PCH, Challenging The King Edition: Citroën SM or Four Ferraris?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Challenging The King Edition: Citroën SM or Four Ferraris?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! We all knew that the Nixonian Cadillac Fleetwood limo had no chance against a Citroën, and our most recent Choose Your Eternity poll confirmed our assumptions. Any Citroën is tough to beat in a Project Car Hell Challenge, due to the off-the-scale readings Citroëns always register on both the Hell-O-Meter and the Cool-O-Meter. And a Citroën SM? Forget it! Even with a fairly nice SM, you'd need some kind of weapons grade project to have any hope against the car made by the French and Italian governments, the pure Essence Of Hell Project centrifuged down from a large quantity of seriously cool machinery and then offered at a price that draws you in like a black hole dragging you past its event horizon. Well, guess what?

Even if we'd found an ad for the actual Apollo 16 Lunar Rover, hauled back to Earth by a North Korean spaceship, burned up on reentry, scattered all over Nunavit, and then gathered into a shipping container and mixed with the remains of a burned-out pinball machine warehouse, it still wouldn't be as tough a project as a basket-case Citroën SM. For this reason, we're going with a pretty solid example, in this '73 (go here if the ad disappears), which is priced at only $5,250. It starts up and the hydropneumatic suspension rises, so you figure you can just do a little bodywork and you'll have a nice car, right? Sure thing… only first you'll have to do a little futzing about with the fuel system, because the car has "fuel delivery issues due to dirty fuel tank carbs could use a good cleaning." You know, nobody calls they call that Maserati V6 the "Mopar Slant Six Of Italy" because it's amazingly simple and dependable, so most likely it will work perfectly after just a few spritzes of carb cleaner down those Webers. How can you lose?
A Maserati engine is great, and that SM is a gorgeous machine… but you're looking for a full-on Italian Hell Project, and we don't mean some lame Biturbo or prole-grade Fiat Spider. It's got to be a Ferrari for your garage… no, wait- it's got to be many Ferraris, in your garage, down the driveway, and parked on the lawn. Did I say "parked?" Maybe that's not the right word here; let's say "dropped" instead, because that's what you'll do with these four Ferraris. The eBay price is $3,000, with an unspecified reserve, but they're on Craigslist for only $1,500. They're apparently 308s and 328s, and with the addition of a few incredibly costly parts here and there you'll be able to put together one perfect car! OK, scratch that- with the addition of four 1978 Pontiac Bonnevilles and some plywood body panels, you'll be able to slap together four fully drivable 301-powered machines, and they'll be registered as Ferraris! Thanks to A Benz Apart for the tip!


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Ohhhhh, the possibility of a Ferrari 578 is calling.

That is a 308 without the 3.0, and a 5.7 V8 dropped in there.

Even a Ferrari 436 would be sweet.

I do have a Jaguar V12 sitting around without a project to go into...

Damn Scottsdale being too far away.