Check Out This Slab of Slammed ’70s French Excellence

"Citröen SM" means "Sport Maserati."

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA has a fabulous selection of pre-war machines from Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, and other wild old coachbuilders. Amongst these cars with unbelievable presence, provenance, and proportion, was a small collection of ’50s-’70s Citröens. Amongst a 2CV France, 2CV panel van, and a Citröen DS, there was this lone Citröen SM.

Picture Details:

  • Car(s): 1973 Citröen SM Automatique
  • Location: Mullin Automotive Museum, Oxnard, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (Instagram: @chrishasacamera, Twitter: @chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Sony A7RII + Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L

If you don’t know much about obscure ’70s French spaceships, let me give you a quick primer. The Citröen SM is the sportiest model in the ’60s-’70s Citröen lineup. SM stands for Sport Maserati, denoting its longitudinally mounted Maserati V6 engine. It is reverse mounted, so that the engine is technically mid-ship, and the transaxle goes forward of the front axle. Yes, that means that this slab is FWD.

Most SMs came in five-speed manual with funky exposed shifter boot. The manuals got the 2.7-liter version of the Maserati V6 making around 180-188 horsepower. This particular SM is an Automatique, which is French for “Worse Than A Manual”… sorry, it means automatic gearbox. Automatiques got a three-speed automatic, but the upgraded 3.0-liter Maserati V6 with 190 horsepower.

Like all Citröens of the era, the SM got the fun hydra-pneumatic self-levelling suspension, complete with space balls for hydraulic accumulators. With this suspension, you can adjust height manually, and even change a tire without a jack by full raising the car, placing a stand underneath the jack point, and lowering the car back down. Neat right?

As big as we could get it:

Check Out This Slab of Slammed ’70s French Excellence
Chris Rosales
Chris Rosales

Chris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.