Our love of 1950s inspired interiors.
When Robert Opron designed the Citroen SM, he did not design just another model in-house for Citroen but continued his creative path that many still see as the most emotive of all vehicles in Citroen’s history.
He had already given the infamous DS its shark nose or <<Nouveau Visage>> since his inauguration at the company in 1962. To design the Goddess was high praise indeed, especially since Bertoni initially rejected his talents.
The SM, powered by Maserati, is such a defining car in generational terms. It immediately became the coolest, suavest most coveted car to waft along the rivieras on a summer’s evening in. Lauded by celebrities and the fashion collective, SM was the car of 1970 and throughout the early 70s. It was the Anouk Aimee of the automotive world, stylish, exotic and undeniably sexy. While it’s older Aunt, the DS was Jeanne Moreau, dignified, revered into French history and culture, Opron’s creation as the go to accessory for any image or fashion photo shoot. From the 6 lens Cibie array of headlights to its pinched kammback tail and domed rear glass, SM was the image maker. It quickly became the go-to car of choice for film makers, photographers and fashion leaders.
Still today the SM holds it ground as the fashionable exotica against much more expensive cars. The timeless quality of the design, as if it came from another dimension has stood the test of time. Like a fine French cheese or bottle of Chatearneuf du Pape, it has aged gracefully.
Opron’s time came when Citroen was at its most creative. DS, SM, CX (named for its aerodynamic shape), GS. Ahead of their time, the perfect embodiment of the technology beneath. Citroen’s last foray into the luxury market, the C6 owed much to the DS and CX in its design. From the concave rear window, smooth droopy front end or the gently curving belt line towards the rear flanks. Classic Citroen design DNA originally created by Opron.
His work after Citroen continued with a spell at Alpine, creating the A310, the brands most famous shape, which has deep overtones of the SM in a more sporty rear engine package, France’s 911. After Alpine, at Renault, he brought back the luxury that the brand was originally (pre war) known for in the 25 and Fuego. The Fuego was the last in a line of coupes for Renault and you can still see the SM DNA, from the wide front end to the multi faceted domed rear window that doubled as a hatch. It too became one of the epochal design of the era, gracing many fashion photo shoots in the early 80s.
In many ways, Opron was the Designer’s Designer. A pioneer, who masterfully carved exquisite and exotic shapes that became synonymous with an era, almost defining the style that would last long in people’s memories.
The Renault Fuego, as featured in Synapson's video: 'Fireball'.
The Classic SM,
Opron and the Chicest cars