EXCLUSIVE: Borla’s 1972 Citroen SM!

UPDATE – This Citroen needs to move along, so Mr. Borla has dropped the asking price to $10,000! So take another look and be sure to make an offer via the form at the bottom of the page.

When most of us hear Borla, we think of loud high-performance exhaust systems. Even if that’s not the first thing that comes to mind, I highly doubt you’d ever think of a Citroen SM or an NSU Ro80. That’s about to change though, as this pair of oddballs is being offered by Alex Borla from his private collection. He’s owned both of these cars for a number of years but hasn’t gotten around to getting either back on the road, so he’s decided to offer them as Barn Finds Exclusives! First up is this 1972 Citroen SM that is showing 68k miles. It runs and drives, but is going to need work to be a nice driver. If you’d love to have this French beauty, be sure to send Alex a message via the form below!

The Maserati sourced 2.7 liter V6 is said to run well as is. It’s paired to the 5-speed manual that works as it should. This is a C114-1 designation engine which means it came with the triple Weber Carburetors and was rated at 168 horsepower. That might not seem like much, but the slick body allowed for a factory rated top speed of 137 mph, with plenty of owners claiming to be capable of reaching closer to 150 mph! Getting it running again required going through the carbs, sorting the fuel system and replacing the oil cooler lines. Alex also replaced the main accumulator, as well as the front and rear spheres.

While it sounds like all the major mechanical work has already been sorted, it’s the interior that’s holding this SM back. As you can see, it’s going to need a lot of work. It’s complete, which is a major plus as you rarely find parts for these. The seat upholstery is going to likely require having an upholstery shop make new covers and while it won’t be cheap, it isn’t an impossible task. Perhaps you could get a bit creative with fixing the seats and dash, but a car like this really deserves being restored back to its former glory!

Since rust is always an area of concern, we asked Alex to get us photos of the underside and while there some surface rust, it actually looks to be in good shape. There’s some rust in the trunk where water got in at some point and the bottoms of the doors are starting to bubble, but there doesn’t appear to be any structural rust or anything too difficult to remedy. Be sure to take a closer look at all the photos in the gallery below.

There’s plenty of work to be done here, but this sure is an amazing car! If you’ve never seen an SM in person, it’s hard to understand how cool they really are (photos simply don’t do them justice). Since the car is from Alabama, which doesn’t require titles on older vehicles, it’s being sold on a bill of sale. You will want to check with your local DMV to see what you will need to get it titled, but shouldn’t be an issue. If you have any questions or would like to make Alex an offer, be sure to use the form below to message him! Next up is the NSU, so stay tuned for that as well.

  • Asking Price: $10,000
  • Location: Johnson City, Tennesse
  • Mileage: 68500
  • VIN: SB9502

Contact The Seller

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!


  1. dave brennan

    Just a small nit to pick with the author. This is about the third time I’ve noticed. Cars don’t have trucks, they have trunks

    Like 7
  2. Chuckster

    Oh Lord ! My eyes hurt . That front end is a real hoot. I’ve said it before, has this company ever built a car that wasn’t weird in some way?

    Like 5
    • Big_Fun Member

      I agree…the U.S. spec front end has all the appeal of the pigeon holes in a roll top desk. The euro spec front end is sexier.
      I bet you ask this little Citroen piggie if if it would like the Euro front end installed during the restoration , it would cry “Oui, Oui, Oui! all the way home….

      Like 10
      • Ralph

        The euro front end is the only way to have one of these, the US spec front end is hideous.

        Like 2
  3. Rodney - GSM

    These are French Spaceships. As delicate as a croissant and as elegant as The Moulin Rouge on opening night. . What an adventure for the new owner.

    Like 6
    • Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

      I took in a show at the Moulin Rouge just last summer. 30 French girls with marginal dancing talent, but the fact that they were topless was a nice selling point. Oh, and the Champagne was good too. No complaints now that I think about it!

      Like 2
  4. JoeNYWF64

    Looking at the back of this Citroen, i wonder if Ford modeled some of their Probe CONCEPT cars after this car.

    Like 0
  5. John

    Exhaust system looks good.

    Like 1
  6. Del

    Looks like a great price for a very rare car.

    Would want to drive it first.

    Like 2
  7. Jim Rice

    That engine is a bomb looking for a place to go off if the exhaust valves and chains haven’t been done. The sodium filled exhaust valves used in these Maserati engines have a history of breaking at the most inopportune time, catastrophic on an DOHC interference engine. Also it uses three timing chains the two cam chains require regular tensioning and the lower chain has a history of the automatic tensioner failing with the inevitable valve crash. Very expensive cars to restore and maintain, distributor caps are $500+ and points are $450! The most expensive cheap car you will ever buy is an SM that is not already restored or with a solid history.

    Like 9

      I am more familiar with these in the Merak than the SM but same basic engine.
      I would think that most valves have been replaced by this point, and for the timing chains you use a late merak style tensioner which corrects the issues.
      I don’t know where you are buying parts but there are a lot better places. This one uses the 2 coil cap set up and I can get them for around 200. These can be converted to a single coil cap setup and electronic ignition. I have seen a few different designs but the most common uses a BMW 6 cylinder cap, rotor and modified distributor. Also later model meraks used a single coil system, but in many ways it is easier just to convert. Oh one funny thing you will have to fix going from 2 coils to 1 is the tech. It will read twice as fast as it is expecting 3 pulses per rev as opposed to 6. There is a fix for this also.
      I don’t know about the points because I haven’t used points in forever as electronic ignition is easier to deal with.
      The V6 on these should not scare you, and while it is not my favorite maserati motor for a few grand and some careful shopping you can make it pretty reliable.

      Like 0
    • JP

      I’ve had two of these, and yes, the valves are a problem but not insurmountable. Also, you really have to convert to electronic ignition if you want reliable starting and driving, so the the points aren’t an issue. Cap is, though, although they can be rebuilt as well. Generally, however, they’re pretty solid cars, with the hydraulics, ironically enough, being the easiest system to maintain and repair.

      Like 0
  8. Danger Dan

    If you’ve ever seen Burt Reynolds drive the wheels off these you’d bite your tongue. Classic Reynolds screeching around
    Corners with a fat stogie clamped on the side of his face. These engines are a thing of beauty, 3 two barrels on a fat v6. Sounds like a symphony of dyno-mite!

    Like 1
    • Ralph

      With “Mr, Saturday Night Special” playing in the background, the car chase from the longest yard might be the only car chase I’ve ever seen with an SM in it. Its cool to watch because you can see how the SM’s suspension acts under hard use.

      Cool cars, they have their issues and they are problematic, but they are interesting.

      Like 1
    • JP

      I had a hard time watching the rest of the movie after he wrecked it. Funny that she refers to it as her Maserati instead of Citroen…

      Like 0
  9. mainlymuscle

    I wouldn’t normally click on a Citroen,though appreciate them.I had to take a peak this time to see if anyone else remembered the car from “The Longest Yard”,what with this being Trans Am week and all.Boys didn’t let me down !

    Like 0
  10. Rudy

    Seems overpriced for the condition of the car – much better one on EBay right now with an ASC sunroof and good interior for less than $12K

    Like 1
  11. Del

    Okay. Guess I was wrong.

    No market for these.

    Probably not going to sell for 10 either

    Like 0
  12. Gareth Rhys-Jones

    I did a weeks work experience from school when I was 15 at the Citroen Head Office in the UK back in the early 80’s. They had a full workshop there and we’re one of only places that could officially work on the SM’s. They had 3 of them covered in dust where the owners just abandoned them when they got the price for repairs! The mechanics thought it was hilarious.

    Like 1
  13. Greg Lemon

    And the RO80 right next to it. “I’ll take exotic but temperamental aerodynamic European sedans for $1000 Alex”. Ding Ding Ding Ding “We have a Daily Double”

    Like 0

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