Friday, March 10, 2006

Citroën SM

A car in a field

The drive to work today was enlivened by the sight of a rare beast indeed. It was a Citroën SM, which stands for Sport Maserati.

The product of an insane partnership between Maserati and Citroën (have two companies ever been less alike?) the SM was most technically advanced car of it's era. It featured hydo-pneumatic suspension, brakes, steering, gearchange, and headlights that rotated with the steering wheel (allowing the car to "see" around corners). The engine was a rather fetching all-alloy quad-cam 3.0-litre V6, as used in the Maserati Merak.

I've never seen an SM on the road before, and admire anyone brave enough to own such a complex and barking mad vehicle.

You can learn more about them
here, and here.



Blogger David Young said...

Someone near me has a De Lorean parked in their drive! No idea whether it functions or not.

By the way, on the subject of cars, are you of the opinion that the 'supercars' of yesteryear are more attractive than those of today? I would much rather have a Ferrari 308 than the later models. I would rather have the Countach than the later Lamborghinis and somehow the Porsches of the early 1980s look racier than the modern ones, which seem overbuilt.


2:22 PM  
Blogger roGER said...

Wow, a De Lorean - how surreal!

Yes, you're right - in contrast to other products of the decade, super car asthetics of the 1970s are very good indeed, and hold up very well even 30 years later.

It's a pity the 308 was ruined somewhat for me by the association with the moronic "Magnum P.I" TV series. Force yourself to forget Tom Selleck's medallion man image and you see a beautiful machine that looks great from from any angle, although I reckon it's predecessor the Dino is the most beautiful car ever made.

Contemporary Porsches are wide and very heavy, which is never good for performance and agility no matter what the numbers say. They are also stupidly overpriced.

However, the build quality and general component quality of contemporary super cars is miles better than before (with the important exception of Porsche).

Check out the welding on any 70s Ferrari, or Maserati, or De Tomaso, and then move on to admire the er... "quality" of its Marelli electrics.

As my mate John, owner of several 1970s Ferraris put it: "They're badly made Fiats with a big engine."

Hummmmmmm. Quite so.

12:34 PM  

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