Her Majesty, the Citroën SM

El Citroën SM es un automóvil excepcional.

In 1968 the groundwork was laid for the creation of one of the most impressive -albeit misunderstood- automobiles in history: Her majesty, the Citroën SM, the fastest front-wheel drive automobile for over 15 years. 

Despite the fact that the Citroën DS23 did render over 140 HP thanks to its electronic fuel injection system and the different improved versions of its push-rod engine, the French car manufacturer still somewhat suffered form an inferiority complex vis a vis their competition due to the underwhelming performance of their engines.

This was to some extent justified: on the one hand the hydropneumatic suspension system used up some of the engine´s horse power in order to move the pump that pressurized the whole setup; on the other hand, these cars sported very robust frames as well as heavy and over-sized drivetrains (the SM´s curb weight reaches 1,400 kilos). But above all, these cars were capable of running very fast in such an effortless way that everything seemed too slow for them.

Toda una leyenda bajo el capó.
A legendary name under the hood.

The signing in 1968 of the purchase agreement of Maserati by Citroën meant for the latter the opening of the gates of the organ bank of one of the companies with the best of reputations for building powerful engines. Gone is the inferiority complex! 

That same year, the “Project S” started. Its goal was to create a high-performance automobile with a Maserati engine. For the first trials, the engine is assembled on a Panhard CT24 frame with a lengthened front end to accommodate the potent power plant.

Once the power train was set up, the Project S goes on with the trials of the groundbreaking hydropneumatic suspension system and engine mounted on a DS that had widened wheelhouses and a modified interior to be able to accommodate the whole of the power train assembly.

Finally, the Citroën SM -where S stands for the project´s name and M for Maserati, is unpretentiously introduced in its final shape and body in the Geneva car show in March 1970 and then in a full-fledged way in the Paris car show in September of that same year. 

Despite the fact the SM was (and some of its features still are) a revolutionary vehicle, its impact was not on a par with that of the Citroën DS, which 15 years earlier had utterly overshadowed every vehicle introduced at the 1955 Paris car show. However, the SM did not at all go unnoticed, and it set new records from its inception.

Citroën SM: Her Majesty´s milestones

La imagen trasera es muy peculiar.

At the time of its release, the Citroën SM was the fastest front-wheel drive car in the market. Despite the fact that the 170 HP of the carburettted version seemed laughable when compared with the 325 HP of the Oldsmobile Toronado, the Citroën was much lighter and aerodynamic, and was thus capable of reaching 220 kph.

This speed was the record for a front-wheel drive car until 1983, when the low-sitting Audi 200 Turbo Typ 44 came out, with its flush mount glass and a formidable drag coefficient of 0.33.

However, the ability to reach 220 kph was not the most outstanding thing, but the ease with which the car was able to ride at speeds that its competitors struggled to attain. The key for this was the groundbreaking hydropneumatic suspension, steering and braking system, much more advanced than the one present in the Citroën DS.

It took the steering wheel only two full turns lock to lock, and on top of that the car´s steering featured a state-of-the-art power assisted centering system called ‘Diravi’, which allowed the steering wheel to return to the center even when the car was parked. This meant that the steering of the Citroën SM was twice as responsive as any of its competitors´, something that the drivers at the time were not used to.

El frontal es muy afilado. Lástima que las llantas no sean las de resina de Michelin.
The front end is very sharp-looking. Too bad the wheels are not the famous Michelin reinforced carbon fiber ones!.

The brakes on the SM were also improved and its stopping power was astonishing -it was the car with the shortest braking distance of its kind, as was the stability supplied by its self-leveling or driver-variable ride height suspension.

The body was designed by Robert Opron, the genius who had redesigned the front end of the DS and was responsible for the aerodynamic lines of the Citroën CX and the exclusive Alfa Romeo SZ sports car, which incidentally had a front end that sported 6 square headlights reminiscent of the SM.

From outside, the car´s low stance and its wide and glazed front end made it look like a flying saucer. The interior was also remarkable, its lines so modern that one might think they belong to a car form today, the seats are extremely comfortable and they look impeccable.

La postura de conducción es casi perfecta.
The driving position is almost perfect.

Despite all these features, the SM only ranked third -with 105 points,  among the candidates for the European Car of the Year prize in 1971, falling behind the Citroën GS -133 points, and the VW K70 -121 points, which was an NSU in actuality.

I suppose it is true what they say, that “you can´t be a prophet in your own land”, and so the following year the SM was the top choice for 1972´s Motor Trend Car of the Year at the other side of the pond. That was probably the reason why the producer of The Longest Yard chose the Maserati SM -thus commercialized in America, to be featured in one of the saddest-ending car chases in the history of cinema with Burt Reynolds sitting at the wheel.

The Citroën SM and Burt Reynolds in movie history

Citroën SM Maserati: The cursed engine

El motor apenas se ve oculto tras los tubos y cables.
The V6 engine is in front-central position.

Citroën had high hopes for the SM, a car where all the groundbreaking features of the DS had been refined and that was powered by a formidable 2.7 liter V6 Maserati engine under the hood, that rendered 170 HP in the early carburetted versions and 178 HP in the fuel injected ones -equipped with the Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection system introduced in 1972.

Finally, the engine rendered 180 HP when the displacement was raised to 3.0 liters in the 1974 and 1975 carburetted versions.

Unlike boxer engines, V-shaped engines accommodate  two connecting rods in each crankpin. Since you have to divide the 360º of the circumference among 6 cylinders, for the tuning to be perfect, the usual thing is for each of the banks of the V shape to form a 60º angle (6×60=360).

This way, the explosions are perfectly synchronized and “equidistant”  each turn of the crankshaft. Conversely, the banks in a V8 engine usually form a 90º angle, so that each turn of the crankshaft 4 cylinders are balanced (4X90=360).

There are exceptions, such as the Porsche 928´s V8 engine, whose banks form a 120º angle due to the fact that the main aim was to lower the center of gravity of the car and to build a front end that was as low and aerodynamic as possible. The usual thing, however, is to seek a well balanced working of the engine.

El ancho de vías delantero es mucho mayor que el trasero.
The front tread width is significantly longer than the rear tread width.

The banks of the SM V6 engine form a 90 degree angle, which is unusual. Since Giulio Alfieri, the engine´s famed designer, had also created the wonderful Maserati V8 engine, most people assume that the V6´s peculiar design is simply due to the fact that, due to lack of time and funding, two of the 8 cylinders were eliminated from Alfieri´s V 8. This theory, however, can not be proved as there is no evidence to support it.

Also, there are numerous sources that claim that the V shape was widened to leave more room between banks, causing the engine to be lower and wider.

Personally, I think the first theory is more reasonable than the second, which almost sounds as an excuse.

El selector del cambio es una obra de arte y su manejo exquisito.
The gear selector is a work of art, and it is a pleasure to operate.

If the timing chain had been located in one extreme of the engine, I would heed the second theory, but seeing how it is situated amid the cylinders in an unsymmetrical way -there are 4 cylinders behind it and 2 in front, I am inclined to think that the engine was originally conceived as a V8, due to the fact that symmetry is always sought in order to avoid any possible unbalance, and so, that timing chain in the middle of the engine block makes sense in a V8, not in a V6. 

Admittedly, the engine´s performance is very good considering its displacement and the time it was designed, but smoothness was never its forte, precisely because of the angle of the cylinder banks, which confers it a very distinct sound due to the firing order of its pistons. 

Alfieri´s V6 made the SM a huge success, turning it into a high performance grand touring car, able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 8.5 seconds and to reach speeds over 220 kph. However, it was also part of the car´s black legend.

Con las puertas abiertas parece un avión despegando.
With its doors open, the car looks like an airplane taking off.

The engine´s all but 180 horses were thirsty, so the 1973 oil crisis made a huge negative impact on sales, specially in Europe. For many, this is the main cause the wonderful run of the Citroën SM came to an end only 4 years after it had started, 1975 being the last year of production.

Rumor has it, though, Peugeot -which had purchased Citroën in 1975, did not quite look kindly on the fact that a Citroën model was light years ahead of the best Peugeot, a theory that I find very likely if you ask me.

However, it is an undeniable fact that the SM´s V6 engine will also be remembered for its unreliability. The irregularity of its explosions due to the angle of the cylinder banks and the attachment of the air conditioning compressor -which is constantly engaging and disengaging, expose the timing chain to strong vibrations, which end up breaking it and thus ruining the engine.

Luckily, nowadays this issue can be solved by purchasing a kit to make the engine more reliable, but its cost is high and few owners take the trouble, although undoubtedly the SM deserves it.

Un automóvil precioso.
A beautiful automobile

The fuel-injected versions equipped with the D-Jetronic system also have a bad reputation for it being too complex and their tendency to catch fire.

The temperature that accumulates at the center of the engine bank and fuel leaks in the numerous hoses for the fuel injectors, fuel pump etc contribute to the problem, which is however very easily solvable: it all comes down to using top quality hoses and hose clamps and to check them regularly.

Citroën SM M-4939-AB, a rising star

Un automóvil impresionante.
An impressive automobile.

I can remember the first time I ever saw a Citroën SM as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. I was walking with my dad in front of the old Trianón Theater in León when suddenly there appeared the six head lights behind their glass nacelle and an Oviedo license plate in the middle.

I must have been 4 or 5 years old and was barely tall enough to see the hood of the car, which looked huge to me. It was a beautiful dark metallic blue, and I haven´t been able to get that car out of my head ever since.

Thanks to the internet, a friend told me about “one of those SM cars that you like” for sale in Santiago, so I contacted the owner to ask if I could test-drive the car in order to publish my impressions in my blog.

That´s how I met Gonzalo and thus proceeded with this one-of-a-kind test drive.

Con la suspensión en la posición más baja, parece un felino durmiendo.
The suspension at its lowest point, the SM looks like a sleeping feline.

The first thing that catches the eye upon arriving before the SM is its likeness to a crouching sphinx. After sitting for a few hours, all the pressure is gone and the car lowers to the point that it almost scrapes the ground. This is normal, but visually it makes its 4.89  meters in length reach gigantic proportions.

Once started, the sound of its V6 engine really grabs our attention. Despite the newly built steel exhaust the car has, there is a small leak in the gaskets behind the first muffler, nothing worrying as it is something easily fixable: you just need to tighten the clamps and install a copper O-ring. Nonetheless, the issue somewhat spoils the beautiful sound of the V6 engine.

Little by little, the cat awakes and stretches its limbs, as if bowing:  the front legs first, then the hind legs, readying itself for the hunt.

Las plazas traseras son tan cómodas como aparentan.
The backseat is as comfortable as it looks.

My dad did not want to miss out on the opportunity to find out how it feels to drive such a special vehicle, so to get out of town I ride in the back seat, which has a very easy access, thanks to the huge doors and the front seat, which can be folded and moved forward.

The back of the car is surprisingly roomy, we are not dealing with a 2+2, but a veritable 4-seat coupe. The seats are not only a thing of beauty, but also very comfortable. 

The car´s interior is in really good nick, there are no loose parts or broken panels, and the seats are in fantastic shape.

The dashboard´s design looks still modern 45 years after the car was released, even the brushed aluminum used for embellishment is totally in-style nowadays. It even has a folding car key, as modern cars have. Only the radio, the handbrake lever and some of the knobs and buttons give the SM away and we are reminded that we are dealing with a car from the 20th century.

When we get to the spot where I am going to take the pictures I can see everything at ease in the daylight. The bodywork is in very good condition, there are no serious rust spots, and although its state is not perfect -there are body panels where the paint has a different hue , this is something normal.

The SM is a very long car and its wheelbase is huge -almost 3 meters, so it is easy to see how someone could make some scratches to it when parking , specially when we bear in mind that the front end is really wide -1.83 meters.

El portón del maletero abre muy poco.
The trunk lid opens very little.

The SM´s body is full of design detailing, from the glass-covered headlights and front license plate, to the air vent situated under the bumper, which cools the radiator, or the two air inlets that funnel the air to the brake discs -that are in turn situated behind the differential in order to minimize the suspended weight at the wheels for better stability and grip. 

I love the car´s front end, the rear view mirror, the view form the tail… I fall in love with the SM from every angle I look at her. 

The trunk has been recently re-upholstered and there is no trace of rust in it. Rust is a typical problem in this area in cars with hydropneumatic suspension, as they sit so close to the ground that they sometimes come into contact with the wet grass, which may cause the body to rot. In this particular case, the bodywork is in very good condition.

Unfortunately, when the car was designed somebody must have forgotten to include room for the spare wheel , which takes up a great deal of the trunk´s space.

Front Seats
Front Seats

 

Air conditioning, self-leveling, swiveling headlights -although they are not functional in this particular unit, they can surely be easily put back into working order, electric windows, variable power steering, self-leveling suspension… it might appear that I am describing a Porsche Panamera instead of a 1972 Citroën -although the license plate number is a 1973 one. 

Finally, the moment I have been waiting for: I sit behind the wheel to experience the ride in this dream on wheels. The driving position is very comfortable. The seats are excellent and the steering wheel has a nice touch -even though the work of the upholsterer who worked on it is horrible.

Luckily this is not my firs test-drive on a Citroën and I quickly get used to the rubber mushroom brake button that the SM has in place of a brake pedal. The braking is regulated by the force one applies to it, but the button itself is zero-travel. Once you get used to it it makes you wonder why it is not so in all cars! 

The steering is extremely responsive. Even though I have test driven modern cars where the wheel takes less than 2 turns lock to lock -the Mercedes A45 AMG takes 1 and ¾ , the SM turns much more, which means its steering ratio is lower. In addition, the steering is the most responsive I have ever tried.

One must be careful not to be caught off guard, as the first couple of turns the car will turn more than one could expect. Luckily, the rear axle is much shorter than the front axle or else the car would end up hitting the curb in every corner due to its long, 3-meter wheelbase. Once you get used to the SM´s steering quirks, the driving experience becomes unparalleled.

En la posición más alta, la altura libre al suelo es mayor que en la de muchos 4x4.
the suspension at its highest point, the SM´s ground clearance is higher than many four by fours´..

The gear selector is both beautiful and precise. Volvo did their own version of it for their V60 model but the latter´s beauty and touch can´t stand comparison with the original. The 5 gears engage with ease and precision, although their travel is lengthy, a consequence of the lever´s size.

Nonetheless, the lever´s position in relation to the steering wheel is perfect, thus making shifting gears a delightful experience. 

The V6 engine is not fine-tuned. The D-Jetronic injection system is excellent, but it needs to be well adjusted to be able to perform at its finest. In this case, the air fuel mixture is too rich, and so the cylinders flooded if we step one the accelerator pedal in an abrupt way; it runs much more smoothly if we accelerate gradually, giving the air enough time to mix well with the gasoline. 

I don´t think we are dealing with an internal engine problem because the car starts just fine and it does not smell like oil; actually, there are no oil leaks, which is remarkable.

However, the fuel injection system clearly needs adjusting, nothing that cannot be solved with some fine-tuning and by driving the car often enough in order to prevent the intake manifold´s pressure sensor membrane to get ruined.

El frontal con 6 faros de Oprom volvería en el Alfa Romeo SZ.
The six-headlight front end designed by Opron would make a comeback in the Alfa Romeao SZ.

As a classic car, the Citroën SM has only one flaw, namely, it has no classic-car feel: it was such a groundbreaking car when it was conceived, that today it drives like a modern car. Everything works really smoothly and the brakes are better than the ones some of the modern cars I test drive each week have.

The steering, the stability… everything about the car makes it difficult to believe that you are driving a car that was designed 45 years ago. Well, maybe the visibility does not.

The SM´s windshield pillars are much thinner than the Ionic columns that modern cars have for pillars, which makes the ride feel like you are driving on a balcony with a view to an enormous hood. If this car was mine, I think it would be my daily driver – well what the hey, I am sure it would. 

The car driving ahead of me is a Mini Countryman. I can´t help but thinking that if it was bought new, the person who bought it will have lost more money in one year because of the car´s depreciation than the amount it would take to buy this SM, and the Mini is not one tenth as cool as the Citroën. Anyway, to each his own.

Los chevrones encontraron hueco sobre el capó.
The Citroën chevrons found a niche in the hood.

This particular SM specimen is not perfect, but the car provides an excellent basis for restoration: it has no rust, it is a complete car, and it is mechanically sound, despite the needed fine-tuning of the fuel injection system. I personally think this car is a good investment, and prices are on the rise.

The DS turns 60 this year and their prices are soaring. In 5 years the SM will celebrate its 50th birthday, and I am afraid by then their prices will be prohibitive.

It is always hard for me to say goodbye to the classic cars I test-drive, and this time it is even more so. This is, on the one hand, because the SM ranks very high in the list of my top ten dream cars. On the other hand, driving this car has made me think about how sad Carlos Tavares recent announcement of the end of Citroën´s hydropneumatic suspension really is,  after bearing witness, once again, of how the French manufacturer had been able to set itself apart from the rest of their competition.

The SM is a unique car the like of which will never be built again, and one feels that it was designed by passionate and knowledgeable engineers. There is no more room in car making for flights of creative ingenuity, not even in Ferrari, Rolls and the like. Cost and the market prevail over other considerations, and marketing departments cut the wings of any attempt to veer off the trodden path. There is a Chinese proverb that goes: “the nail that stands out gets hit by a hammer”… and the SM stood out and towered above all others.

Now, she is mine…

Translated by Miguel Fernández Garrido

28 thoughts on “Her Majesty, the Citroën SM

  1. Estupendo artículo.

    Impresionante coche, con todas las letras.
    Viendo el vano motor se le congelan a uno las tripas observando semejante complejidad.

    Sería perfecto si esa fiabilidad no se viese lastrada por el V6 de Maserari, y por otros pequeños detalles como la rueda de repuesto o la situación de la radio.

    1. Sí, lo de la rueda de repuesto fue una gran cagada… aunque ahora se puede meter un kit antipinchazos y a correr. Se olvidaron, literalmente de dejar un hueco para la misma durante el diseño del coche, no contaron con que no les cabría sobre la caja de cambios por delante del radiador como hicieron en el DS…
      Un saludo!

  2. Por cierto, ese mismo SM lo he podido presenciar en persona en el Salón de Vigo de este año. Acabo de darme cuenta al revisar las fotos, con la suspensión bajada.

    INCREÍBLE. Una verdadera “pena” que Citröen haya perdido su esencia al ser absorbida por Peugeot. ¿Nuevo C5 sin Hidractiva? NO, Gracias.

    PD: Soy poseedor de un C5 de primera generación y NO lo cambio por nada.

  3. Sí, estos coches es normal que se “agazapen” cuando llevan unas horas apagados, van perdiendo presión y se bajan. Hasta la llegada del Xantia no empezaron a tardar mucho en “bajarse”.
    El C5 es un gran coche… lástima que a final de año se acabe su vida comercial y muera la hidroneumática con ella… Creo que Tavares ahí se ha columpiado.

  4. Sublime…

    Y lo del corte de los dos cilindros es una historia totalmente real (corroborada, como bien señalas, por el hecho de tener la cadena de distribución entre los cilindros lo que delata que se partió del V8 al 100%).

    No he tenido la suerte de llevar un SM, pero sí varios CX/BX/XM y a pesar de que Citroën como marca está en las antípodas de mis gustos reconozco que la hidroneumática es una maravilla, y que los franceses la pusieron a punto de maravilla desde un punto de vista de confort puro.

  5. Soy feliz poseedor de un 1972 Citroen SM carburación y las sensaciones a bordo de este automóvil no son equiparables a ninguna otra cosa. El aplomo y la increíble capacidad del bastidor hace pensar que aguantaría un motor con el doble de caballos. Imagino que si la historia le hubiese permitido evolucionar, se hubiese conseguido un modelo más fiable y potente y seguramente estuviésemos hablando de “otra” Citroen. Siempre que conduzco mi SM la gente pega sus caras a las ventanillas de sus electrodomésticos de transporte preguntándose que demonios es eso que se acerca por su lado. En su época y más en nuestro país imagino que sería como ver un Veyron o un Mclaren hoy en día.
    Exclusivo diseño, un motor de sonido adictivo y una forma de rodar que enamora cada centímetro que recorre.
    Es un coche escaso, complicado y de mala fama pero como dijo un probador especialista de la época, el Citroen SM es una dama de gustos caros a la que hay que mimar.
    Si se le presenta la oportunidad no dude en hacerse con una unidad. Es un automóvil irrepetible y transmite lo que que solo lograría (si eso es posible) con monturas de nobles apellidos como Ferrari, Porsche o Lamborghini….y por mucho menos dinero.
    Y ojo… pregunte a cualquier propietario de Ferrari de la época la fiabilidad y la facilidad de uso de su pura sangre. Esos caballos no suelen abandonar jamás sus lujosas cuadras.

    1. Hola Manuel, muchas gracias por compartir con nosotros tu experiencia. Te he hecho caso y soy el nuevo propietario del coche del que hice el reportaje. Tengo trabajo por delante para devolverle todos sus caballos y el esplendor que se merece. ¿Dónde vives? si estás cerca podemos quedar un día y hacer una comparativa “Weber-Bosch” 😉
      Un abrazo

      1. Hola. Soy de Madrid. Sería un placer quedar cuando quieras. Cuenta conmigo cuando necesites. Mio coche está en buen estado pero el que aparece en tu prueba parece estar en unas condiciones óptimas.
        En estos coche siempre hay trabajo. Yo ahora estoy pensando en cambiar el silencioso. Es un trabajo que hice hace unos 15 años y nunca lo dejaron bien. Suena y a veces petardea un poco.
        Lo último que le hice fue la hidráulica excepto el disyuntor que me queda pendiente. Así mismo hace poco dejaron de funcionar los elevalunas (iban muy lentos y supuse que ocurriría tarde o temprano)
        Como ves siempre tienen cosas que hacerles pero lo uso con cierta frecuencia los fines de semana y algunas quedadas como la de Villaviciosa.
        Seguimos en contacto. Gracias por tu contstación

        1. El mío está bien de carrocería y de interiores, pero el motor está completamente fuera de punto, apenas tiene fuerza para salir del garaje. Por ahora, mientras me llega lo básico para hacer una puesta a punto (bujías, cambio de aceite…) me estoy entreteniendo en hacerle cosas pequeñas, limpiar los faros por dentro, arreglar el asiento del conductor que no desliza hacia delante al abatirlo, cambiar las bombillas de los relojes que no lucen, etc. El escape lo tiene nuevo de inox, aunque lo habían montado mal y he tenido que volver a instalarlo correctamente. También pierde el hidráulico de la suspensión delantera derecha y tengo que cambiarle el acumulador del disyuntor, pero son cosas que puedo ir haciendo yo y me encanta hacerlas… aunque ya tengo ganas de poder hacer un viaje con él sin ser un estorbo para el resto del tráfico. Poco a poco y con buena letra ;-). En cuanto esté en orden de marcha los juntamos.

      2. Enhorabuena por la adquisición, una vez que tengas el motor a punto y fiabilizado, no podrás bajar de él. Una auténtica joya con la que sueño que será mi próxima adquisición, para hacer compañía a mi DS23.
        Espero que nos cuentes tus experiencias con él a través del blog.
        Saludos,

        1. En ello estoy, por ahora ya he solucionado el sistema de los faros direccionales, funcionan perfectamente todos los cilindros (aunque tengo que sincronizar mejor los sensores de posición de las mariposas para que no dé tirones al ir a punta de gas), he cambiado los retenes de los hidráulicos delanteros, el acumulador de presión, encontrado la fuga de gasolina por el aforador del depósito de gasolina, solucionado el fallo de los mandos de la climatización… en fin, poco a poco devolviendo el esplendor que se merece. Una lástima no contar con el menor apoyo por parte de la marca para poder localizar piezas, ni siquiera datos concretos de esta unidad a través del conservatoire de Citroën… parece mentira que una marca que tiene un pasado con tanto esplendor reniegue de él… aunque tal vez sea ése el problema, darse cuenta de que su pasado fue más prometedor que el futuro que parece esperarles.

    2. Hola,
      Estoy a punto de comprar mi SM. Pero me pregunto si hay talleres capaz de cuidarlo bien en España. En futuro estaré en Motril, y me imagino que no voy a encontrar especialista allá. Pero quizás en Madrid ?
      Si no hay, da igual, iré a Francia – pero el SM sí que lo compro 😉
      Un cordial saludo.
      Ulric

      1. Hola Ulric, el único taller de confianza que te recomiendo en España para el SM es el de Paco Becerro en Ciudad Real. Realmente es un especialista en DS y en Citroën y en la actualidad está haciendo una restauración completa de un SM de inyección. UN saludo, en cuanto tengas ese SM avisa, estoy haciendo un censo con las unidades que haya en España.
        Un saludo.

  6. Me compré un Tomica Citroen SM (que siempre me encantó), y lo había tenido hace unos 26 años… se me ocurrió buscar información para recordarla y me encontré con esta prueba ALUCINANTE!!! Sumamente bien redactada, con muchos detalles que desconocía.. y ese matiz de compararlo con la basura impersonal de los automóviles actuales… Sublime, a Favoritos!

    1. Hola Sergio, muchas gracias. La verdad es que es un coche sobre el que es fácil escribir, porque es apasionante por los 4 costados. Un fuerte abrazo.

  7. Otro de mis coches favoritos de siempre (junto con el CX GTi como comenté en otro de tus artículos). Junto al Jaguar XJ-S creo que fueron el trío que más me emocionó en mi infancia y juventud.

    Me alegro que te hayas agenciado una unidad. Espero que la puedas cuidar y disfrutar muchos años. En directo he visto muy pocos SM aunque el último fue hace unas semanas en una concentración de clásicos en el occidente asturiano. Era una unidad de placa del Reino Unido en un estado razonablemente bueno, al menos en lo estético.

    Aparte de éste vi uno hace unos 6 años en el Haynes Motor Museum en el sur de Inglaterra, otro en Oviedo en una concentración de clásicos hará 20 años (el dueño era andaluz y me comentó que tenía otra unidad) y por último uno que vi aparcado en un chalét cerca de Llanes en los años 70 y que me dejó embobado, se podía ver a través de la verja.

    Me cuentan que el cantante y compositor Victor Manuel San José tuvo uno en su momento.

    Espero seguir viendo fotos de tu coche por muchos años.

    1. Me alegro de que te guste esta nave espacial también. Ahora le estoy renovando el motor, a ver si pronto lo puedo terminar y volver a disfrutar. Gastaba mucho aceite por los retenes de válvula y ya aproveché el tener que sacar las culatas para preparar los asientos de válvula para gasolina sin plomo.
      Un saludo, e iré contando más cosas a medida que vaya avanzando… y teniendo tiempo.

  8. Muy buena historia, debidamente documentada. Tengo un SM de 1970 en México. Color oro, edición europea, porque hubo dos modelos; el de importación a Estados Unidos de 4 luces fijas y el Europeo de 6 luces. Saludos.

    1. Enhorabuena!!!!. muchas gracias por compartir con nosotros la experiencia con tu coche. Me alegro de que sea una versión europea, la americana, para mi gusto, pierde mucho encanto con las lámparas sealed beam.

  9. Madre …. que maravilla te has pillado.
    Hace años pude pillarme uno, me pedían 1.450.000pts, al cambio de hoy 9000€, no sabes lo que me arrepiento de no pillarlo.
    Tengo o he tenido varios Citroen, actualemente, 2CV (valorando si lo restauro o directamente le saco lo aprobechable y el resto se va a la chatarra), un Xantia Activa (mi coche de diario durnate 15 años, ahora lo tengo jubilado).
    C5 Exclusive, coche de diario junto con un Picasso.
    Ahora estoy en busca y captura de un BX 16v (he tenido 2 turbo diesel, de los que me ha quedado mucho “mono”)
    El clásico que uso habitualmente es un Mercedes 190 16v del 85.
    El SM es una de esas espinitas que quedan clavadas de por vida, son muy buenos coches, cómodo como no había otro en la época y muy rápido y potente.
    Unia un poco los dos mundos que había en la época.
    Si tenías un deportivo, o era Porsche, Ferrari, tenía que ser rudo, ruidoso, dificil de conducir, como mucho de 2 + 2 plazas, no utilizables a diario.
    O era mercedes, Jaguar, Astón Martin, coches con grandes motores, y cambio automático, demasiado cómodos, no transmitían ninguna sensación pero si se podían difrutar.
    El SM no era mucho más complicado de mantener que otros grandes deportivos de la época, es más si querías tener un ferrari o un Lamborghini… agarrate, porque esos coches se echaban muchas horas en el taller.
    Los modelos con carburador cada 5000km, tenían que pasar por taller para hacerles una puesta a punto de la carburación, se iban de punto cada pocos KM, y poner a punto un V8 no es poner a punto un 4L.
    Todos los V8 o V12 tenían propensión a arder, el llevar uno, dos, tres o cuatro carburadores en la parte central de la V, no ayudaba nada, esto es así en todos.
    Es curioso que se le achaque al SM llevar un motor tremendamente complicado, cuando el Maserati Merak montaba el mismo motor y no recibió tantas críticas.
    El SM era un coche muy avanzado para la época, no había mecánicos preparados, añadía un motor complicado a un sistema de suspensión tambien complicado, si hoy llevas a un taller un Xantia activa y a los mecanicos les entran sudores fríos…. imaginar en la época.

    Espero que disfrutes mucho esa maravillosa máquina.

    1. Gracias Jaco, ahora lo estoy intentando poner al 100%… en algún momento de su vida alguien cambió unos casquillos de biela y no usó los correctos y ha rayado el cigüeñal, espero poder terminar su motor antes de febrero y disfrutar de nuevo conduciéndolo. La verdad es que me va a hacer mucho daño en el bolsillo, no me sobran los euros, pero me gusta tanto y disfruto tanto aunque sólo sea viéndolo que ahora ya no hay vuelta atrás con el proyecto.

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