The SM is a beautifully conceived and well built car. It performs quietly, powerfully and gives the driver a very rewarding time. The Sm has a number of different feature which makes it the best G.T. of its day. The suspension is the supreme citroen hydro- pneumatic setup that combines perfect road holding with an exceptional ride. The Maserati engine is very powerful, yet it weighs only some 140 Kg.
The top speed is about 140 mph. The power steering is self centering and has a mechanism that puts an increased resistance on turning the wheel the faster you drive, making it safer at high speeds, yet very light during parking. The Sm was equipped with six self leveling, swiveling headlights in its european version. The Sm requires knowledgeable service as any other super car, something it perhaps didn't get in the US judging from the few good SM's remaining in this country. If you follow the manuals carefully there is no problem to maintain an SM yourself.
I am unique in the United States in that I am 48 years old and have been driving Citroen's all my life. I took my drivers test in a 1962 ID19 back in 1972. The first thing I have come to know about Citroen, is that it is a great marque. the second thing I have come to know of this great marque is that like anything you love in life, you have to "give to get" whether it is money or time... you do what it takes to maintain the satisfaction recieved. I have always enjoyed the satisfaction of driving a superior, technologically advanced machine, and just like the game of golf, it is a mix of challenge, disappointment, success and satisfaction that keeps us coming back time and time again. Viva La France! Viva La Citroen!
I first saw an SM in 1974 while living in the Dominican Republic. I was 10 years old. A short time back I was able to buy an SM as a restoration project.
I find this car to be unique in appearance, technically exacting and innovative. A variant of its suspension is about to make an appearance on new 4WD vehicles. So it only took the auto industry 30 years to catch up. That same suspension has been cushioning the ride of Rolls-Royce models for many years.
These cars are not for the technically meek or timid. Also do not be frightened away by the stories of expensive parts, exploding engines or other tales. Most of these originate with poor maintenance and hold true of any vehicle.
Isn't it odd that what is called maintenance on one vehicle is called a problem on another. Replacing shocks or struts is considered maintenance. Replacing accumulators (spheres) on a Citroen is considered a problem.
A Citroen SM with the appropriate maintenance and updates will serve as a rare and enjoyable GT.