Lot 24 (Imperial War Museum Duxford, 14th October 2015)
Registration No: GMO130N
Chassis No: 00SC3478
Mot Expiry: Oct 2016
Masterminded by Robert Opron, the SM was unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Salon. Intended as a grand routier, the newcomer married the world's most technologically advanced front-wheel-drive platform to Maserati 'quad-cam' power (the Italian marque having been a Citroen subsidiary since 1968). Credited with developing some 170bhp and 172lbft, its free-revving 2.7-litre V6 engine (later 3.0-litre) was mounted behind the front wheels and allied to five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. Boasting a 0.25cd, the four-seater 'Serie Maserati' featured all-round independent, self-levelling oleo-pneumatic suspension, speed-sensitive power steering (2.0 turns lock to lock) and powerful disc brakes. The world's fastest front-wheel drive production car upon launch, Motor magazine found Citroen's flagship to be capable of 137 mph and 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds. Of the 12,920 SMs built, only 327 were officially imported into the UK. All are left-hand drive apart from a handful converted to RHD in Australia.
A UK market car that is understood to have had just five keepers from new, chassis OOSC3478 was acquired by the late David Chaulkin in 1990. A renowned SM aficionado who lectured on the model at Retromobile, Mr Chaulkin preferred carburettor-fed engines to fuel-injected ones and 'GMO 130N' has been modified accordingly. Treated to a re-ground crankshaft and new mains / big-end bearings in recent years but little used since, the replacement V6 boasts a stainless steel exhaust and is allied to five-speed manual transmission. Riding on scarce worn Michelin tyres, chassis OOSC3478 shows just 64,000 miles to its odometer. Said by the vendor to possess 'beautiful almost unmarked Cream bodywork' and 'smart Tan leather upholstery and Oatmeal carpets', this charismatic Citroen is offered for sale with handbook.