In 1961 Citroën decided that it wanted to make a run at seizing the crown held by the big, established European car brands by launching a revolutionary top model, as part of what it called ‘Project-S’. This project with the Sci-Fi sounding name did ultimately produce a car that looked like it came from outer space. The design was from the hand of Citroën's designer, Robert Opron, and if this car were launched today it would still be a sensation. The Citroën dealers at the time had great difficulty steering the tremendous public interest in the proper direction. Because Citroën did not have access to a sufficiently powerful engine of its own, in 1963 the company reached out to Maserati in Modena, Italy, where gradually the project began to follow the Italian style of bookkeeping, ultimately requiring the French infusion. Maserati was incorporated in 1968, with the aim of using the V6 engine in the premier SM. Although never officially confirmed, the SM likely stands for ‘Sport Maserati’. That naming missed the mark, however: a BMW 3.0CS or Jaguar E-type was still faster, owing to SM’s 'limited' engine power and relatively high weight. The car was however tremendously well-received and appreciated, owing to its design and Citroën’s traditional technological characteristics, such as the hydro-pneumatic suspension, the speed-sensitive DIRAVI assisted steering system with automatic recoil and high degree of directional stability, and the characteristically rotating headlights. Moreover, the SM had plenty of world-famous admirers, such as, to name a few, Leonid Brezhnev, Jay Leno, Johan Cruyff, Idi Amin and Burt Reynolds. All were big fans, just like you will be. Aficionados know however that the SM does a few technological weaker points, but these having been addresssed, this Citroën offers remarkable driving pleasure.
This car was always serviced by a Citroën dealership that had made the SM its speciality. A long list of itemised invoice entries reveal that the engine was revised, the distribution renewed via a modified version, and the entire spring system revised. Consequently, this beautiful SM drives wonderfully smooth. See the photos of the stunning engine compartment. Delivered with all service invoices.
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