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What to do with a Citroen Basket Case? je ne sais quoi

Tim Odell December 19, 2013 For Sale, Terrible Ideas 29 Comments

1972 citroen sm for sale

The Citroen SM represents the pinnacle of something, it’s just no obvious what. Oddball engineering and unique styling combined to make it a car splits the difference between a BMW e9 (CS coupe) and a Cadillac Eldorado: European craftsmanship and cabin layout to pilot a floaty front-wheel-drive highway missile. Beyond that cursory description I’ll chuck it over to Lieberman from a 2007 induction piece to the .

Jonny’s never been one for spinning wrenches (he’s got people to do that ), so while the SM made great sense if you were Burt Reynolds in 1974 the budgetary realities for you and me in 2013 mean our examples are a bit less awe inspiring. Actually, they still inspire awe, just differently. Case-in-point, today’s is a mere $504 with unmet reserve, but will likely need everything. The body shell has dents but no rust, but the interior is aged and the motor is frozen. The hydropneumatic suspension will need complete replacement.

1972 citroen sm engine1972 citroen sm front

Unlike so many nearly hopeless classics of yore, “LSX Ford FE390 FTW” doesn’t really play out here, given the FWD chassis and bonkers suspension. Off the top of my head (or maybe some other part of my anatomy), dropping in the FWD drivetrain out of an old Eldo and offending everyone seems attractive. Sacre bleu!

  • dukeisduke

    An awful lot of "I don't know" statements in the ad, considering that the car parked in the garage behind it is also an SM.

    • Guessing he bought it as a parts car, found a whole lot of nothing for usable parts, and the HOA or his wife told him to get rid of it after it sat under a tarp in the driveway for 6 months.

      • dukeisduke

        I hate HOAs.

  • The Lemons judges would love this thing. Just sayin'.

    • Sjalabais

      If you surgically cut out everything that makes the SM nametag appropriate, you might end up with some metal and glasswork on a Civic chassis. Sounds completely fine.

    • smalleyxb122

      I agree, and a Citroen S&M theme practically writes itself, and if it became the Torment Incorporated S&M Citroen, all the better to curry favor.

    • Slow_Joe_Crow

      Apparently I'm not the only one who saw $504 and immediately thought Lemons car. Given the legendary complexity of these cars, you would only need to do o2 or 3 laps for an IOE win.

  • Smokey Says

    A gallon of unleaded and a flick of the Bic is all this thing needs.

    • putting a couple of dollops of ATF down all the sparkplug holes and letting it sit for a couple of days-weeks would probably be an advisable first step.

      • topdeadcentre

        I think Smokey meant the other kind of "getting it to fire"…

        • oh boy, did that go over my head.

  • Rover1

    Well worth a full restoration, if only it was closer…

  • DonFehlio

    I love these so much that I almost want to buy it and just park it in my backyard.

    • dukeisduke

      Until the city, or your insurer, figures out you have it back there.

  • Van_Sarockin

    C'mon there! It's an intact SM, it's got to be worth the weekend's effort needed to vacuum it out and give it a nice polish. And I'm pretty sure Monroe makes some great shocks that will slip right in. Then your spaceship from the future will give you decades of loyal service.

    • Sjalabais

      After you, sir.

      • Van_Sarockin

        Ah, but I'm in search of bigger challenges.

        • Sjalabais

          Il est bien fait!

          • You misspelled "Fiat."

  • The most difficult thing about SM ownership is having somewhere to store all that WIN.

    • Sjalabais

      The Swedish journalist who was the first to throw the then-new MB A class of its wheels in the avoid-the-moose-test was an avid Citroën fan. If I can trust my memory, he had a SM for a daily driver. I can see how that can throw an A class off balance.

  • smalleyxb122

    Even though I don't need it, if it can be had for cheap enough… This is what I was afraid of when I bought my trailer.

    It's less than an hour from me, and would make an awesome LeMons car if it could be had for cheap enough. (I'm not too worried about actually hitting $500, since the judges would probably make some allowances for a Citroen SM).

    BTW, I'm the current high bidder, but my $700 bid still didn't meet the reserve.

    edit: Upping my max bid to $750 didn't meet it, either.

  • lilpoindexter

    Scrap this beast.

  • citroen67

    Paging Jerry Hathaway! Would you please pick up the white courtesy phone on level 1-B?


    Overly complicated with questionable engineering and a total basket case..to start with. Send it to the crusher – FTW!

  • If I could restore the suspension, I would take out the motor, and make it an electric. What could go wrong?!

    • Nah. Wankel Rotary. Citroen SM Birotor. If you're going to have a nightmare, may as well make it horrific.

      • texlenin

        Helicopter gas turbine? Already has a hydraulic pump on it….

  • texlenin

    pull a reverse of the Landy with SM underpinnings from 2006- Nissan V6 and aftermarket airbags.
    My preference is for a Hartley H1 v8 with the magnetic spings from a late model Caddie….



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