Market Finds: Pick Up A Well-Priced SM While You Still Can

Pick Up A Well-Priced SM While You Still Can

Avatar By Alan Franklin
March 29, 2013
10 comments

The SM is unquestionably one of the most special cars ever built, combining Citroën’s incredible oleo-pneumatic suspension, unique and beautiful Robert-Opron-penned styling, and an exotic, quad-cam Maserati V6 heart.

Citroën built less than 13,000 SMs between 1970 and 1975, and of that relatively small number, many have either succumbed to the car’s propensity to rust or to improper maintenance and repair—the incredibly complex nature of its engineering means that in 2013 there are perhaps only a handful of mechanics with the necessary skills to properly work on SMs. If you’re prepared to pay exotic car running costs, though, there are few cars as unique and rewarding to drive in this world as a well-cared-for SM.

Click here for a well-written and thorough buyer’s guide that you may want to take a close look at in order to get a broader idea of what SM custodianship could potentially mean to your wallet.

Market values for the SM have really been on the rise of late, particularly in the past four or five years. Not long ago, one could easily pick up a serviceable and running example for under $10,000—something that may still be possible with a bit of luck and a lot of searching, but a realistic minimum 2013 price of membership in the SM club is $15,000 and up, with well-optioned, pristine and original, or very well-restored examples fetching high $30k to low $40k prices. Cars fitted with the highly-desirable swiveling Euro headlights can command nearly $10,000 extra, while manuals are typically some 30% more valuable than comparable automatic cars. Factory Carbon Fiber wheels (!) and sunroofs can also affect a car’s asking price. As with all cars, particularly 1970s Franco-Italian hybrid supercoupes, it’s best to buy the best one you can afford, as the cost of even a partial restoration could prove financially ruinous for most. Chances are, though, that prices will continue to rise, meaning a nice SM could make a sound long-term investment.

Comparable cars are hard to come by, as the SM is a very individual beast, but similar money can buy any number of equally desirable, if rather more conventional GT cars. Perhaps a nice 911S or a BMW 3.0CS would fit the bill? If you’re after something a little more rarefied, clean Jensen Interceptors are also frequently available at prices occupying the higher end of the SM market—there really are a lot of options in this segment, but if you’ve been wanting an SM there’s likely nothing else that will scratch that very particular itch.

A long-term relationship with an SM is never going to be a low-maintenance affair, but like all difficult things in life, the reward is proportionate to the effort put forth—by that measure, the SM surely ranks as one of the most potentially rewarding classic cars on Earth.

Click here to check out vintage Citroëns offered for sale on eBay.

Image Sources: Influx, 3oneseven, AutoNavigatorRU

Join the Conversation
Related

Leave a Reply

bmw2002
bmw2002

lovely looking things, but as everyone says they are high maintenance, I was passing a local school and saw one parked up, gave the owner a lift back to his home , the oil pump had packed up on it. Bill Wyman’s one was nice at the Goodwood Auction last year went for around £50k though but he had kept it in fine fettle.

LandcruiserGuy
LandcruiserGuy

Saw a very clean one last summer, in New England of all places: http://i.imgur.com/mT3lB.jpg

Marc Lawrence
Marc Lawrence

Always thought this was a very special car to have and drive. However, I knew it would be an expensive love hate relatonship. These cars could be had for 4-5k not long ago. Cheers to those who have the temperament and bank account to keep these cars alive.

Matt Hamilton
Matt Hamilton

Neat, beautiful in a unique way, and on my long list. Big issue as mentioned is lots of maintenance to defer and lot$ of reasons to defer it. Hydraulic system is extensive, complicated and many of the components are hard to reach. Engine is powerful so timing chains require frequent monitoring that is not easy. Replacement is rumored to be an engine out affair. For all the required effort I think I’d spend a bit more and go with Maserati Khamsin or possibly Merak, the SM’s half-siblings.

Matt Hamilton
Matt Hamilton

Well, maybe a bit more than a bit more… Khamsin’s look to about $90K and Merak’s approaching $50k.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Read an article a few years ago in Octane where an SM had a Merak SS engine swap. Added a good 40bhp and tester thought it made a great car even better.

Burt Munro
Burt Munro

There was one for $1500 on my local CL a coupla months back. Ran, but needed paint and interior.

As much as I love them, I passed.

Bob R Kenyon
Bob R Kenyon

I’ve been in love with these since I was a teenager and they cost $13K brand new. Unfortunately, the only one on ebay looks like a big project:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1973-Citroen-SM-Maserati-/140942357222?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item20d0d1b2e6#v4-41

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

One of the coolest cars ever! Not sure they are that great a long term investment though, mechanical complexity and fairly mainstream brand will keep prices from going stratospheric IMO. That’s a good thing in my book.

Afshin Behnia
Afshin Behnia

One of the coolest indeed! Gotta love those covered headlamp array and the distinctly French lines.