1974 Citroen SM in Idaho

1974-citroen-sm

It may not look like much today, but this Citroen SM was once one of the grandest touring cars of them all. It combined the smooth riding suspension of Citroen’s famous DS with a Maserati V6. Sounds exotic, doesn’t it? Well, it was and unfortunately many found their way into their owner’s backyards because few mechanics were willing to work on them. Heck, the seller of this one is a mechanic and he would rather sell it as-is in lieu of getting it running again. Find it here on craigslist out of Post Falls, Idaho where the seller just dropped the price to $4,000. Thanks goes to Mark M for the tip!

green-globes

Admittedly, it does look a little frightening in there! Just look at all the hoses and then there’s those mysterious green orbs. The Maserati logo on the air clean and the script on valve covers were probably just the last straw before mechanics closed the hood and walked away. It’s a shame too because these cruisers were very smooth riding and the Maserati power was a welcome addition to what was already a cutting edge car. In fact, many of the innovations developed by Citroen have found their way into modern cars today.

sm-rear-fender

The exterior may make it hard to believe, but this old French contraption probably has a lot in common with the car sitting in your garage right now. It has a V6 engine that drives the front wheels, four wheel disk brakes, power steering, rain sensing wipers, and self-leveling suspension. What, your car doesn’t have that last one? Many luxury vehicles actually do utilize a similar system today. They may not have the green orbs and most likely use air instead of oil, but the concept is the same.

citroen-sm-interior

As you can see this car is going to need a lot of help. Not only will you have the challenge of getting it running and suspended again, but you will have to figure out what to do with this interior. Get a load of the brake pedal… er, button? The one spoke steering wheel is something you will only see in France too. This was considered a luxury car so it is trimmed accordingly, but was done in a much different manner than manufacturers did here in the States. The seats look firm instead of resembling big leather pillows. The location of the radio was obviously not priority to designers over there though.

sm-front-fender

It’s going to take a special someone to save this special Citroen. Parts will be hard to find and the restoration will probably cost more to than it will be worth in the end. Few of us are brave enough to take on the challenge, but there is a handful of people out there who actually enjoy pain. No one really knows where the SM model name came from, but I have an idea…

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Comments

  1. Rob K

    We used to have a couple of Citroen CX’s years ago, so I can say with confidence that the mystery green orbs are for the gas suspension system. The lever to the side of the driver’s seat operates the height adjustment, which is something all these citroens were famous for. Once you break down though, they drop to the deck and getting a tow can be very difficult.

    The position of the radio is quite typical of big citroens right into the mid 1980’s.

    A great car, I hope someone saves it, but the seller is obviously wary of it because he is unwilling to fix it up to earn the extra cash that it would surely bring. If you’re collecting this one, bring a low trailer and a winch!

    Like 2
  2. Scott Allison

    The Maserati engine is nice.. just the plumbing is a nightmare!

    Mr. Phelps, should you or any of your IMF team be caught or killed during this mission, the Secretary will disavow any information of your existence.. Good Luck Jim!

    Like 1
    • Al

      The “plumbing” doesn’t amount to much. The long large tube is the air intake, which is long to muffle intake noise. The two hoses at the top connect the oil filter boss with the oil cooler. The next thing that resembles a pipe is a brace for the front cowling (not a hose) to the front frame horn. There is another on the right side. Then a radiator hose and rigid pipe. Then a shift cable (not a hose) with its rubber sheath. Next the return hose from the pressure regulator (“click-clack”) valve that has the main accumulator screwed into it. This is an equivalent to a power steering return hose. The long skinny hose is a bleed for the radiator to the cooling system expansion tank at the left rear of the engine compartment. The hose from the top of the York 2 cylinder A/C compressor connects to the A/C condenser at the lower right (of the car). The next hose-like is the charging lead (a cable, not a hose) from the battery to the “alternator.” The larger cable (not a hose) is the ground “strap” from the front of the gearbox to the battery negative. The next hose connects the A/C condenser to the A/C unit at the right rear of the engine compartment. There is another hose from the top of the A/C compressor to the A/C unit.
      These are all hoses that, except for the two oil cooler hoses, are found on any car. Better hoses can be made up by industrial hose jobbers if the original ends are saved. Just take the rotten original hoses to the jobber and they can make up new hoses. I’ve done it. The FWD mid-engine layout makes the oil cooler hoses longer than similar hoses on front-mount and sidewinder engine installations where an engine oil cooler is provided.
      Practically any part is available for the Citroën SM from specialists like Western Hemispheres, Excelsior Motors and SM World. European Citroën clubs can get most anything that is needed. The Dutch club has many parts newly made by the original equipment suppliers. They have some of the original Citroën tooling from when Citroën sold all the DS-SM tooling for scrap.
      Most periodic maintenance (oil changing, oil filter changing, air filter cleaning) is easy and straightforward. Electronic ignition (I used Lumenition) does away with the fiddly and expensive ignition points. The carburetor adjustments are very rarely needed as the throttle shafts are on ball bearings, eliminating throttle shaft and carburetor throttle shaft bore wear. The Weber 42 DCNF (double body or throat, “N”, only someone who used to work for Weber knows and is dead, F = pattern originally designed for Ferrari – maybe, Weber nomenclature is semi-secret). Carburetor adjustment is tedious but not difficult. IF you have the vacuum gauge that has a large sponge “rubber” base: Synchro-Test MotoMeter 28.01.1000 is the one I somehow still have despite practically all the Citroën parts and tools I had having been stolen. I see them priced from US$15.00 to €150.00.Once properly adjusted, the Webers on the Citroën should run for several tens of thousands of miles without needing to be messed with. Just run non-alcoholic gasoline in it to get all the gasohol out before storing the car for an extended period. For North America steel fuel tanks were fitted in place of the polyethylene ones for the rest of the world. Probably terne-plated, a solder-like lead-tin alloy, which ethanol attacks in combination with the inevitable moisture. Die cast “Zamak” or “Mazak” zinc-aluminum-magnesium alloys commonly used in carburetors are attacked. The Weber floats are brass soldered together. Gasohol is just crap in these old cars. Fill up with non-alcoholic gasoline every chance you get. If you have to use gasohol (E10, E15, E20) be generous with corrosion inhibitor additive such as Sta-Bil. The problem is that ethanol is hygroscopic and absorbs LOTS of water, which then eats Zamak, solder and terne plate, especially if left inoperative for extended periods, when the alcohol and gasoline separate. Corrosion is worst at the alcohol-gasoline line. Ethanol is also nasty to fuel system “rubber” hoses. They should be replaced with flexible hoses that are compatible with both gasoline and alcohol. The big filler hose in the trunk is molded to fit. Just avoid filling the tank clear up into the hose.
      The tachometer on the SM being a 3 cylinder type, installing things like a Buick odd-fire HEI distributor will require further modifications as it is a single circuit distributor with a single coil, the one set in the top of the cap. It will cause the tach to read twice as fast as the real RPM.
      The valve timing was a serious problem on the original factory engines but SM/Merak specialists have made the V6 into a strong, reliable engine that should run reliably for several hundred thousand miles. Once new Renold chains are installed along with the modifications and the cams are properly adjusted the engine should run for 50,000 miles before needing valve adjustment. The upper chains MUST be kept tight according to specification. Every 6,000 miles (10,000 kms) if I recall. Very simple to do (USA cars didn’t have EFI) but critical.
      As a highway cruiser the engine does not need the hollow sodium-cooled exhaust valves. They corrode through or something and the head can fall off, wrecking a piston, cylinder liner and damaging the combustion chamber. Solid stainless valves are the valves of choice. No one today cruises at 120 mph, which is what the SM was designed to do, unless you like jail food and having a towing truck tear your car up. In Germany the Autobahnen are too crowded to spend much time over 80-90 mph, which the SM will do with the greatest of ease. On only 3 cylinders – I know. It was a brandnew rotor that shorted out, too.

      Like 1
  3. Andrew

    Barnfinds.com should do a top 100 barn finds of all time!

  4. mikeH

    SM stands for “Sport Maserati”.

    • pursang

      SM should stand for Sado Masochist here.

      Like 1
  5. Wiley Robinson

    He’s an optimist. Good luck getting 4k for a car few people wanted when it was new and even less want now. I remember when SMs were new and they were always unloved. Given that this one is rough shape (for 4k at least) I bet it will be in his yard for much longer.

  6. Car Guy

    Great body for Bonneville-El Mirage-Mile racing.
    As a resto? Nice parts car…

  7. Barry Thomas

    Jesse, this SM is probably a very scary proposition these days, but you are 100% correct about its position in the car world back in the day. DeGaulle even had a four door convertible SM made for parades. Interesting looking car – a bit “other worldly”.
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

    • Al

      ALL SMs are scary propositions unless you live near Jerry Hathaway, David Hume or a few others. Not me; I’m no expert and all my Citroën parts and tools I had are gone. I just had a lot of SM manuals, parts books, tech bulletins (from Madison Smith Naturally in Nashville) to help me out with my SMs. Oh – if you find an SM that has been sitting for a long time, make sure no valve is stuck. There is only a couple of mm clearance between an open valve and the piston when things are working right. A blob of putty on the top of a piston told me this.

      Like 1
  8. Dolphin Member

    I wouldn’t give $4K even if I was in the market for an SM. I’d let the mechanic-seller get it running & driving like he said, and then take it for a run. If it ran well and things mostly worked I might give him the $4K+$1K for getting it running, or more likely spread $4K or so on the hood for an offer.

    That’s IF I wanted an SM. But seeing that he’s a mechanic and even he left it out in a field for 6 years, I’m guessing that he and I want an SM about the same amount.

    • Al

      If it’s been sitting in a field for 6 years, the floor is suspect. I had one that appeared good and it turned out that the rear suspension arm bearing boxes were rotten. Citroën was never known for rustproofing. Or even painting inside the frame boxes.
      Having NO rustproofing at all is better than the typical dealer-sprayed tar. It cracks and water wicks in between the tar and the sheet metal. If you drive your SM or any car that you give a care about on salted roads, DON’T take it to a commercial car wash. The water is recirculated. They MAY filter out the sand but salt cannot be filtered out as it is dissolved. The car wash will drive salt water into places it would never be kicked by the tires. Use only fresh water like at home with your garden hose.

  9. John T

    It’s not a ’74 either. It is a US model judging by the reflectors and therefore cannot be later than model year ’73. Seller optimistically says two days work to get it running. Maybe if you have a spare engine to install, otherwise two years.

    • Al

      Hmph. Takes 3 days just to R&R the engine. 22 hours in a properly equipped Citroën shop by an experienced man is the flat rate time if I recall.

  10. Andrew Minney

    Nice cars in their day but complex. Like hen’s teeth today.
    A brave man with deep pockets would think twice!!

    Andrew
    England

  11. That Guy

    I own an SM, and I think it’s a wonderful car. But it’s a complex machine. Resurrecting this Idaho car will be a big project and I think in this condition it’s a tough sell.

    I am seeing people ask more and more money for really good SM’s though. Whether they are actually selling at these levels I don’t know. But this car may be a more viable project now than it would have been a few years ago. It’s a 5-speed and probably has the later 3-liter engine, both of which are in its favor.

    If the seller is correct and it’s fundamentally sound, there is some room here to clean it up and make it into a driver without getting too far upside down.

  12. jim s

    i would love to ride in or drive one. after looking at under the hood photos i think i would pass on owning/working on one. great find

  13. Ken Nelson

    The SM is a bit of a dog when originally produced, with a bunch of what I think of as fatal flaws straight from the factory and lousy packaging of components, BUT – having had, fixed, & driven them for 52 yrs and worked inside the auto biz as a supplier for 30 yrs, Detroit still hasn’t come up with a suspension as good as the SM and DS hydropneumatic system, with its automatic load leveling front and rear, with no electronics, good for life shock absorbers integral to the end of the gas springs, built-in jacking, super precise suspension/steering, and a dozen other details never found on a car before. It’s funny how no one seems to understand a feature of the Citroens that’s there even in the Tin Can 2CV. I ask you, is there another car in the world where each and every suspension arm is mounted NOT in CHEAP RUBBER Bushings, but Tapered Rollerbearings? Got that? Hence, zero loss of alignment over the life of the car unless you bend something, center pivot rotation of each front wheel thru the center of its contact patch with the road. This latter feature means that much of the time, there is little or no straight ahead load on the steering tierod balljoints, which translates to very long wear life on the steering linkage. In addition, you can hit a road obstruction – dropped mufflers, whatever – at ungodly speeds and never deflect the steering as there is no offset “spindle” – the Cits don’t use spindles – they steer thru vertically centered massive balljoints built into the front wheel bearings, which are 6 inches in diameter, as the FWD double hooker Ujoints go THRU the center of the bearing. In 52 yrs of driving these cars, I’ve never had a front wheel bearing wear out. They can get noisy if a seal is damaged, but are impossible to fail.
    You have to have looked closely at the quality of design and parts in the Cits to understand why a GM exec I worked with once told me he and another exec imported a ’57 DS19 in 1957, had their crew tear it apart, the bean counters looked at everything there and said, and I quote, “for GM to build this car (in ’57 $$) would cost us $10 grand”. In addition, he said the ’72 SM 5 speed they bought to study never sat still – there was a lineup of guys drooling to drive the car. Check out Jay Leno’s video on the Big Dog garage on his SM – damn good 5 speed floor shift even though it’s 6 feet from the handle, at the very front of the trans on this true mid-engined car. Having towed my 950 lb. dolly behind my ’73 3L 5 speed, with my ’61 Panhard convertible on it to Northfield Mntn Mass once at 85 mph with one plug quitting on me, I tend to like these cars in spite of their many factory screwups. That said, guys on the SM chatline have solved all the problems and made these cars better than ever. As with any car, the designers and engineers never get everything right, but the basics in these cars are amazing, and remember, most of their mystery is just plumbing – if you’ve fixed a sink or put in new plumbing, with only slightly more courage you can fix these cars with hardware store stuff as often the problem is just a leaky Oring or piece of rubber tubing available these days by the yard from McMaster-Carr and any hydraulics shop. And believe it or not, I just got a new set of 2 front gas springs including shocks from Rock Auto for $130 including shipping from the UK, and they’re made by Monroe – how’s that?
    Oh – a correction: GM might have finally come up with a suspension close in capability or maybe even beyond the Cits hydropneumatics, with the Delphi Magnaride, which only took about 20 yrs to develop and only succeeded when they found a way to keep magnetic particles suspended permanently in the shock fluid so the fluid didn’t turn into a tube of oil with a pile of junk in the bottom. And…their system requires a high-powered computer, i.e, a pile of electronics and probably a much more powerful alternator to provide the wattage for the electromagnetic field for each shock. With the pc, they can control the shocks fluid flow near instantaneously to make the fluid flow like water or cement. Nice, but compare the cost of their system with the Citroen one, which has been proven for over 55 yrs now. I’ll stick with the latter-

    • Dolphin Member

      Ken, on whether any other car used roller bearings on suspension arms, yes at least one did that I know of—the Ferrari 330 GTC, and probably other models that I don’t have personal experience with. I remember seeing a page in the old FAF Ferrari parts catalog showing the bearings in an exploded diagram reproduced from the Ferrari parts book, with a caption explaining how these expensive bearings made the handling so precise. And some other makes (e.g., BMW) achieve the same outcome with suspensions that use ball joints or similar bearings that allow no play or deformation.

      Certainly it is satisfying to drive a car like the SM that has roller bearing suspension instead of even ball joints….I understand that.

    • Al

      The first SM was made 45 years ago, 1970. The last, 1975, 40 years ago. Wiring harnesses don’t last forever.
      I saw an SM US model that has the halogen 6-light set. Unless you can make your own front crossmember/lights panel, you need the entire unit that goes all the way across the front end. The cast aluminum headlight buckets for US cars are useless. The original glasses are eggspensive. Acrylic copies are available. The leveling also requires attachments for the front and rear antiroll bars and the flexible (Rilsan?) pipes that go clear to the rear antiroll bar. If the leveling is fixed solid you can set up the turning long range lights with the cranks on the steering relay levers. To my mind the leveling isn’t worth the trouble. I could have supplied the entire front end set without the tubes – engine fire got them – before the burglars hit. The original SM lights worked with glycerin (?) in the tubes. The leveling-turning lights system on the DS used Bowden (bicycle brake type) cables to do the same thing.

  14. Eli

    When I was selling imported cars during my youth, I had one of these gems. I crossed my fingers every time I started it up that the suspension would bring the car up. Changing an alternator was a nightmare. This car is definitely a parts car. If anyone was even thinking of bringing it back to life, the restoration would be their full time job. Not many of these cars around and values are not very strong. It would be best for anyone interested in one to wait and find a real SM that has been taken care of.

    • Al

      What is hard about changing a generator? It’s right out there in front. I slightly modified a Delcotron instead of fixing the very expensive French one. The shaft diameter is the same. The reverse rotation French fan fits just fine, and the V-belt pulley for the Gates Polyflex belt also fit. Just make sure the nut is really tight as the Delcotron’s threads are the usual RH while the French one is LH. The Delco also has its own solid state regulator so the original regulator is removed or bypassed. Make sure the belt tension is set to spec (tension meter special from Gates) as it has to be quite tight. Any slippage and the polyurethane belt will not squeal like a rubber one. It will quietly melt.

  15. DT

    In their day these were super cars,one of the fanciest cars made at the time,and all new advanced technology.these and Mercedes 300 6.3’s were our dream cars.I considerd getting one of these, but I really like German cars more

  16. junkman Member

    What Ken Nelson said , but add mouse poop air freshener.

  17. Horse Radish

    The seller surely meant : HAD brown leather interior.
    Nothing sadder than a dried up leather interior, other than everything mentioned above……..
    …and finding a brown leather door panel to go with the car ?…good luck !

  18. rancho bella

    With the insane spending on Italian cars of late……….I would think the Mas engine would be worth more than the car……………

    • Al

      You are correct.

  19. Chuck Foster Chuck F

    I immediately thought of Burt Reynolds in The Longest Yard:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njxecsSsqY8

  20. Scott Allison

    I agree with jdsport! Especially with French cars. They are so ugly!
    I had a (my wife’s) Peugot 505 Turbo wagon. Stupid thing cost me a min $300.00 every time it went into the shop! Stupid things like a relay that kept going out (they had one left of the shelf, and just gave it to me). It would work fine for a few months, then odd things broke. I spent a couple of hours trying to get the alternator out during a trip to Arizona (It’s located under the engine near the starter – so you had to be under the car on your back to get to it). And of course, it has the belt that is behind all the others!
    Quirky… Nope! PITA! My brother-in-law had the Pugeot dealership in Marin County, CA. He told me of things like broken broom sticks in the cylinders from the factory, and other things done to the cars on the line. I was so glad to get rid of it!

    • jdsport

      Real situation from a Citoen owner
      ; and not the only one that I know of like this.. Thank you.

      • Smitty

        The same stuff happened in the US. Factory workers dropping bolts into Cadillacs is one famous example. Car workers in the 19070s were angry. Mopar went under but were pulled out by Carter (Reagan?) wasn’t it? Back when state/federal vehicles were Ma Mopar and the k-car saved the day.

        US factories pulled through. It stopped a lot of British factories (along with bean counters closing off R&D).

        Check out Ken Nelson’s comment again. The US does great stuff but so does most countries.

        I like American cars and once I settle down back in the States a 63 or 64 slant six Valiant will probably be my daily driver. Right now I’m happy with my NSUs when I’m back. Here in the Middle East I’m thrilled with my 2003 Isuzu Trooper 4wd. Although I’m pretty close to buying the 1982ish black 4 door Caddy that’s for sale down the street. I’d rather have a 60s big block from any American company but those are hard to find and I like air conditioning on 115 degree days.

    • Al

      The French automakers, as with manufacturing industry generally, is going to “lights out” factories: completely or nearly completely robotized, no troublesome human factory workers on site. Maintenance-repair robots maintain the manufacturing robots…and one another!

  21. DT

    The people that I knew that owned Citroen SM’s were obviously a little more financialy stable than you were at the time. These cars had gated 5 speeds,the v6 was not fast compared to a 326,but they were not slouches either.As far as your Pontiac being more comfortable than a citroen,as far as your Pontiac being safer than a Citroen,I Dont think so.Sure your Pontiac could go fast in a straight line,but if the road goes around a corner, as most roads do,you my friend would have been left in the dust.

  22. DT

    Top speed for a Citroen SM at the time was 140mph

  23. PaulG

    This site has never been about bashing others opinions.
    Let’s not start now…
    Play nice

    • JDSport

      My apologies; but it sort of escalated into this. I agree and I will cease.

      • Jesse Staff

        Thanks for complying. I have removed your comments, but hope you will stick around. Please refrain from personal attacks though. There are other sites that welcome that kind of stuff, but we like to keep it clean. Thanks.

      • Smitty

        We’re here because we like cars. If you don’t like a car, then don’t bother opening the link. At the very least don’t bother commenting. Pretty simple concept.

        I don’t troll GM sites talking about how they’re just Fancy Fiats sold by Government Motors. No one was bashing American cars.

        I’ve owned a ton of 1960s American cars (all older than I am — including GM). I also happen to like weird stuff (like Fiats, NSUs and Messerschmidts and even Citroens).

  24. PaulG
  25. William Henshaw

    The simple solution to this wreck is to pay $5000, let the guy get it running, stopping and the suspension working. Hell, throw in another $500 for incentive. As messed up as this SM is, it is still a pile of valuable parts to a restorer. Yes I’m talking about reselling, which is so often met with negativity, but what’s worse a reseller holding onto it or letting it rot in a field in Idaho? Love these French cars for thier style and innovation.

  26. ConservativesDefeated

    Jesse,

    While this is YOUR site and a product of YOUR work, I am sorry to see that you felt the need to remove JD Sport’s comments. Regardless of what they were, I think it is a bad omen for the free exchange of thoughts to have anyones words removed, no matter how stupid, irrelevant, inciteful, you pick the adjective, they may be.

    Their “value” or lack thereof are self evident.

    That said I personally come here to look at the cars and be educated and amused by other’s views. A little pissing match can be amusing but unless it deteriorates into hijacking the thread FWIW and probably nothing to you, I would let it be.

    In any event I thank you for your daily work

    • Jesse Staff

      I understand your concern. I don’t ever want to censor people’s comments, but when they contain profanity and unjustified name calling, I feel it is sometimes justified. I just want to make sure that everyone feels welcome here.

      • ConservativesDefeated

        Understood. Thanks!

      • jdsport

        I want to clarify that I did not use profanity. My opinion was civil…just an opinion, Thank you. I like the site too. Happy New Year. JD Sport

  27. Joe Howell

    Lots of bells and whistles for it’s time but the looks just leave me stone cold.

    • Al

      The USA model had to be equipped with the 4 5-3/4″ sealed beams w/o glass windshields as the non-sealed-beam, leveling headlights, steering inner long range lights and cover glasses were, of course, illegal in the USA. NIH. Even today with styled headlights the bulb bases have seals to make the envelope sort-of-sealed. Separate cover glasses are still illegal even though plastic lenses that dull in just a few years are legal.
      The Citroen D had just gotten cover glasses and steering long range lights for the 1968 model year when the US outlawed them, VW Beetle and Kombi cover classes and the Jag XKE cover glasses – illegal, deleted for ’68-on. So when the SM had all these improvements to the lights they were already illegal in the US. Nicely, though, the non-US cover glasses will fit over the USA headlights.
      USA cars all got the side marker lights/reflectors.
      The SM was designed largely in the wind tunnel. It even had a little spoiler in the center back over the tag. The grille in the hood on the RH side is for the HVAC intake. It is right at the transition from lift to pressure so that the air into the interior vents is entirely controlled by the fan. The air comes in at the same rate at 120 mph as sitting in traffic.
      Unlike other cars the Citroen D and SM do not have front spoilers. The bottom of the car is shaped like the top of an airplane wing. The lowest point is roughly in line with the front wheels, rising toward the rear. As pressure drops with increase in speed, the low point of the underbody forms a venturi that causes the air to move fastest through there, lowering the pressure and countering part of the lift of the nose of the car and the front of the roof. Also the exhausts of the front brakes (inboard, mounted on the transaxle) are just behind the lowest point of the underbody, making a slight vacuum to pull air past the discs. The intakes for the brakes are just ahead of the low point in the high er pressure area.
      Really, the SM design was somewhat overdone for a 125 mph cruiser. As with the D, the SM was designed for a higher top speed than it had power to attain, just opposite of most cars except for the supercars. The SM World 200+ mph speed record car looks almost stock, only a low hood scoop bulge and the parachute changing the outline.
      Coming out of a highway cut into a crosswind, the rear of the car caught the wind more than the front, causing the car to “crab” slightly into the wind. This caused the car to continue on its path without any or very little steering correction. It shared this feature with the D. The ID station wagons would turn a little more into the wind due to their wagon rear body, but not by much.
      Sudden loss of tire pressure at any speed and the D/SM center point steering axis, just like a motorcycle’s, would not veer like most if not all other cars. The car would just tilt slightly toward the corner that lost a tire and continue on straight. The original D with its 5″ wide 155 and 165-400 rims were true center point. As the rims got wider, 5-1/2″ on the later D cars and 6″ on the SM, most of the additional width was toward the outside, so there was a slight offset, but not much.
      The SM’s front suspension, almost identical to that of the D except that the arms curved to the front instead of to the rear, was canted lightly forward so that the front wheels move forward a little as the suspension was compressed. This provided an anti-dive effect that, coupled with the rear brakes’ torque on the swing arm rear suspension, causes the car to squat evenly on sudden braking instead of the front going down and the rear lifting as most cars do.
      Even the design having the narrow transaxle out front improved collision performance, the “pointy” transaxle penetrating the “enemy” vehicle instead of the engine being out front to be pushed back into the cabin.
      And if the collision was so heavy as to push the engine back, the mounts were set on the footwell walls so as to cause the engine to drop down toward under the car instead of being driven straight back into the cabin.

  28. Joe Howell

    Jesse you run a nice clean family safe site. Thanks for keeping it clean and civil. As to removing comments, it is “your” site to do as you please.

  29. DT

    Im a Borgward guy, Im a Toyota guy,and when Im not driving my Toyota,Im in my Chevy. My Chevy with a V8.Im a Chevy guy. I like Gm’s,I have a Buick with a 215 V8. I have a Chevy with a 350,and a Chevy with a Diesel v8.GM v8’s are fast,dependable,fun,fairly eficient,Im not doging GM v8’s at all.But Citroen Sm’s were Slick,fast ,comfortable,futuristic,expensive,Supercars.I dont own a Citroen,never have.Ive owned a number of GM’s.Sorry for any misunderstanding

  30. Mert

    SM actually stands for “Serie Maserati”

  31. Al

    Not sure but I think I may have driven this car. It was in Sandpoint, Idaho in the early 00s. It doesn’t look as if it has been washed since then, and it then looked like it had been sitting in a barn or field for a long time.
    The owner knew very little about the car. I gave him a few pointers about avoiding disasters. There was no chain rattle, so perhaps the previous owner had kept up with the maintenance.

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