The Volvo 122

The Amazon

Volvo's famous coupe and wagon from the late 1960s - Another Classic Volvo

We love the Amazon wagon and the 122 coupe.  These are wonderful cars that really demonstrate the design of the age while keeping timeless charm.  If you've seen one in the two-tone beige and green you'll never forget it - it's a car that appeals to almost everybody that sees it.

We have two Amazon wagon chasses and one 122 coupe chassis waiting for a restoration sponsor.  These are rust-free examples that we have held onto for years, just waiting for the right customer who appreciates these cars like we do.

The chassis below is one we have held onto for 20 years - it is in fantastic condition.

A Brief History of the "Amazon" and some of the preceding and following models

The "Amazon," also known as the Volvo 120 series, was yet another Volvo vehicle which set new safety standards - it featured the Volvo-invented 3-point seatbelt starting in 1959. The 220 was an estate wagon built on the same "chassis" as the 120 - the jump in the numbers is because the 220 replaced the previous 210 wagon (the "Duett") in the Volvo lineup. (The 544-series cars had a wagon series that was called the 210. The 120 series then became the 220 series when the wagon was introduced.) The 120 was the first car to feature three-point seat belts, and one of the first (perhaps the first) to have any kind of seat belt as standard equipment. From 1968 the Amazon featured a collapsible steering column available as a standard option in a car (the first Volvo to do so). The 120-series bridged the gap between the earlier "PV" series and the later 140-series (the 142, 144, 145, and 164).

A note about the "PV": The "444 and 544" were called the "PV car" ("PV" stood for 'personal vehicle' "person vagn" - which was intended to separate the cars from the trucks, which were called "last bil" ("last" means "load" and "bil" means "vehicle"). The "PV" terminology was stopped with the advent of the 120 series. This change still has people confused - the last one using "PV" was the 544, but "PV" itself only meant "car" (as opposed to "truck").

The 120 was called the "Amazon" in Europe, but in the U.S. it was just called the Volvo 120. In 1956 the p1900 was produced, which was when the 122 was made. Only 72 p1900s were made. To this day we aren't really sure why it was called the p1900 (was it bored out to 1900 ccs?). In 1961 the p1800 was was released - the advent of the B18 (an 1800-cc engine) - which appears to be why it was called the "p1800." Before this car Volvos all had B16 engines. The earliest p1800s were made at the Jenson factory in England. Collapsible steering columns started in 1968. Dual brakes started in 1969. And the 1969 122 was not imported into the United States.

Originally only available as a coupe with a 3-speed manual, over the years the "120" gained an overdrive transmission, an "estate wagon" (station wagon) variant and also increased displacement. The early B16 was replaced by the B18 and then the B20. Over 667,000 were produced between 1956 and 1970. Starting in 1965, the 3-speed manual could be bought with overdrive. In 1960 Volvo changed the Amazon over to a 12-volt system and went to the B18 motor - this happened in the middle of the year. The overdrive either came out in '68 or '69. Rolf remembers building some prototypes with the P1800 transmission at the factory around this time.

New Amazon Interiors

We have an international source for new Amazon interiors. We generally just order a complete interior (panels, kick panels, a-pillar panels, wheel-housing covers, headliner, etc.) and we do complete installations.  Some colors we have to provide the material ourselves, but basically any color is possible. Feel free to call us about getting a new interior for your Amazon.

Yellow Amazon's are often the least rusty

For some reason, the yellow Amazon wagons are generally the best preserved with the least rust.  If you have one (or know of one) and want us to rebuild or restore it, we will happily build your dream 122!

If you want us to evaluate a chassis that you have, or are considering purchasing, please call us and we'll do what we can to help you with your decision.

Want your dream 122? We have a chassis waiting for restoration.  

The blue car is seeking a restoration buyer - look at its clean engine bay:

We display the red p1800 and our 164 at Prince's Hamburgers on Saturday nights. Come on out! (More information at the link in the footer.)

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