Motor Trend reflects on their choice of the SM as their ultimate Car of the Year

In celebration of Motor Trend’s 75th anniversary, the publication chose to highlight what they feel was a milestone in automotive design and engineering in 1972 — the Citroën SM.

Motor Trend’s link to a web version of their original article honouring the SM in 1972 includes 10 pictures (in black & white) that are better resolution than those found in the magazine:

Note that the SM shown has USA headlights but is devoid of the side marker lights that USA (and Canadian spec) SMs had at the time. That is because it is the very first SM imported into Citroën’s USA’s West Coast facility. Richard Bonfond’s father Albert, who worked for Citroën in Los Angeles at the time, picked-up the SM at LAX when it was flown over with Air France. It was a blue coloured full Euro spec model. Richard recalls the Friday when his dad drove the SM home from LAX. He was just a kid and when he saw it coming up his street he was in awe. It was a most memorable weekend for both of them. The USA “bucket style” headlights were fitted in Los Angeles prior the SM being handed over the press.

According to Richard, the first SM that went to Citroën USA head office on East coast was gold coloured and also in full Euro spec.

Citroën marketing in the USA handed out a 16 page reprint of the Motor Trend pick at the time that also included a 3 page section called “Ride ’n Drive” where Motor Trend showed the other contenders for the award. (We have that Citroën USA publication in our Citroenvie Archives.)

If you would like to look at any of the past Motor Trend magazine publications (back as far 1949), they can be found here:

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