In contrast to the silly video about the SM that The Grand Tour released on Dec. 19 (and mentioned in Citroenvie), Tyrrell’s Classic Workshop posted a video on Dec. 26 of the very same SM featured on The Grand Tour. This time however, Iain Tyrrell discusses the SM’s development and takes a road test where he eloquently conveys the brilliant engineering, styling and remarkable ride that only the SM delivers to one fortunate enough to be behind the wheel.

There is just one inaccuracy this time. Iain mentions that the Maserati V6 engine in the SM was ‘chopped down’ version of their V8 at the time. Actually, the SM V6 engine was designed from scratch by Maserati’s Giulio Alfieri but capable of being assembled on existing V8 tooling. Because of this, the engine sported an unusual 90° angle between cylinder banks. Aside from the engine statement, the video is a good overview of the SM that you can watch here:

1 comment

  1. Mistake after mistake in the telling of this story, perpetuating the V8 myth and improperly explaining why the V6 is 90 degrees.

    The V6 was fashioned after the V8, but not a “lopped off” version. And the 90 degree angle was selected to reduce the height of the engine to fit the already formed low hood. The SM body precedes the creation of the engine, so Alferi knew what the package limitations were. He fails to discuss the desire by Citroën to use a flat six in the SM, or even a Wankel, both of which failed. And I’m not sure I’d describe the cooperative effort as cooperation “between nations”, they were businesses that did this to make a buck! Lots of international companies by the time of the SMs creation, come on.

    His use of language is exceptionally poor at times, esp. for what I assume is a well educated man. For example, he calls the turning headlights “revolving”, when they actually pivot.

    Later he claims the hydraulic system “alters the braking pressure so the wheels don’t lock up” which is not true. He may be trying to describe the rear suspension hydraulic compensator that helps prevent rear wheel lockup, but cannot stop wheel lockup from happening regardless.

    He “tunes” the carbs without using a vacuum gauge, instead he uses a rubber hose? Haha, as if! What nonsense, I’d fire him as a mechanic.

    Equal length suspension arms were used because “Citroën didn’t want the car to have too much grip”? What? Who in their right mind…

    Overall his videos are too general IMO. But these things above demonstrate a serious lack of being serious! 🙂 I’d be gentler in my criticism if it weren’t for the fact that he comes across as an “authority” and as such should not perpetuate bad information. Really, he’s not that good. Describing handling as feedback, for example, is just wrong. Yes, the SM doesn’t give feedback, but it still handles amazingly well, you simply have to learn how to “read” the car so you can give the correct inputs.

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