The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA has a fabulous selection of pre-war machines from Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, and other wild old coachbuilders. Amongst these cars with unbelievable presence, provenance, and proportion, was a small collection of ’50s-’70s Citröens. Amongst a 2CV France, 2CV panel van, and a Citröen DS, there was this lone Citröen SM.
- Car(s): 1973 Citröen SM Automatique
- Location: Mullin Automotive Museum, Oxnard, CA
- Photog: Chris Rosales (Instagram: @chrishasacamera, Twitter: @chrishasacamera)
- Camera: Sony A7RII + Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L
If you don’t know much about obscure ’70s French spaceships, let me give you a quick primer. The Citröen SM is the sportiest model in the ’60s-’70s Citröen lineup. SM stands for Sport Maserati, denoting its longitudinally mounted Maserati V6 engine. It is reverse mounted, so that the engine is technically mid-ship, and the transaxle goes forward of the front axle. Yes, that means that this slab is FWD.
Most SMs came in five-speed manual with funky exposed shifter boot. The manuals got the 2.7-liter version of the Maserati V6 making around 180-188 horsepower. This particular SM is an Automatique, which is French for “Worse Than A Manual”… sorry, it means automatic gearbox. Automatiques got a three-speed automatic, but the upgraded 3.0-liter Maserati V6 with 190 horsepower.
Like all Citröens of the era, the SM got the fun hydra-pneumatic self-levelling suspension, complete with space balls for hydraulic accumulators. With this suspension, you can adjust height manually, and even change a tire without a jack by full raising the car, placing a stand underneath the jack point, and lowering the car back down. Neat right?
As big as we could get it: