1971 Citroen SM Coupe - £32,995

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This is the most sylish car on the road today, with no exceptions. It is a 1971 Citroen SM Coupe, Left Hand Drive, with the 2.7 Litre Engine and Desirable Manual Gearbox. She is finished in Gris Falco with Tan Leather Interior and is showing 58k Miles from new, possibly genuine. We have a large history going back to the Eighties and the car is fully restored and beautiful in all respects.

Combining Citroen's advanced chassis technology and Maserati's engine know-how, the SM (Serie Maserati) featured DS-style hydro-pneumatic self-leveling suspension, power-assisted disc brakes all-round, self centering rack and pinion steering with only two turns lock to lock, and most ingenuous steered headlamps. Citroen had purchased Maserati in 1968, principally to acquire the latter's engine technology for its new top of the range Gran Turismo coupe, and the Italian firm responded to the brief with remarkable speed by the simple expedient of chopping off its Indy double overhead cam, 90-degree V8 to create the required V6, the resultant capacity being 2760cc. Fitted with triple Webers, power output was quoted as 170bhp and 0-60mph took 8.3sec. The cars were later offered with a larger 3.0 litre engine also. With Citroen being the world leader in passenger car aerodynamics, the SM's class-leading drag coefficient enabled it to reach 142mph, making it the fastest front-wheel drive production car ever at the time. Sadly for enthusiasts of the ground breaking model however, the SM was prematurely axed in 1975 following Citroen's acquisition by Peugeot. Fondly remembered, these technically advanced and functionally beautiful cars remain highly sought after today.

All examples of the SM rolled off the production line in left-hand drive, but this is a rare original UK import that benefits from a speedometer readout in miles-per-hour. It is understood to have been completed in September 1971, and then delivered as a brand-new car to the UK the following month. It has been owned and enjoyed by the seller for more than six years, who has commissioned a substantial amount of work to bring it up to its current high standard, and has covered around 2,200 miles on the road since then.

The bodywork of this car is in superb order, having gone through a full restoration between 2015 and 2016. The front wings, rear wings and doors were all replaced with rust-free items from donors, or with new old stock panels and the car was finished in the original Citroen colour of Gris Falco. Today, it remains in excellent condition, with only the odd mark around the body. A new Pilkington glass windscreen was specially made and installed, and the front headlights were re-silvered. The bonnet and boot shuts, door jambs, and sills all appear to be in great shape. Numerous original items were kept as-is, including the chrome door handles which show some slight pitting. The car sits on a set of 15-inch steel wheels with elegant stainless trims. Following the body restoration, the focus then turned to the interior. The seats, door cards and other trim panels were completely re-upholstered in buttery tan leather between 2016 and 2017, retaining the correct seat cover design. Before the re-trimmed seats were installed, a new set of beige carpets was also fitted.

The sweeping asymmetric dashboard is in very good order, fitted with the elegant oval Jaeger instrument dials. While the leather was re-trimmed, the other interior fittings remain original. At the back of the car, the rear hatch opens and fastens as it should, and the lining carpet around the luggage area is in great condition. A full-size spare wheel also remains stored in the boot. The last scheduled maintenance was carried out in October 2019 by Brodie Engineering in London. This comprised of fresh engine oil and a new oil filter, as well as the installation of electronic ignition. Its steering rack has also been recently resealed. The hydraulics are all in good order, and the car comes up quickly on its suspension. In August 2018, the engine oil and filter were renewed, a fresh set of spark plugs was installed, and the carburettors were tuned. During this service, the alternator was also swapped for an upgraded item. The hydraulic mineral oil was last renewed in June 2016, when the brake calipers were also overhauled.

Much of the extensive mechanical work had been undertaken just prior to the previous owner, when a fully rebuilt engine from a donor SM was installed by Brodie Engineering in 2009, which had already been upgraded with solid valves. Its most recent MOT test was on 31 May 2019 at 58,467 miles, which resulted in a first-time pass with only one advisory regarding a minor oil leak. It was attended to and fully rectified during the service in October 2019, by replacing the oil cooler along with all of the associated pipes. New Maxxis Victra 510 tyres in size 205/70 R15 were bought and fitted in 2015. Accompanying this SM is an original owner’s handbook and an aftermarket repair manual. There are also numerous old invoices, ownership documents and previous MOT certificates in the history file.

This Citroen SM is a superb example of the breed, performs beautifully on the open road, where the car makes swift and smooth progress. Benefitting from recent cosmetic and mechanical restoration, this French luxury grand tourer has undeniable flair and charm, and is presented in superb condition and surely one of the very best available. It was a fascinating car in its era, and remains a compelling classic today.