I’d driven past this Citroën specialist many times and the possibly-immobile DS had been a regular fixture. While not a bad CC find in itself, one day two years ago there was something extra special sitting in front of it!
For example, another time there was a Holden ute and another DS parked, with the first DS peeking into the side of the photo. Apparently they specialize in restoring and turning DS’ into replica convertibles. Suffice to say the SM was an exceptional car; a luxurious Grand Touring car in the traditional sense of the word, and its history has been well-covered on Curbside Classic (see links below).
While you might think that the 1973 fuel crisis would have the largest influence in the demise of the SM, it was actually changes in US safety regulations in 1974 that effectively banned all existing Citroën models from the US market (unsold cars were shipped to Japan), and Citroën going into bankruptcy also in 1974 that were the big items. Citroën’s factory on the banks of the Seine in Paris closed and production was transferred to new owner Peugeot’s factory, while Maserati was sold in 1975 and with it the source of engines was gone.
It goes without saying that the car is rare: fewer than 13,000 cars were built from 1970-75. As few as 12 cars originally came to Australia through the importer at the time Duttons, converted to RHD by specialists Chapel Engineering because Citroën only produced the cars in LHD.
Since then however there have been many more private imports and it is believed that as many as 80 cars may now be in Australia. The car above would appear to be RHD based on the lack of visible dashboard in the photo above, but equally it may have the US-spec four round headlights behind the curved covers.
At the time (two years ago) I just took a couple of quick snaps as I was on my way past to work on my own car, for which I had little enough time as it was. Perhaps a CC reader will know more about this car?