Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 144

1973 Citroën SM

  • Chassis no. 00SC2891

Sold for $36,000

180 bhp, 162.9 cu. in. DOHC V-6 engine with fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, hydro-pneumatic suspension with front parallel control arms, rear trailing arms, and front and rear anti-roll bars, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 116.1 in.

  • Original European-specification, fuel-injected model
  • Turning headlights and other correct original features
  • Incredibly fast and comfortable

The most advanced automobile of its era, the Citroën SM combined the French automaker’s legendary technology with the fine performance of a Maserati V-6. The V-6 was mounted in the front of the car, but far back in the chassis, predicting the “front-mid-engined” layout used on the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren three decades later and resulting in superb handling. Citroën’s own famous pneumatic suspension, which could be adjusted to suit the road surface, and brakes ensured a cloud-like ride and stupendous stopping power. The SM’s bodywork was so aerodynamic that rain simply slipped off the windshield at speed.

Not to mention that, with a top speed of 140 mph, this was, at the time, the fastest front-wheel-drive automobile ever built. British comedian Paul Daniels, pulled over for speeding in his SM, attempted to amuse the arresting officer by moving the suspension lever back and forth, causing the car to move up and down, and saying, “It’s out of breath and panting.”

Automotive journalists, racing drivers, and celebrities alike adored the SM; buyers included such diverse personalities as Bonanza actor Lorne Greene, the Shah of Iran, both Cheech and Chong, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, two members of the Rolling Stones, and Carlos Santana. Between 1970 and 1972, 12,920 were made, of which only 2,400 were originally delivered to the United States.

The car offered here, prior to its current ownership, was maintained in Italy. Finished in Pearl Grey with its original black interior, it is equipped with the desirable five-speed manual gearbox, and as a European-specification model has the desirable and iconic headlamps that turn with the front wheels to “see” around corners.

With the SM rapidly gaining in popularity worldwide, and as its status as the ultimate highway cruiser of its era becomes well-known, this car offers the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an incredible modern classic.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more