Powered by Maserati: 1974 Citroen SM

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

While the classic Citroen DS is not an uncommon find on craigslist – usually in basketcase form – the Maserati-powered SM pops up less frequently. These were impressive GT cars in their day, combining the innovative Citroen suspension with a performance-minded Maserati powerplant. This example will need total restoration, which takes on new levels of bankrolling in the SM world. Find it here on eBay and located in Athens, Greece for £6,500.

These SMs were technological marvels, combining the famous self-leveling suspension that delivered exceptional road holding and comfort with the sonorous notes of a Maserati-sourced V6. Not a big V6, mind you, but an engine that put the SMs within striking distance of other more established European GTs. The clever “power return” steering was another SM break-through, along with self-leveling headlamps on European-market examples like this one. The seller claims they have gotten the motor to fire up and the air suspension to inflate.

The seller says that he’s already had one deadbeat bidder, so hopefully, this isn’t a case of the car in question looking worst than it does in pictures. The interior looks fairly tired, and the front and back glass is missing. Replacement windshields are included with the sale, but the seller doesn’t mention whether the Citroen has been parked outside for the time that the interior has been exposed. While these can be fairly reliable drivers once sorted, they also have a reputation for being fragile when left ignored.

Despite the massive undertaking, there’s a robust enthusiast network for all generations of Citroen’s iconic model. Parts aren’t necessarily cheap and the complicated engineering can make it a bit of a freefall once you dig in, but most owners would tell you the investment is worth it – both from a driving experience and the decent price tag they fetch in restored condition. Of course, you’ll have to extract this example from Athens first, so check shipping costs before you pull the trigger.

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Comments

  1. Fiete T.

    French engineering. Italian motor. Located in Greece. What could go wrong?

    34
    • Sam61

      The owner’s could be written in Latin…

      7
  2. Chris Eakin

    The guys on coldwarm motors on youtube are rebuilding one, a little bit at a time, but they did get a parts car.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ems5qsX6vvk&t=1410s

    1
    • Oingo

      coldwar as in the 50s.

  3. hatotpork

    What do the letters SM stand for? In this instance I would really want to know…

    • RH FACTOR

      In this instance, Sado Masochist.

      3
    • remco

      Hi
      Systeme Maserati

    • MikeH

      Sport Maserati

  4. Jean Lecointe

    Forget about it, considering the state ot the car and the huge amount of money necessary for restoration, look for a running car with cosmetic work.
    It is possible to find a driver in France from $10,000 to $25,000.

    The SM is a wonderful car, if you are lucky enough to drive one, you will never forget it.

    1
    • RollerD

      “It is possible to find a driver in France from $10,000 to $25,000″…Thank you, that’s good to know. I find these cars very intriguing.

  5. Neil

    What air suspension?? XM’s used the same hydraulic suspension that the DS and CX used. Whilst looking fighteningly complex it can be overhauled in a weekend inc. replacing all the piping. Which this will almost definitely need as the original pipework was steel and if left too long in the down position would drain the fluid and then rust. Fast. So about 50m of cupro-nickel piping and a flaring tool goes on the budget and perhaps some end pieces depending on how badly they have been mullah’d by PO’s.
    The SM itself is a nice bit of engineering – weak link is the Maserati engine. Figure an full engine rebuild before trying to use it to save heartbreak and pain down the road.
    My guess is if the asking price is 6,500 Euros (not £) then add another 25,000 Euro’s to restore it going by the photos. We’ve had both DS’s and CX’s in the past and they have been incredibly reliable pieces of machinery

    5
    • Derek

      Heads off and change the sodium-filled valves for solid ones is apparently the way to go.

      (the air suspension thing narked me too…)

      1
  6. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    The ebay listing has been taken down and you get a deux chevaux (2CV) instead, which looks a lot better than the SM.

    My guess is that with a running engine and a working suspension system, someone recognized this as a decent deal for what is at least a running parts car.

    1
  7. Peter R

    I almost bought a nice one recently. It was about $40k and that is typical for good driver quality ones. After agreeing on a price, the owner took it for a drive and decided not to sell it. Show examples go as high as $75-100k. As has been said often before now – Buy the best one you can afford. Hopefully one much better than this very tired example

    1
  8. luke arnott

    Did you know that to remove the battery,you have to take the r/h front wing off(unless you have very long arms!)

    1
  9. Aaron

    This looks like a parts car to me. Front and rear glass broken out? That’s got to cost as much as the asking price for the car.

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