‘Project S’ emerged from Citroën’s requirement to develop a sports variant of the revolutionary DS. As was customary for the quirky French firm, many running concept vehicles were developed with increasingly complex and upmarket features to differentiate the ‘sports’ project from the popular DS. The acquisition of Maserati by Citroën in 1968 was motivated by the possibility of harnessing Maserati’s high-performance engine technology to produce a true Grand Tourer, combining the sophisticated Citroën suspension with the power of a Maserati V6.
The result was the Citroën SM, which was first shown to rapturous appreciation at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1970. It went on sale in France in September of that year in left-hand drive only, although right-hand drive conversions were later offered in the UK and Australia. The SM was Citroën’s flagship vehicle, competing with other high-performance GT’s of the time from manufacturers such as Jaguar, Lotus, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo and Porsche. It was also Citroën’s way of demonstrating just how much power and performance could be accommodated in a front-wheel drive design. As an example of Citroën’s optimism and progressive technology, the SM was untouchable, and similarities drawn by pundits of the day to the design and futurism of aircraft such as Concorde cemented the love affair still borne by car aficionados today.
This 1974 example was delivered new to the UK, finished in beautiful ivory with a tan leather interior and oatmeal carpets; a very stylish combination. Showing a mere 64,000 miles recorded over 44 years, the SM has had just 4 previous keepers, and was owned since 1990 by the expert and SM aficionado David Chaulkin. The SM is nicely specified with a period Blaupunkt radio, stainless steel exhaust system, electric windows and power steering, and a recent addition of the correct Michelin YWX high speed radial tyres on each corner.
SM’s are really starting to be appreciated for what they are and values are increasing rapidly, and we feel this nice example really does merit further inspection.