1973 Citroen SM 3.0 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


The best car ever made, full stop


Rear height corrector needed replacement (inexpensive). Exhaust system needed refresh. Used oil for first 2000 miles on newly rebuilt motor.

General Comments:

The most amazing car I have ever owned. Anywhere you park this car be prepared to spend 15 minutes talking with anyone who sees it.

The best riding car I have ever owned. It cruises like no other machine. You can do a 1000 miles in this car in one go and get out feeling refreshed.

Maserati engine is fantastic, it goes hard and makes 100 mph feel like 50.

I drive an SM because there is no other car that has come along to better it. Are modern manufacturers in touch with the past?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2008

1st Apr 2008, 09:29

What part of the world are you located. There is a great place for service on west coast. I put about 100,000 miles on my SM which I purchased new in 1973. I have owned over 40 cars and the SM was the best.

2nd Apr 2008, 20:59

Both New Zealand and Australia are just off the West Coast and a little south of California.

1973 Citroen SM 3.0 from North America


It is worthy of a Greek tragedy that this car doesn't get anymore credit to its name than it does.


Brake accumulator - replaced.

Pressure regulator - replaced.

Cam chains and timing chain replaced - tend to break.

Jack shaft seal replaced twice - 1st time seal was damaged during installation causing the next fault.

All radiator hoses and sensors replaced, heater core and radiator boiled due to oil contamination from jack shaft seal. (My fault, not cars)

Original exhaust valves replaced - tend to break.

Rear wheel bearing replaced.

Spheres replaced 2 times - periodic replacement.

Voltage regulator quit

Alternator quit, both replaced with new style alternator with internal regulator.

Oil cooler lines replaced as a precaution.

Starter damaged by water, 25 years later because of rust, driving through flooded are in early 80,s - replaced (my fault, water was 4 feet deep, shouldn't have gone through it, but a credit to the car it made it with no problems at the time.

General Comments:

All in all not that many issues in 31 years of use!

This car is an engineering marvel; never seen anything quite like to this day and it was made in the early 70's.

The steering, breaking, and suspension are all controlled by a hydraulic pneumatic system.

The steering radius is tighter than a VW bug, and this car is 16 feet long.

Car has automatic centering steering, and steering wheel can be taken front tilt to tilt with 1 finger when car is running and sitting still.

The car can be driven on only 3 wheels.

The suspension is automatically leveling thus balancing out the car with uneven loads in it, or going around lots of tight corners.

Due to the hydraulic suspension you do not need a jack to remove any of the wheels.

It can do 149 miles an hour with 4 full grown adults in it.

It has headlights that rotate with the steering wheel when turning - European version.

The car's shape was designed in a wind tunnel thus giving it about the same drag coefficient of a Lamborghini Diablo.

I have NEVER got this car stuck in the snow and I live in Colorado. I have even got up hills I saw 4 wheel drive cars unable to get up.

This car may seem to other people that it is labor intensive, and by today’s car standards it may be, but I can tell you it is easier to work on than a Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW or Triumph because I have owned all 4 of those. If properly maintained, it is not unheard of to get more than 300k miles out of this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2007

13th Jan 2017, 05:03

Infinitely more advanced and appealing than anything else of its time.

13th Jan 2017, 16:23

"Infinitely more advanced" = infinitely more trouble prone.

14th Jan 2017, 00:44

SM stands for Sadomasochism, after all!

I'd much rather spend the time and money on something interesting, like a SM, than a more conventional classic car.