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CitroŽn SM Club Finlande (SMCF) is a society of Finnish CitroŽn Maserati enthusiasts and a member of ACry (CitroŽn Automobile Club of Finland).

Established in 2003, the aim of the society is to make this magnificent flagship model from CitroŽn famous in Finland; only two such cars were originally imported to this country.

The society also provides information on CitroŽn SM to its members as well as to persons considering buying one and people generally interested in this car model. In addition, the society seeks to increase the level of CitroŽn SM ownership towards that of a civilized Western country.

At the moment there are 24 SMs in Finland. 14 of them are registered and taxed; 10 are fully restored and accepted in the historic vehicle register. There are some SMs under restoration and probably at least two or three cars more will be finished during 2009.

Each and every Finnish CitroŽn SM owner becomes an automatic member of the society. Also all ACry members interested in SM are of course most welcome to join.

SM Club Finlande arranges an annual rally, the Official SM-Meeting of Finland, which is a 2-day family event for like-minded people to spend some good time together and converse over a sauna-bath and good food. This year's meeting will be the 5th in a row. Finnish Maserati Merak owners are welcome to meetings along with their families and cars.

This year CitroŽn SM Club Finlande will also be joining the Federation Internationale Clubs Citroen SM (FICCSM), thereby opening the connection to European network of SM enthusiasts.

 

The Two Finnish SMís

Only two CitroŽn SM cars were originally imported to Finland. They arrived in the country by the freight ferry íHektosí on 23rd March 1971. As soon as on 30th March 1971, the CitroŽn SM was type-approved in Finland.

Itís quite strange that the two cars imported to Finland had so different serial numbers. One was SB0212, having rolled out of the factory already in October 1970, and the other was, SB1399, which did not come until January 1971.

 

The First One, SM 00SB212

This car was in Sable metallisť (AC318) with beige velour interior. The first two weeks of its life in Finland the car was on display in the showroom of Korpivaara company (the former Finnish CitroŽn importer).

When taken into traffic, the car was registered for Korpivaara companyís presentation on AS-40 plates. The next owner, Mr. Jaakko Paakkanen owned the car until 1977, when he obviously swapped it into a big Renault at a local Renault dealer.

That dealer had never seen a CitroŽn like that. He happened to know the Finlandís most famous CitroŽn enthusiast, Mr. Pekka Pirttiniemi, who also ran both a CitroŽn dealership and a very skilful CitroŽn workshop. The Renault dealer called Mr. Pirttiniemi and told he has an odd two-door CitroŽn coupť in his second-hand car hall. Mr. Pirttiniemi was close to get bread down the wrong way. He absolutely forbid to sell the car to anybody else, hurried up to the shop and bought the SM, the car of his dreams, straight away.

Mr. Pirttiniemi owned the car for almost 20 years. He had leasing contracts with some CitroŽn enthusiasts during those years, and he always restored the SM when contracts were over before delivering it to the next leasing period.

In 1995 the SM finally got a new owner, Mr. Kari Kenetti, an art gallerist and a CitroŽn enthusiast, of course. Mr. Kenetti had a complete renovation job done, and he even bought a whole spares car from Germany to get the work properly done. Mr. Kenetti owned the car until 2005 until it was bought to the CitroŽn collection of Itikka Cultural Fund (Itikan KulttuurisšštiŲ) in the city of Iisalmi in northern Savolax.

In the early 80ís Mr. Pekka Pirttiniemi managed to purchase another SM from the famous Finnish architect, Mr. Eero Aarnio, who had imported an efi SM with himself during his long working period abroad in the late 70ís. Mr. Pirttiniemi still owns that car, which is the third SM in this country.

 

The Mysterious Second One, SM 00SB1399

The first owner of this SM was Mr. Sulo Pietikšinen who ran a plumber company in the city of Savonlinna. He had bought a DS21efi Pallas early in 1970, but after having been told that a new luxurious and more expensive CitroŽn was released, he immediately wanted to have one. After winning a constructing job of sewage at the Viru Hotell in Tallinn, he did not need to worry about money.

Mr. Sulo Pietikšinen even went to France with a Korpivaara representative to make a test drive. He didnīt actually drive personally, but CitroŽnís test driver presented the car for him at the factory test track.

The SM was then ordered in Feuille dorťe (AC 319) and the interior in black leather. Mr. Pietikšinen also ordered tinted windows, radio, fog lights and air conditioning. His SM was registered in Finland, with the serial number 00SB1399, on 2nd April 1971 to the plates MZJ-24.

Mr.Pietikšinen owned the SM for four years and then swapped it at Viljakainenís Ė the local CitroŽn dealer in Savonlinna Ė to a DS23 efi Pallas. We have reason to believe that there were serious problems with the SM engine at that time.

Mr. Poppe LŲfman was the next owner of the SM and he was told that the engine had been repaired. However, Mr. LŲfman told that it wasnít ok. He initially thought about buying a new engine, but then decided to sell the whole car, because it was too conspicuous for him to drive. So he traded it to a tractor-digger at Valmet tractor and forklift central in the city of Vantaa.

Then Mr. LŲfman heard the SM was bought into Loimaa and the engine had soon totally exploded. This is the last information we have of Mr. Pietikšinenís SM in Finland. After that, the car disappeared.

The insurance company later contacted Mr. LŲfman, a Korpivaara employee and even CitroŽn specialist Mr. Pirttiniemi in 1978 and questioned them about this SM. Later the car was reported to having been stolen in Finland.

Urban Legends

When a conspicuous, luxurious collectorís car mysteriously disappears, it always invites rumours. As Mr. Pietikšinenís SM disappeared for decades, there were also numerous theories of what had happened to it.

Here are the most famous ones:

1. The car was driven through the ice of Lake Saimaa in wintertime, and compensation was withdrawn from the insurance company.

2. The car was sold abroad but reported to be stolen, and compensation was withdrawn from the insurance company.

3. The car was stolen and disappeared without signs.

4. The car was fully damaged in a road accident near St. Petersburg, Russia, and was left there.

5. The car was driven to the rear of a timber lorry near St. Petersburg, was lifted on the Russian lorry and sold as spares for the Communist Party Leader, Mr. Leonid Breznevís CitroŽn SM. (He was rumoured to own one as a gift from the French government.)

6. The car is stored in a shed in the area of Savonlinna Ė St. Michel cities. And there it still is.

The Truth

Sometimes the truth is even more imaginative than the legend itself. Mr. Pietikšinenís SM was accidentally unearthed from our neighbour country, Sweden, in 2007.

The Swedish tale tells that the Finnish owner had lost it in a game of poker. The winner had imported the SM into Sweden, along with a Jaguar and a van, all proceeds of card play victories. Unfortunately the documentation had been disappeared and it was impossible to get the SM road-taxed in Sweden. So it was carefully stored within the premises of a CitroŽn dealer in Kiruna, the most northern city of Sweden.

An SM enthusiast and a CitroŽn dealer in Kilafors, southern Sweden, Mr. Jan Nybom, bought the car from Kiruna for spares in 2002. He desperately needed European nose spares, when one of his SM enthusiast mates had got a loose truck wheel at the front of his SM. Mr. Nybom helped his friend and started to dismantle this car. During the job he noticed that the old Kirunan SM was in excellent condition, absolutely rust-free and even the finish was shiny and in first-class shape. The engine seemed brand new. Mr. Nybom took the parts needed to his friendís car, stopped dismantling and stored the car for further use.

It was only recently that he began to wonder about the past life of the car and got to know that it was originally from Finland. He then started to look for the documents from Finnish authorities and CitroŽn headquarters. That way we got to know the existence of the second Finnish SM.

At the moment the members of our Club are carrying on negotiations to get the car bought back to Finland.