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1968 Volvo 122S: Bullet Proof Barn Find

1968 Volvo 122S

After easily reviving our Volvo 122S and a 142, I’ve concluded that if you are going to buy a barn find to actually drive and enjoy, Volvos are the cars to look for. These bullet proof machines just run and if something breaks, it’s probably easy to fix. This ’68 122S that Chevy55 spotted here on craigslist in Washington, DC could be a simple project to fix. Of course to be a good buy the seller will have to come down on their $2,250 asking price, which is way too high for a 122S project. You can find nice drivers for this kind of money that won’t need rust repair. Given how durable these are, I would clean it up, leave it looking a bit rough, and make it a safe driver. Of course, I would want to make sure the engine is free and has good compression before offering the seller any money for it. What do you think? Would you take on this project or just find a clean example that already runs? Special thanks to Chevy55 for this tip!


  1. Nick G

    If the engine is good and it has the overdrive, and not too much rust, that isn’t an unreasonable price. If memory serves, the S has dual SU carbs.

  2. Matthew Tritt

    It’s highly unlikely that this automatic has overdrive and 100% assured that, because of the automatic, the performance will be disappointing at best. Added to this is the poor fuel economy resulting from marrying a small engine with a power-robbing transmission. The manual 4 speed is the only Amazon anyone in their right mind should consider – unless you don’t mind being bested by a 2CV. :-)

    Like 1
  3. JohnM

    Something a little strange here. Here’s a 64 listed as a manual in a different CL ad that sure looks like it’s coming out of the same garage:

    Same price, same contact name and number. I have no idea why someone would list them separately rather than together. Seems like you’d have more luck selling them as a package? Between the two of them it looks like you could build one very nice one and have lots of spares left over. Gotta do some haggling on the price(s) first though. Anyhow, ’68 is the year to get on the Amazons. First year for a bunch of practical safety stuff: dual circuit brakes, factory hazard lights, collapsible steering column. I love my ’68 220! Great cars!

  4. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    What IS it about Amazon owners and removing tailights? At least this one is still attached by the wires…

  5. Matthew Tritt

    They’re trying find the problem with the brake lights. ;-)

  6. Dave @ OldSchool Restorations of North Alabama USA

    .just goes to show, high price, and not much good, when something comes out of Washington DC ..


  7. Matthew Tritt

    Hopefully this is a politics-free zone.

  8. JohnM

    There’s also a two door ’64 4 speed coming out of the same garage, same contact info, same price, similar condition, different ad. I tried posting it earlier but maybe hyperlinks aren’t allowed in the comments? Anyhow, it’s DC Craigslist ad # 5092080223.

    $2000 for them both would be pretty sweet, as there looks to be enough there to build one good one and have a nice stash of parts left over. $2250 for just one is no bueno. The ’68s are especially nice as they have a few safety things standard that the older cars lack: dual circuit brakes, collapsible steering column, hazard flashers.

    I know I love my ’68 wagon. Great cars!

  9. jim s

    how much work/money would it take to convert to manual? maybe this would make a good start to a race car. interesting find


    Those cars are pretty cool and make an interesting looking hot rod here’s one I did a few months ago and recently sold at Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale 2015

  11. Paul B

    You don’t want this with the Borg-Warner automatic unless you plan to convert it to a 4-speed. But this poor thing’s too far gone for the asking price. Good project maybe at $500 or even $1000. There’s lots it will need, and then when you’re done, the Amazons are not all that much fun to drive. Just my opinion, but that’s what I recall from driving friends’ cars numerous times. Heavy kind of sloppy steering, rear wheels can break loose and the car can swap ends, tiringly high pressure needed on the accelerator, truck-like shifter. I never understood the appeal, even though I get down the road in a Volvo 850 manual today, which is a very nice driving good-handling car.

  12. Cameron Bater UK

    Hmm not bad but I think I prefer the 1800 and the 240 GLT Estate, the 1800 for its beauty and the 240 because… Well they once stacked 7 (I think) on top of each other without there being any damage and also because there is one in America thats done over 1,000,000 miles (Yes I meant 1 million) Volvo gave him a 740 as a reward as it was such a good advertisment of their build quality.

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