22 May 1997
1971 CITROËN SM
Chassis No. SB 117
Gold Metallic with brown leather interior.
Engine: vee-six, 90°, four overhead camshafts, Bosch fuel injection, 2,670cc, 188bhp at 6,250rpm; Gearbox: five-speed manual, front wheel drive; Steering: rack and pinion power assisted; Suspension: independent all round with hydro-pneumatic control; Brakes: discs all round, hydraulically operated with power assistance. Left-hand drive.
Citroën have been known for the novelty of their designs since the "Traction Avant" motor cars of the 1930's. In 1968 Citroën acquired Maserati and thereby access to Maserati's engines; thus the French firm entered the high performance category for the first time.
The SM became Citroën's car for the seventies. The 170bhp Maserati vee-six engine was mated to a five speed gearbox and front wheel drive. As Citroën said of their new car, "Conceived by the styling department of Citroën's research division from functionl data. The shape of the SM makes no concession to fashion. Its aesthetics have been rationalised and are the direct result of logic and reason." In plain English this meant a two plus two, two door GT style of bodywork, claimed to be of unusually low drag for its day. The hydro-pneumatic controlled, self levelling suspension gave an excellent ride which was allied to incredibly high cornering ability. The rack and pinion steering had variable power assistance so that it had its greatest influence at parking speeds and interfered little with the naturally precise steering at speed. Denis Jenkinson in Motor Sport rated the SM even above the Dino Ferrari and described it as the "ultimate in serious motoring".
This SM was sold new in France, since when it was imported into Switzerland and has had only two more owners including the vendor. It is in exceptional condition and is thought to have covered a total of only about 60,000kms. Its gold paintwork is very good as is the original brown leather seat trim. It comes with air-conditioning, radio and its relevant manuals.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale totals £128,081,750, with works by Picasso and a record-breaking Franz Marc painting also achieving top prices
Alastair Smart profiles the life and work of the Pre-Raphaelite artist described by Burne-Jones as ‘the best of us all’ — illustrated with works offered in July