On a boy’s dreams, cathedrals and galvanised ashtrays
Four wheels and an internal combustion engine. The passion it flares with both young and old will perhaps remain a mystery forever. Maybe it claws back at a type of deep-rooted, human need for freedom, a desire to tear ourselves from the monotony of earthly life. This is a desire car makers have played to for more than a century.
For many people, this prehistoric uprooting manifests itself at a young age. Without a doubt you, as a car enthusiast, have memories of an old Matchbox toy car you tore across the pile carpet with. It goes without question that these kinds of scenes attest to the argument that a car is so much more than a mode of transportation.
This last idea is something even the philosophers of this earth have bowed their heads over. A prominent subject of such contemplation was the Citroën DS. The French philosopher Roland Barthus compared The Goddess to the old Gothic cathedrals. It was a grand creation of an era, a mythology. Just like the ancient temples 'la nouvelle Citroën' was not just consumed in her use, but also in her image.
However, no matter how loved the DS was, Citroën did not stop at building a cathedral. Where Bertoni stopped, Opron kept building on a basilica. And like a medieval king, who claimed his power derived from God, so 'la Déesse' made way for 'Sa Majesté.
For us at Renard Automobiles, the SM holds no secrets. Time and again dreaming boys who grew up come to us to revitalize their youth romance. And if one thing has to be taken from all the by Maserati V6 tuned romances it would be this:
Old love does not rust.
And why would it? The Citroën SM is a car without equal. What car has ever brought together successfully the comfort of a Citroën, quirky French design and unrivaled Italian engine-building? Indeed, the fact that admirers of the SM have not stopped dreaming can hardly be a surprise.
But the most important thing about dreaming is that we all do it in our own way. And, however strange that may sound, there is not one ideal SM.
Leather or fabric? Injection or carburator?
Brun Scarabee or Bleu d’Orient?
Modern injection system or ‘70s guesswork?
Every enthusiast has his own ideas of what really defines 'a real SM'. Everyone's dream-SM simply looks that little bit different. And at Renard we do not believe in doing half work. We believe that if you dream, you have to do it properly.
It was with this idea in the back of his head that Nard went for a different approach. Instead of waiting for someone to bring in a SM, we would make one ourselves and wait for a prospective owner to colour in the picture.
The SM that is currently being offered by us did not always have hope for a bright future. For years it sat there, collecting dust in a shed in Frisia. Her engine had been stolen from her a long time ago. When she finally saw daylight again, her fate was not yet sure: scrapheap or a new life.
But like a raw diamond being polished, this gem will also regain her shine. Years of dust where already taken from her body. Every last bit of paint was burned away. Every bolt was unscrewed. Every piece of metal, even onto the ashtray, will be galvanized. Everything will be painted, whether it is in sight or not.
All this so that a dreamer can come by and realize his ideal SM. The car will not be finished until a romanticist comes along and chooses a colour. Until then she will remain as she is, like an empty canvas waiting for a masterpiece to be painted on it. All this is no more than logical. If you dream of a purple SM with white leather seats, if that is your SM, than we shall make it so.
Because, most importantly, the SM is not a car for a conformist. So why should you be satisfied with any choice that is not your own?