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If traveling in a classic usually causes looks of curiosity, there are models that were born from the first moment to go down in history. What if, in addition, they had (even more) special versions? Today, among those great cars that hardly anyone knowswe bring to our website the Citroën SM Espacean authentic ‘ship’ -and ‘space ship’- with wheels and airs of greater exclusivity.

In 1970, after signing a succulent technical collaboration agreement with Maserati, citroen had launched the fastest front-wheel drive passenger car of its time: the Citroen SM. It was a vehicle full of very avant-garde shapes, ideas and solutions that made it as different as desired.


1971 Citroen SM Espace

And as if that were not enough, his letter of introduction ran, again, in charge of the great robert opron: a coupé body with two volumes and almost five meters, very aerodynamic and with a fully faired front, with the hydropneumatic technology of the Citroën ID/DS ‘Shark’ but taken to another level in terms of performance, comfort and quality.

Under its huge hood, a 170 hp 90º V6 engine with which the SM could reach the 220km/h…whose performance would later be improved by an electronic fuel injection. And despite the fact that the hoax has always run that the mechanics were the Maserati V8 from which two cylinders had been removed, the truth is that the block was self-developed and never had that internal configuration.

With the oil crisis of 1973 and the decline in demand, Citroën ended its collaboration with the brand of the trident and only kept this stem ‘in common’ in production until 1975, so any unit of the GT is already a cult. But for better or for worse, there is some other SM that belongs to that universe of great cars that almost nobody knows: example, the Citroen SM Espace.

Citroën SM Espace by Heuliez

The ‘S’ project – to which the letter ‘M’ would be attached for Maserati – promised a lot from the start. And the proof is that a year after its launch, in 1971, attendees at the Paris Motor Show once again had another ‘wow’ (or rather, ‘oh, là, là’) moment when they saw the interpretation of the car what he had done French coachbuilder Heuliez: the Citroën SM Espace.

I had the flat hubcaps that today are associated with the Citroën GS and Citroën CX, a beige leather interior, green dashboard, laminated rear curtain (type Lamborghini Miura, which would later also adopt the DeLorean DMC-12 or the BMW M1) and the most characteristic: an open roof, with a central sheet metal rib and a kind of side curtains on the front seats.

Despite the fact that expectations were quickly lowered with the elimination of some of these elements, Citroën decided that this version half coupe, half ‘targa’?allegory of ‘Space’, was not viable and Heuliez kept two units of the prototype as an example of what he was capable of doing (and patenting) for future collaborations.

And what happened to this portent of design, technology and elegance? Well, we know that after the SM Espace was auctioned in 2012, it was restored and sold again… to be ‘approximate’ to the original again in 2021with the same aubergine paint, its characteristic folding top sheets… and all the attributes of a true collector’s item.

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