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1971 Citroen SM 

Citroen SM 2.7 carburetor. Manual transmission

The SM was a technological tour de force when launched, with directional headlamps, rain sensing wipers and the famous (or should that be infamous) Citroen hydraulic system operating steering, suspension, clutch and brakes. From 'Systeme Maserati' is allegedly where the moniker is derived, though perhaps 'Sa Majeste" is the more appropriate expansion of the abbreviation.

Power comes from the 2.7 litre Maserati V6 fed by three, twin-choke Weber carburetors, this transmits to the front wheels via a front mounted 5-speed transaxle incorporating inboard, vented front disc brakes. The park brake, contained within the same assembly, also acting to hold the front wheels.

This SM was acquired, from just south of Bergerac, Aquitaine, after a random perusal of a French free ad website one New Years Day. I'm not sure whether we were still under the influence of celebrating both the French and then English new year the night before but both Dad and I decided it would be a good idea to ring the vendor to see if it were still available, it was, and at a very attractive price. Whilst Mum and Rachel were out shopping the next day, we bought it. We didn't need it, we just fancied it.

The car needs work. The paint is flat, the engine needs a rebuild, the suspension lines leak, the brakes are soft, the interior is worryingly sticky and there are various areas of corrosion, mainly concentrated around the boot floor. Oh yes, and the wiring has been providing numerous rodents with Michelin-star quality repas since it was first laid up somewhere back in the mid 90's. But just look at it. It could be from nowhere else but the pen of a Frenchman. A design masterpiece by Robert Opron.

It runs, drives, raises and lowers, steers and stops. Tucked away, still in France it will be a mildly complex, though entirely fulfilling project for the future.

A tour of Europe is on the cards with this one....