1963 Volvo 122S Sedan–Amazon Needs A New Home!

Considering they have just the right mix of semi-sportiness and stylish good looks (admittedly subjective), I know I’m not alone in appreciating the Volvo 120 series, also known as “Amazons.” This one-family example appears to be in pretty good shape despite having covered an estimated 200,000 miles (the odometer stopped functioning a long time ago according to the seller). It’s for sale here on eBay where bidding hasn’t reached the reserve yet, which isn’t surprising as it’s only up to $1,005 as I write this. Despite the California plates, the Volvo is currently in Guffey, Colorado.

The seller reports two spots of rust; one in a bolted on rear reflector and the other is in the base of one of the front fenders. The original paint is still present and can almost undoubtedly be shined up. The seller tells us that his mother purchased the car new from a dealer in California. I hope they have records–how cool it would be to go through over 50 years of maintenance and repair!

The chrome certainly looks nice in these pictures, and the car just presents itself well. These Volvos are known to be long lasting little cars,, and I suspect this one is no exception.

There are some issues on the inside. The headliner is missing, the passenger seat was removed for some reason, but comes with the car, and the dash pad is both cracked and warped. I can imagine this looking quite respectable with only a little bit of work!

The seller mentions that the car is tuned for sea level and doesn’t run that well up in Colorado at 9,000 feet up! I can believe that, having run into issues sometimes with SU’s on Triumphs (yes, those are British carburetors you see) when I go up into the mountains here. The seller also mentions the need to replace the line going to the slave cylinder, which is cracked. After looking at this shot, I’m not sure about the “original paint,” although the color the car is in now is very attractive to me. Shoot, I’d love this one! Jesse, Josh, I know you guys like Amazons, and this isn’t THAT far from where you are…another BF project car? What do you readers think?


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  1. Howard A Member

    So close,,,but no cigar. Again, if it was a wagon, I’d be on “CheapoFlights” right now. Apparently, they DO exist. “Tuned for Sea level”? IDK about that. How would you “tune” it for the hills? Nice thing ( if any) about SU’s, is pull the choke out a little, smooths right out. Short of changing main jets ( can you do that with SU’s?) I’m not sure what the seller means. Sounds like other issues, but who cares, very easy to work on, which is why a car like this is my next ride. No buying a $1,000 dollar “brain box” for me. This won’t be a grand for long. Great find and yeah, what ever hapened to the BF’s Volvo wagon? That was when I 1st started hanging out here.

    • Woodie Man

      Howard- Having lived in the mountains at 11,000 feet..I can tell you that cars tuned for sea level …at least carbureted ones…….can run like cr_p.

      The fuel air mixture needs to be adjusted to compensate for the thinner air at the altitude.

      Having been in the family since new, I am amazed the seller wouldnt invest the time and money to square it away. I agree with you on the wagon though…..love them.

      Dont like that the car is sitting in grass. Hopefully its not there in the winter snow…and at 9,000 feet there is snow.

      Given the obvious problems the owner has with the car, I suspect it needs more attention than it appears. Be that as it may, if the reserve was low enough……….

  2. Pete

    I have run out of driveway, other wise I would be a player on this old girl. My thinking is they leaned out the air and fuel mix and tried to make it run better. Messed it up and don’t know the trick to get it to run right.

    • Woodie Man

      yep and/or as Howard noted a worn throttle shaft .

  3. tirefriar

    120 series with a manual always peaked my interest. if i had time for a project, i’d give this one some thought. i wonder how would side draft weber swap work here? always had luck with webers in my alfas…

    • Howard A Member

      Hi tirefriar, ( how’d you get that handle, btw?) truth be known, there’s nothing really wrong with the SU’s. I don’t have any experience with Webers, undoubtedly the finest carbs in the world, but SU’s are so simple. I found out ( long after I put up with poor running cars with SU’s) that the throttle shafts wear, causing an air leak, and they’ll never run right. I’d be concerned with drivability with the Weber. I’m sure they’re superior on full throttle applications, but what about puttin’ around town, or below zero? Got to admit, the Swedes knew all about that cold weather operation. The Italians, not so much.

      • tirefriar

        Hi Howard, for about 20 years I used to own a 1968 Firebird convertible. It had a cammed 400 with 0.030 overbore, stage 1 TH350 and a midrise GM mani with a reworked Q-Jet. All that goodness equated to about 400 hp at the flywheel. Used to light up my rear meats at a tip of a hat. My friends gave me a nickname TIRE FRYER. Years ago when I tried to sign up on my first forum, that nick was taken so I went with TIREFRIAR and so it is to this day…

        I see your point on driveability with Webers. I wouldn’t go above 40 and of course in conjuction with a proper cam. They sound great but sure are thirsty. If I will ever pull a trigger on a 120 series, IPD catalog would be my friend.

  4. Woodie Man


  5. Zack

    Is it just the way I see little details or did I miss something? Their ebay listing describes the car as a “Sedan 2-door” . I’m sure I see a 4-door car here unless those back door handles and door seam are just a joke……
    I’m sure someone else caught this….right?

    • Ralph Robichaud

      Just need to add ” on each side” to the description.

  6. redwagon

    two doors per side?

    • tirefriar

      in soviet union, back in the days thats how cars were categorized by the public – how many doors per side. used to drive me nuts, especially when a 2 door car was called “1 door”

      today, things with that respect are back to normal with numberbof doors properly notated.

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    always thought these were a good looking car in the two door version….

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Sold for $2,600.00. 23 bids.

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