Maserati Engine: 19K-Mile 1973 Citroen SM

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“Trust the SM. You’d be surprised what a machine can do when it knows you believe in it. Easy on the steering wheel. Handle it gently. Don’t overwhelm the SM. It will do what you want it to. The Citroën Maserati is happiest, will do its best for you when it’s trusted.” How’s that for an opening paragraph from a 1973 Citroën SM brochure?! This car is listed here on eBay in Eugene, Oregon and the current bid price is $8,000 but the reserve isn’t met.

Other than that small crease in the right quarter panel area, I don’t really see any flaws on the exterior of this car, other than faded paint. I’m not sure if it could be saved and would ever have a shine again, but oddly enough, I like the way it looks now. The seller says this one has had two owners before them and it has just 19,612 miles.

If you want unique, this is it. I’ve owned a few cars in my life that I thought were unique, but they were the equivalent of a tan Camry parked in a van vinyl-sided garage compared to this car. The Citroën SM was made from 1970 to 1975 and it won the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year award in the U.S. in 1972. After Citroën purchased Maserati in 1968, they were hot to produce a car with Maserati power and a Citroën suspension. This is it.

Ok, this one has a Borg Warner three-speed automatic with a console shifter, and that’s a bit of a drawback for enthusiasts, but this was more of a grand touring car than a sports car or muscle car so that would be fine with most buyers. The interior is gorgeous, basically almost perfect – although the power switches don’t work. The seats look almost flawless from what I can see, both front and rear, and the rear hatchback area looks great, but that spare tire sure takes up a lot of room. The seller says that the original exhaust system has corroded badly, and there will be other work to do, but mechanically it’s said to be rock-solid.

The engine is a “Maserati-Citroën” 3.0-liter DOHC V6, which would have had 190 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque for North America. That isn’t much power today and with a 0-60 time of 10.5 seconds for the automatic version (the five-speed SM was two seconds faster to 60 mph), almost any minivan would smoke this SM to 60 MPH today, but it isn’t about that, is it? No, it’s about owning an incredibly iconic and unique car. We don’t know the seller’s reserve, but Hagerty is at $20,400 for a #4 fair-condition car. Have any of you owned or driven a Citroën SM?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. alphasudMember

    I wish I was in the position to purchase this car. Those interiors are so expensive to put right and this one presents nicely. Really is a golden or should I say mint opportunity to purchase a doable SM project car. As far as the 5-speed conversion this would probably be one I would enjoy as is. If it isn’t broken why fix it.

    Like 18
  2. Anthony

    Made enough power for Burt Reynolds to outrun the cops in “The longest yard”

    Like 5
    • JLHudson

      Top speed of 135 mph

      Like 5
  3. Melton Mooney

    Driven a Citroen? I think I can probably count on one or two fingers the number of Citroens I’ve ever seen move under its own power.

    Like 6
    • Carlos Bonifacio

      Now imagine owning one similar to the SM for 17 years. I had a 2003 Citroen C5 3.0L V6 Auto Exclusive, and it could do 237 k.p.h. with only three mods, the exhaust headers came from the more powerful, similarly powered Peugeot 406, and was decatted with a South African made Dastek Unichip (piggy backed into the original) ECU fitted.

      It would manage a magnificent 37.6 m.p.g. (imperial) on long trips obeying the speed limits and 28 m.p.g. in town. While not quite an SM, It was a better car than the SM.

      It was let down by the German ZF auto box fitted, the 4HP20. When it failed after 17 years of use, my wife made me sell it. To many cars, she said. I now regret selling it.

      Like 5
    • NormLR

      Was thinking the same 19K? Must be towtruck miles….

      Like 0
  4. Ken

    “When it comes to engineering, the French copy no one…and no one copies the French.”

    –Tom Magliozzi (Car Talk)

    Like 19
  5. Peter K

    WE had 2 when I lived in France. One was an XM and the other was a C3. Both were a delight to drive. Owning another one is on my bucket list.

    Like 8
  6. Robert Pellow

    Drove a 72 DS for about eight years. Reliable and a pleasure to drive. Loved its quirky turning headlights and non-cancelling turn signal switches. Its bright red non-Citroen colour made it a real head turner.

    Like 5
  7. TheOldRanger

    This style has always left me cold, and it just looks like a weird vehicle to me. But, hey, I’m a cranky old man some mornings… so what the hey.

    Like 5
  8. DesotoAZGuy

    Owned a ’73 automatic back in the mid 80’s.$3000. 5-spds were going for twice as much! sold it for $5500 after 2 years of fun and hydo-pnuematic suspension repairs

    Like 6
  9. freakinutz

    Having driven Renaults and Peugeots, I firmly believe the French made the most comfortable seats for any car. The interior of this car looks very inviting. This is a nice vehicle. Glad someone mentioned The Longest Yard! Beat me to it.

    Like 7
  10. matt grant

    in 1974 I owned an SM, same color as this. I was 20. I have owned a dozen mercedes, etc, roughly 50 cars. nothing I have owned came close to this car in sheer driving joy, where in traffic or at 100 on the highway. remarkable car. sadly, the automatic transmission is a no go for me. but the interior of this car looks like that of a 20,000 mile car.

    Like 6
  11. Big C

    The seats had to be comfortable in these Citroen’s. The tow trucks didn’t go too fast.

    Like 2
  12. Kevin

    Being an automatic is not a problem for me in this car. Being a Borg warner 3 speed is, that trans just sucks the life out of a car. If you could but even a gm turbo 400 it would be much better and if you could adapt the 5L40 in you would be golden

    Like 3
  13. CenturyTurboCoupe

    I don’t know anything about these and I plan to keep it this way…HIDEOUS!

    Like 3
  14. TouringFordor

    In the last eBay photo, it turned into a Jaguar! Is it like a Transformer?

    Like 0
  15. Tony P

    If I’m going to get a Citroën, it’s going to be the ones with the rear turn signals in the roof. I remember the autostrada as a kid visiting Italy and Citroëns would blow by us in the left lane with their in-roof left turn signals flashing. So cool

    Like 4
  16. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    It’s at $11,100 with three days left and the reserve still isn’t met!

    Like 0
  17. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Oh oh, the auction ended early, either someone made an offer they couldn’t refuse, or they realized that it wouldn’t hit their reserve and pulled it. Bummer, I wanted to see how much this one sold for.

    Like 0

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