Amazing Amazon: 1967 Volvo P130

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

The great sage of our time, Mike Brewer from Wheeler Dealers, once said, “never buy a car in the rain”. Ok, maybe he’s not the great sage of our time, but he knows a thing or two about vehicles. This could be one of the times when it’s ok to buy a car that’s all wet. This 1967 Volvo P130 Amazon looks pretty amazing, even when it’s soaking wet. This car can be found in Wiscasset, Maine and it’s listed on eBay with a $13,000 asking price.

Volvo had somewhat of a confusing naming system for its 120-series Amazon models. The two-door sedans were known as P130s, but they were also designated as the 121 (single-carb, never available in the US) or the 122S (twin-carbs). This car is, according to the seller who is a dealer and has serviced this car since it had 5,900 miles on it, rust-free and is probably one of the nicest examples available. It now has 61,693 miles on the odometer. They say that they have worked on thousands of Amazons and this is in the top-4. That’s one heck of a memory if they can narrow down thousands of examples to just four.

I love this color combo, it’s almost Maserati-like with dark blue over red. They mention that the car was repainted about 35 years ago. This Volvo has an automatic transmission, whether that’s good or bad is a matter of opinion. I know that I’d prefer a manual but the Borg-Warner 35 automatic should make it a trouble-free ride; just put it in D and go. The interior looks fantastic and the seller mentions that the upper section of the rear seat was replaced with a NOS Volvo cover and there is no rust in the floors or trunk or really anywhere.

This is Volvo’s B18 engine with twin-SU carbs. Those carbs have been rebuilt but I may have put on new air filters before putting it up for sale, it just would have looked better to not have dirty, bent filters in there. Supposedly quite a few things have been changed for maintenance and it “runs and performs perfectly.” This is an ambitious price for sure, but it’s also maybe one of the nicest Volvos of this type that I’ve ever seen. Do any of you have experience with this series of Volvo? What do you think of the price on this example?

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Comments

  1. boxdin

    Nice car until I read AT. No thanks.

    3+
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    The BW 35/37 took down more than a few Saabs before their time should have been up. That said, if the mileage is correct then it would be good for a few more miles before it grendaded

    1+
    • Blyndgesser

      And Jags, Volvos, Studebakers, Ramblers, [stop me anytime]…

      1+
  3. Scott Rasmussen

    This is a nice car. I don’t think it’s $13,000 nice. It’s been on ebay for a while, Non original (faded paint), tired red interior. I’m typically not a fan of red interiors, but this combo works well. Probably the only one where red looks good. The big problem with red is it seems to fade worse that other colors. Lastly, as mentioned by others, the slushbox is not helping this one. Again, this is a nice car, but not that nice. Probably $8,000 to $9,000 IMO.

    5+
  4. KEN TILLY

    Mike Brewer was absolutely correct. NEVER buy a car, or in my case a motor cycle, in the rain.

    5+
  5. Rustytech

    I had a couple of these in my younger days, ( back when the were $500 cars). I loved them. The were both stick shifts, they weren’t fast, but were great on the country roads. The auto trans is definitely going to hold this back. I too see it selling in the $7000 to $9000 range.

    2+
  6. glenn

    nice car but i know those carbs are a bear to get right

    4+
    • Howard A Member

      Hi glenn, actually, I think SU’s are probably the simplest carbs made. I’ve had several cars with them. The problem comes from the throttle shafts wearing, and causing an air leak, and you’ll never get it to run right.

      5+
      • Rich Nepon

        Right. Re bush and replace the butterfly shaft, replace butterfly,, new jet and needle. If not adjust for high speed running as air leaks in butterfly shaft causing lean run. If you adjust idle it will run poorly at speed. Don’t change needle size. I use a vacuum cleaner extension up to my ear to balance duals but the tools made work fine,too.

        4+
  7. Rich Nepon

    I was a Volvo mechanic early 70s. Dealer stopped working on 122 as newer cars could be charged more. More affluent Byers. I owned about 15. The BW trans pretty bullet proof but boring. Lots of rust in the rust belt. Front fender and inner fenders the worst. Floors, sills, trunk all bad. Most would crack at the frame going up on front inner fender. Once had the strap break on wagon rear. Fun to drive with stick. Not $13k fun.

    2+
  8. Pete

    I have an auto tranny sitting in my garage for one of these cars if anyone really wants it. I agree with everyone else about it having an automatic. The car is clean as a pin compared to the rest of them still rolling. I think he is way over priced on this thing. Take it to Barret Jackson and see what happens. LOL

    1+
  9. Howard A Member

    Yeah, for some odd reason, 122’s prices have gone through the roof. I’d love a wagon, but I should have bought one 20 years ago. Now, there’s no way. I don’t have any experience with Volvo’s application, but, and someone may correct me, the BW35 was used in literally hundreds of makes, including AMC, BMC, Citroen, Datsun, MG, Rootes, Jaguar, Triumph, Ford and Chrysler (Australia), Volvo, and many others. Why does it always get a bad rap? I’d love an automatic!

    0
    • comatoes

      The old BW35 are pretty reliable – ford used them in Aus from the 60’s XP thru to whenever the last version was ? Late 80’s ? early 90’s When the 4 speed auto came out The ford taxi’s all had them – used to get 80,000 km or more out them – and the taxis didn’t go easy them, they could do a change over for them in an hour or so hardly any down time . They used to get north of 700,000’s KM out of the engines .But I digress….

      1+
  10. Rich Nepon

    Bad rap only because it slowed the car, lost the fun factor. I learned to rebuild it at Volvo school in Columbia MD blindfolded, but never had too. 123’s were fun with a 4 speed and overdrive. With BE just a solid car.

    1+
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rich, fun factor? I always thought the 122 was a bit on the stodgy side, kind of like a Swedish Falcon ( not that there’s anything wrong with that) I don’t know if they ever were intended to be fun.

      0
  11. Rich Nepon

    Lots of college age kids thought they were fun. Had a good rallye history. Even withoutIPD I had a blast in a few of them.

    1+
  12. DRV

    This ’67 was 700 bucks with 60 k on it in 1975. It had a dent in the front fender and a bumper end missing but was in great shape otherwise. I used fiberglass front fenders because of the typical rust and went ahead and painted the whole car 2 tone. Those are Ford wheels.
    After this first one I have had 8 or 10 more with the keeper being the 544 bought here in the related vehicles. So easy to own for simplicity.

    3+

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