It is with great sadness that we have learned of the sudden passing of Jerry Hathaway on Saturday, Sept 4th.
Jerry was one of the most knowledgeable people about the workings of the Citroën SM, and owned and operated SM World in the Los Angeles area.
Jerry’s interest in Citroëns grew from working at Irv White Buick in Los Angeles. After doing alignments and various other boring work on Buicks for nearly years, in 1972 the shop decided to take on the Citroën SM and that is when things changed for Jerry. Every other technician was intimidated by the SM’s complexity, yet Jerry was obsessed with all aspects of the car often saying “It was from a different planet” and decided to become an SM specialist.
He set out on his own in 1976 along with Sylvia, his wife at the time, and began to hoard Citroën parts. Citroën USA had heard about his notoriety servicing SMs in LA and bestowed on him factory-certified status. If you wanted your SM (or DS or CX) worked on or restored, SM World became the place to go. Along with his servicing and restoration efforts, Jerry and Sylvia created extensive service documentation for the SM which they freely shared as well as creating a reference directory of virtually all of the SMs that they encountered.
One of Jerry’s crowning achievements was building the world record-holding SM racecar along with a custom Citroën hydraulic suspension tow trailer and an SM Jerry modified to be a pick-up tow vehicle. (Read the article that Hagerty did on them here: https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/mullin-museum-citroen-exhibit/.)
Jerry worked on SMs for a number of notable customers. His most prolific one was arguably Jay Leno who Jay has credited on many occasions for helping him source, maintain and enhance the DS and the SM that he owns. One great moment with Jerry and Jay was captured on video back in October 2016 on Jay Leno’s Garage. We featured it here: https://citroenvie.com/jay-leno-chats-sms-with-jerry-hathaway/
Both Both the SM racer and the pick-up were auctioned in 2021. (We wrote about it at the time: https://citroenvie.com/2-unique-sm-world-wonders-to-be-auctioned/.)
At the moment we do not have any more details about Jerry’s passing and ask that you please do no disturb his family or visit his home/garage. Will will post more information when it becomes available.