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BF Exclusive: Wrecked 1965 Volvo 122S


Let’s start with the good. This four-door Amazon has a rebuilt B20 engine and automatic transmission. It runs strong and the most of the body looks good. The interior is decent. Now, the bad. The owner was restoring the car when their daughter was involved in a very bad accident. There’s obvious damage to the front of the car and the frame is bent in two places. That’s a real shame, but there might still be some use for this old Volvo. It’s located in Morgan Hill, California and Chuck would like to get $2,000, but is willing to hear offers. You can contact him here via email if you’re interested.


These were exceptionally well-built machines and that four-cylinder engine is about bullet-proof. The bottom end was overbuilt so it could last indefinitely as long as the oil was changed on occasion. With dual SU carbs, it seemed almost British, but better. These car were built to withstand Scandinavian winters, gravel back roads, and American highways. They were robust, yet relativity agile. They were basically a tough sports car built for the family man.


The automatic transmission may kill that concept a bit, but that doesn’t diminish this car’s good attributes. The extra doors on the back don’t really matter because the wheelbase was the same as the two-door and the weight didn’t increase much either. They just shortened the front doors and stuck the back two in there. Some people even seek out the four-door model because it had better rust-proofing (galvanized sills).


Not that the sills are going to matter much here. This poor Amazon appears to have been a very nice car before the incident. We hope that Chuck’s daughter is recovering alright and that they can find a new home for their beloved Volvo. The damage may make a restoration difficult, but I’m sure there’s more than two grand worth of good parts there. Thanks for listing this with us Chuck!

If any of you have a barn find that you are thinking about selling, please consider listing it here on Barn Finds. It’s easy and there’s a good chance we will find a buyer if it’s priced right.


  1. unclehotrod13

    Way back in the 1980’s i worked at a Ferrari dealership in East Setauket, Grand Prix S.S.R. and one of these came in, i think a two door,same color,probably same year, had fender,hood, damage, the insurance wanted to total it, because of high mileage… we explained this was a million mile car! They dident care, the shop called Volvo, they sent people and parts and did it for free!!

  2. Dave Wright

    Off course, these are wonderful cars. Unless it was a family car, I would not have invested the money and energy in this particular one the seller did. 4 door automatic would be the least desireable model. One of my collage buddies raced one of these and a 2 stroke Saab in the northwest. The Volvo was quite quick in its class and it was his daily driver. It was always entertaining to watch the Saab go around a tight corner on 3 wheels while trying to hide in a cloud of blue smoke.

  3. Howard A Member

    Such a shame. They just don’t make these ( or anything comparable) anymore. The 122 was one of my favorite Volvo’s and would love a wagon someday. Glad the kid is ok, probably because it is a Volvo) it took quite a hit.

  4. Goran Lundberg

    Being Swedish and of age, I grew up with these cars (not called “122:s” but “Volvo Amazon” in their native habitat) and I can, though never actually having owned one, still feel, smell and imagine manouvering them as were they a part of my own body.

    Why am I telling you this? Dunno, really. Maybe in order to a) possibly make som of you Stateside Volvo aficionados a trifle jelaous or b) let all of you know that this lovely service and site has a word wide following.

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