This Citroen Maserati SM is the subject of a ground up restoration by a collaboration between two shops in France: Classic-Car-Charolais for the body work, and Patrick Regembeau for the mechanical. Although they do not include any background narrative of this particular SM’s history on either of their sites, there are more than enough restoration pictures posted to piece together it’s rejuvenation story. We have also included pictures of one of the historic work shops where the transformation occurred because it fits so well as the perfectly appropriate setting for the renovation of this French and Italian mixed exotic. In the end, the car’s final results look absolutely stunning in it’s show quality finish.
It’s Beige Tholonet exterior is matched well with the Cognac leather interior, which looks like a twin to the Citroen SM that was restored by U.S. marque expert Jerry Hathaway and recently featured on Bringatrailer.com. That car can be seen linked at the bottom of this page for comparison.
The European specification models came standard with a feature that turned their 6-headlights in the same direction as the steering wheel, whereas the US versions were static and only had 4. One of the other most sought-after features by SM collectors world wide today are the uber-rare, optional resin rims. They can go for up to $12,000 for a set if you can even find them. Although this particular car featured here does not wear them, they can be seen on the bat.com car’s link below.
Depending on which year this vehicle is, it is powered by either a 2.7 or 3.0 liter, four-cam V6 engine from the Maserati Merak, producing between 170 and 180 horsepower. Unfortunately there is no mention of which it is, so if any expert in our audience knows the answer, we would appreciate it being shared with us in the “Comments” section below for everybody to see.
The SM’s extremely low 0.26 drag coefficient body, combined with it’s modernist interior, front wheel drive and complex hydraulic system operating the steering, brakes and headlights made them a mechanical marvel of their time.The suspension is hydro-pneumatic and self-leveling, and said to soak up road irregularities like no other modern car today. Their braking system was far ahead of their time, as well. Popular Science ran a road test of the French/Italian when still new and they recorded the shortest stopping distance of any car they had ever tested previously. These traits combined or even taken singularly help the SM stand out today to remain in a class by itself.
Understandably, these complicated machines are frightening prospects to take on as a vintage car project, but rest assured, the experts have gotten together and addressed the inherent design flaws from the factory. Through years of development, upgrades include stronger, longer wearing timing chains by John Titus, a nylon curved chain guide, better water pump seals, GM Delco alternators, and replacing the sodium-filled exhaust valves with solid stainless. As mentioned above, the go-to guy here in the States is Citroen Maserati SM expert Jerry Hathaway. We have linked his website below for anybody interested.
Undeniably, one of the top movie car chase scenes of all times features a Citroen Maserati SM being put through it’s paces by Burt Reynolds in the original “The Longest Yard” (not to be confused with the more recent Adam Sandler remake). We were unable to find a clean clip of it on-line to include here, but it is worth renting the movie, if for nothing else but just to watch that particular scene in the beginning of the movie.
As with any oddball car, they are an aquired taste that is not necessarily for everybody, which we find only adds to it’s appeal.
The example listed for sale on line below sold quickly recently at $44,000, and we have heard of absolutely perfect concours condition examples creeping into the 6 figure range already. Show your eclectic automotive connoisseur knowledge by adding one to your own collection.
Bringatrailer.com’s Citreon Maserati SM for sale link here at:
Citreon Maserati SM marque expert Jerry Hathaway’s shop: