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Robert Blackmon of Los Angeles is a heavy truck owner/operator and about as nice a man as you’ll ever meet. His automotive passions have always leaned toward foreign cars. 

He loved the Citroën SM at first sight, appreciating its design and advanced features, vowing to own one someday. That day came in 1982 when he bought a ’72 SM from the late Gerald Wiegert of Vector Aeromotive fame. 

Citroen in garage

The Maserati DOHC V-6 engine was damaged, and the car was a non-runner, but the price was right. In his home garage, working alone with very average hand tools and a cryptic shop manual, he took the car apart and commissioned a “cut corners” engine rebuild. That engine lived for nearly 80,000 miles but grew tired, so Blackmon decided the next disassembly would be a more proper restoration — including an exterior color change to the current silver — and a top-quality engine overhaul. Blackmon credits SM World guru Jerry Hathaway with “parts, machine work, and tons of good advice.”

Blackmon’s SM has now covered around 200,000 miles and, save for the patina of use and enjoyment, drives beautifully. 

completed Citroen

What made this self-taught home mechanic believe he could restore and maintain such a complex French-Italo hybrid full of cams, carbs, and a high-pressure hydraulic suspension and brake system? “It’s still mechanical — that’s the difference,” reflects Blackmon.

“There are no sensors or computers. It’s a highly detailed but very mechanical car, so I just figured it out. It required basic tools, good advice and patience — Lots of patience.”

Robert Blackmon
Robert Blackmon
Inside the Citroen SM

Why? It’s unlikely that we’ve answered the question of “why” people take on seemingly insurmountable cars, which is somewhat akin to asking why someone would climb Mt. Everest and risk financial ruin, frostbite, injury, or death. 

Those motivations are often very personal and sometimes emotional — but every enthusiast can look at a forlorn vehicle through the proverbial “rose-tinted glasses” and see it straight and sparkling once again, and that’s the real crux of the matter.

What immediately impresses you most about the SM driving experience is the ride quality. Supple, smooth, and ultra compliant courtesy of a sophisticated hydraulically managed suspension (and braking) system that soaks up most anything the road can throw at it – speedbumps become a mere suggestion to slow down. Highly effective, but something that takes a bit of getting used to is the brakes. The SM has no mere “brake pedal” — neither hung from the dash nor levering up from the floor. Instead, it’s a black, rubber-covered “button” for lack of a better term, about three inches in diameter, and a couple of inches tall, mounted on the floor about where you’d expect to find a conventional pedal pad. The system offers some modulation, and the well-calibrated foot can manage it. But the high-pressure hydraulics make the button pretty sensitive, and the hamfisted (or footed) driver will look to be panic-stopping all the time.  

Citroen sign

The SM’s aerodynamics are superb, with a near race car-like 0.28 coefficient of drag, so slippery in the wind, and quiet inside. The cabin design is very modern, almost concept car-like, and quite comfortable. There’s great room for four and a large glass hatch canopy aft for plenty of luggage space (and, unfortunately, solar heat loading inside). The car handles nicely too and would be a great way to tour the Continent in style and comfort.

Perhaps President John F. Kennedy unknowingly summarized this automotive “leap of faith” notion during his famous 1961 speech announcing that America would fly man to the moon, and safely home again. He said:

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

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By: Matt Stone
Title: The Impossible Dream- Restoring a derelict Citroen SM at home.
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/the-impossible-dream-restoring-a-derelict-citroen-sm-at-home/
Published Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 20:56:22 +0000

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Motor

Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame

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custom triumph tr6 matchless frame 625x417 1

Kids are impressionable, especially when motorcycles are involved. That magical combination of sound, smell and danger has a way of imprinting itself on young minds. But Kyle Harvey didn’t just dream of bikes as a child—he practically grew up with them.

Kyle’s trade is tool and die making, but his passion is building bikes. His father, Garth Harvey, got Kyle and his brother into bikes at a young age; as soon as they could start their old man’s vintage motorcycles, they were riding them. Living in Edenvale in South Africa’s Gauteng province, the boys also had direct access to the local Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

The folks at the CMC made quite an impression on young Kyle—and taught him everything he knows about vintage bikes. After helping numerous friends work on their bikes, he went on to open his own shop, named simply ‘The Workshop.’ Kyle has been building and restoring classic motorcycles for over a decade now.

This cheeky bobber is his latest build, and it’s immensely fascinating. The engine’s from a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the frame is from a Matchless, and the quirky handmade details on it are endless.

Custom Triumph TR6 with Matchless frame

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Here comes trouble: A Triumph TR6 with a Matchless frame
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-triumph-tr6-matchless-frame
Published Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2022 17:01:12 +0000

 

 

 

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The Swan Song of the V12

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The V12 engine holds a special place in the heart of many automotive and motorsports fans. For some, it’s the sound of Formula 1 through the years, especially during the 1990s. For others, it’s engines like the 6.1 L BMW S70/2 from the McLaren F1 or the 3.9L Lamborghini V12 that powered all their cars from the Miura through to the Diablo. No matter where it lies in your heart, it is the “proper” configuration for many: 6 cylinders per bank, put into a V, and firing in an odd sequence to give it that special roar under power.

Yet, as concerns over fuel efficiency, qualms about environmental impact, and high-powered turbocharged V8 or V6 engines are the norm now, the V12 is slowly, but surely, being put to rest. In fact, the only place that V12s are still hanging on by the last threads of their engine mounting bolts are in supercars, hypercars, and a few ultra-luxury cars. Even then, many exotic brands have announced that their next cars will either be V10s or turbo V8s and V6s.

Since it appears that the swan song of the V12 is reaching a crescendo, we thought it only appropriate to celebrate the few remaining cars out there that carry them. It may be the last time we see some of these brands, many of which are known for their V12s.

The Amazing Last V12 Production Versions from the Big Brands

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 Superfast. Image via Supercars.

The writing is on the wall for the prancing horse, as the new Ferrari 296 GTB is showing the direction that Maranello is headed. Yet, unless you were invited to snag one of the limited-edition Monza SP1 or SP2 cars, there is still one car you can buy from the legendary marque that has all 12 cylinders fully intact.

The 6.5L F140 GA V12

The 6.5L F140 GA V12
The 6.5L F140 GA V12. Image Via: Wikimedia Commons.

The 6.5L F140 GA 65-degree V12 in the front of the 812 is the last road-going version of the V12 that debuted in the Ferrari Enzo. Producing a monstrous 789 HP and 530 lbs-ft of torque, it is no slouch either, as when the 812 Superfast debuted, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated production car engine ever made.

It has the typical low-rev Ferrari roar that rises into a howl as the car revs up to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will catapult the 3,845 (1,744 kg) car to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds. As far as a curtain call is concerned, that’s a great way to bow out and focus on hybrids and turbocharged engines.

Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC

2022 Mercedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC
cedes-Maybach S680 4MATIC. Image via Supercars.

Mercedes-Benz used to be at the very top of the V12 pecking order when it came to luxury performance cars. Such classics as the S 65 AMG from the mid-2000s and the 500 TE AMG W123 Touring from the very end of the 1970s came with big V12s that sound astounding, but the biggest and baddest of the Mercedes V12s left on in a production car is the M279 E60 LA that hauled the S65 AMGs of 2014.

M279 E60 LA Twin Turbo V12

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By: Simon Bertram
Title: The Swan Song of the V12
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/v12-swan-song/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:49:26 +0000

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Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!

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In our continuing quest to source motorcycle gear that combines safety and style, we bring you our thoughts on Shoei’s new ECE 22.06-approved NXR2 helmet. Plus a stealthy riding parka from Akin Moto, and the perfect pair of urban riding gloves from Rev’It!.

Shoei NXR2 helmet It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shoei’s helmets. Every Shoei I’ve owned has fit and felt right from the first wear, with no major deviations in their sizing or shape from model to model. So when I was looking for a do-it-all street helmet to replace my well-used Shoei RYD, the new NXR2 was a no-brainer… and it hasn’t disappointed.

I loved the RYD for its combination of neutral styling, comfort and ventilation. The NXR2 basically feels like a premium version of the RYD; it has the same clean aesthetic, but ramps up the performance. And it’s one of the few helmets that meet with Europe’s new, and more stringent, ECE 22.06 standard.

Shoei NXR2 helmet reviewRead More

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Road Tested: Gear from Shoei, Akin Moto and Rev’It!
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/shoei-akin-moto-revit-review-44
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 17:01:31 +0000

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