactly how unique this car is. The car is technically unique on paper, and is equally remarkable, if not more remarkable, to behold in person. There is an endless supply of interesting and unusual details, making it the ideal prescription for the jaded car enthusiast seeking a genuinely different experience. The sensitivity of the brakes and steering are unnerving at first, but the car is ultimately a pleasure to drive, with an intriguing blend of coherent, sporting, and comfortable. This particular car is exceptionally well-resolved thanks to its careful maintenance by some of the best in the business. It is a wonderfully solid and original example that is sure to entertain and befuddle its new keeper and indeed anyone who sees it, for years to come. It is complete with spare, jack, reprinted owner’s manual, as well as warranty and maintenance guide.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608