It's got class. It's got character. It has pizzazz. The SM is a playboy through and through. It exudes confidence with a style that draws a crowd wherever it goes. This Citroen is here for the pursuit of pleasure, plain and simple.
Groundwork on the SM dates back to 1966. Jacques Ne' wanted a sleeker, sportier version of their iconic DS. He wanted a car that would be the the cat's meow. Now I'm not saying the DS isn't the cat's meow...
But compared to the super sled styling of the SM, the DS doesn't hold a candle. Citroen got its paws on Maserati in '68 which gave them unbridled access to Italian engines for this project. This engine powered the SM when it graced the world's presence at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show.
The SM was FWD and that Italian Stallion heart it's got can push the sled to 62 mph in a solid 8.9 seconds. The 5 speed manual plows its way to a max speed of 139 mph. Being king of the hill has its perks. The SM got all of the fancy techy guts of the DS. The ungodly complicated hydro-pneumatic suspension system was awesome. You could adjust the height as you see fit: "Shall I ride in caressing comfort or do I want to tear shit up on the asphalt?"
God help you if you need to do maintenance on the SM. Pretty sure the oil filter is next to the flux capacitor dude.
But my Iphone 5S already has an adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension system. Well does it have automatic leveling iodine headlamps that swiveled with the steering wheel? Does it have rain sensing windshield wipers or variable assist steering with an adjustable tilt function? Does it include lightweight composite wheels? I didn't think so. 1970 Citroen SM: 1, Apple Iphone 5S: 0. Your a worthy adversary Iphone, but the SM vanquishes another wanna-be French car.
The SM was like sex on wheels. Those sleek, promiscuous lines and voluptuous curves were eye catching. Function over form or vice-versa you say? Why not both. The shape gave the SM a drag coefficient of 0.336 which was a quarter less than its pudgy DS cousin. It's like the good Lord wanted us to build the SM...literally. If it's good enough for the Pope, it's good enough for me.
It didn't have the same allure with America though. Probably because of the face transplant to conform with U.S. regulations. Thanks Obama.
With the SM's unreliability, the oil crisis, and Citroen going bankrupt in '74, The SM was awaiting its death sentence to be carried out. After selling 12,920 cars to owners who understood the beauty of the SM, the GT coupe took its last breathe in the summer of 1975. Citroen made a brief statement...."The SM was born from speed and died with speed."
You look at these photos. The car was a bonafide rockstar from birth. It didn't care what you thought of it because it knew it was badass. Sure it's life ended quite abruptly, but living life on the edge from day one as a pricey, technologically-laden, reliability time bomb was just rolling the dice for any car company, let alone Citroen.
"If you don't take the chance to live life, what can you say at the end of it?" -Naveen Andrews
photo credits belong to their respective owners