On closure, decoration and contemporaries

The newly painted exteriorSome time has passed since you last heard about this project. Despite this silence, we have been far from idle. In the previous part we talked about the complicated and thorough process of painting a Citroën SM. Now, we would like to share the result of this work with you.

Her Majesty has a new coat, vert argenté of colour. She has also found her heart once more. With 194 din bhp, this 3 litre injection engine is the most powerful we have ever built.

However, in this part we would like to talk about the design of the cThe new engineabin, the cockpit, the place where the fortunate driver controls this French-Italian beauty. The seats have been upholstered with brown, two-toned leather. The roof has been lined with alcantara, a type of fabric that maintains its tension. The single-spoke steering wheel is new, as are the door panels.

The new interiorThe interior of the SM is as quirky as its exterior. Both the steering wheel and the dials in the dashboard are oval-shaped. Round was clearly considered too conventional by her designers. Where the instruments are round, the seats following a rectangular pattern. Every seat is made up of rectangular cushions. It is by these seats that one can distinguish a properly upholstered SM from less fortunate specimen. Often these rectangular cushions are made too round, losing the original design.

Another mark of quality in the interior of a SM are the door panels. These are made up of different rows, which are stitched by some trimmers. However, this is not how they were originally produced. These rows were pressed into shape, as they have been in this SM.

The interior of an SM distinguishes itself through comfortability and luxury, something that was strongly emphasised her own time. The steering wheel could be adjusted in both height and depth. While she could be bought without, most SM’s were fitted with air conditioning. As is customary with a grand tourer, the front offers ample seating space. It should be noted that this meant that, equally true to the grand tourer concept, the rear seats had too little space for any individual with legs. The three-point seat belt made use of the same locking mechanism as was used in airplanes.

Despite the fact that a SM seems to glide over the road’s surface, these strange seat belt locks were the only thing she had in common with an airplane. However… This interior, an echo of the 70’s, represents The Citroën SM and the Concorde airplane, contemporariesquirkiness, progress, modernity and luxury. It is these elements the SM shares with an illustrious contemporary. Both are innovative in their own ways. And both show that norms exist to be challenged and to be broken. It is their quirkiness that distinguishes them and makes them beloved. And Her Majesty has a lot of love yet to receive. But more about that another time...

See this Citroën SM up close? She can be viewed on Renard Automobiles’ stand on Citromobile, on the 4th and 5th of May. Check the site of Citromobile for more information.