Citroën – SM Espace Heuliez (1971)
- Vehicle Type:
- Targa Coupé
- Coach Builder:
- Henri Heuliez
- Engine CC:
- Thierry Dehaeck (BE)
Class HHERE COMES THE SUN: “TOPLESS” DONE DIFFERENTLY!
In 1970, the French bodywork specialist Heuliez launched an ambitious project. Chief designer Yves Dubernard wanted to complement the luxurious Citroën SM with an exceptional open-top version. The initial drawings penned in November 1970 showed two rooftop openings with movable louvres made of stainless steel. The prototype named Espace was conferred with strikingly angled louvres over the rear window as an additional design element. Finished in Aubergine Metallic and complemented by a bold interior made of green velour leather, it was unveiled at the Salon d’Auto- mobil in Paris in 1971 in an attempt to attract interest for a small series. Citroën considered the options and implemented some changes but ultimately rejected them. Only one more example was ever produced. Up until 2012, company boss Henri Heuliez drove this first Espace as a private car, now liveried in his favourite colour of Delta Blue. The current owner acquired it in 2018 for his SM collection and then had it restored precisely to the car’s original condition when his SM celebrated its world premiere in 1971. It was a stroke of luck that he succeeded in obtaining the support of Yves Dubernard, Heuliez’ former project manager.