Ready To Cruise: 1964 Volvo 122S

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UPDATE 6/22/2020 – The seller has lowered their asking price to $5,500 or best offer! So take another look at this driver and be sure to make the seller an offer.

FROM 6/12/2020 – We’ve long been fans of Volvo, they have built some great vehicles over the years. One of our personal favorites is the 122S Amazon. It’s the perfect balance of practicality, durability, and fun. So, when this one popped up in the Barn Finds Classifieds, we just had to do a feature on it! The seller even sent us additional photos and video of it. If you’d love to have this Amazon, you can find it here on Barn Finds in Tucson, Arizona with a $7,200 asking price.

Now, you might be thinking that this Volvo has two too many doors, but I’d argue that it just makes this a more versatile car. While the extra doors add a little weight, but if you need to carry friends or family in the back, it sure makes a more comfortable ride. Add in the fact that two doors are fetching quite a bit more these days and it makes buying this four-door a great option for anyone wanting the 122S experience.

When the 122 debuted, it was equipped with the B16 that had been used in the PV444 and PV544 for a number of years. To make the 122 more sporty, Volvo updated the car with the B18 with dual carbs and added an S to the name. The little extra displacement and horsepower was a welcome improvement. And unlike many “performance” versions, durability wasn’t impacted by the upgrades. These engines really were built to last and with nothing more than basic maintenance, more than a few have gone half a million miles or more! This one is looking clean and is said to run very well.

The interior isn’t perfect, but it’s usable as-is. It currently features aftermarket high back front seats. The original seats are included but need upholstery. A new dash pad appears to be cracked, but replacements are available. The seller also admits that it could use new rubber seals on the doors and vent windows, all of which are being reproduced.

It sounds like this seller has done a ton of work sorting this Volvo to make it a nice driver. It isn’t perfect but truly looks like a good driver. This is the kind of find we would love to have just to drive! There’s no need to worry about parking lots or road rash. And the fact that it’s a Volvo, you can drive this one year-round! So, what do you think of this find?

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  1. SMS

    Love these, had a 220. Such a blast to drive and easy to work on. For the seats you can get the foam, covers, and webbing easily, not cheap but easy. Give yourself a day and they will be back in looking fantastic. Seals are also available. Only parts i found i had to really look for was the ignition cable and some suspension parts. All others were just a paypal away.

    Like that it still has the dual carbs.

    Like 1
  2. Solosolo UK ken tilly UKMember

    Built like a Borgward, bullet proof.

    Like 1
  3. HoA Howard AMember

    I think the 122 was a great car too, but not the masses. I think it’s dated styling on a car few knew anything about kept people away. It was similar to older cars, and we had moved on from that. It’s like Volvo was one step behind. The 444/544 looked like a 40’s Ford, and these like a 50’s shoebox. It wasn’t until the 140 series that changed everything. Nice car, I’m not sure it’s a $7 thousand dollar car, they had several shortcomings. So-so brakes, and performance. My 444 (B 16) didn’t get the best mileage either and if the temp drops below 40 degrees, you’ll be running with the choke out. SU’s don’t care for cold weather. Could use an O/D( or 5 speed) too, although, I’ve never seen a 122 with it. Still, a great find.

    Like 2
  4. On and On On and OnMember

    I Learned to drive stick on one of these. (I was 14 and it was in a large parking lot) ….My uncle was so patient and after 5 minutes of bucking I finally got it. Loved these cars. The coolest thIng was the pull-up on a chain from the dash radiator curtain. It worked. Hey Howard that’s how we kept it running good in cold Chicago winters. Never had to over-choke it but I see how that would help. Was yours missing the curtain, I think many were. People in warmer climates never used them and they perished out front behind the grill work. They were a roll-up fabric deal.

    Like 8
  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking Amazon. I’ve always loved pre-1967 Volvo 122S. I’d buy one if I could find one near where I live. I’d keep as much as original as possible, but I’d also upgrade a few things as well. :)

    Like 1
  6. DRV

    I’ve had a few of these in the 70s while in college. I’ve had an old Volvo in the garage since. Simple and cheap and safe make them easy fun while driving vintage. There is a 544 in the garage now and I’ll be using it to go to the grocery store today.
    This one is an easy work on and drive as long as there is no rust.

    Like 0
  7. Doug

    If you take a look at the front end, you should be able to see that the inspiration for the styling of these cars was the 1955 Chrysler 500 . The inspiration for the styling of the PV444/544 was the 41 Chrysler – If you look at the grille of the early PV444, you can see the resemblance. Since these cars were unibody construction, be mindful of rust which could compromise the structural integrity of the car. The 122/Amazon series were prone to rust at the base of the C pillar – look for bubbles under the paint, and look at the rear of the rain gutter, and inside the trunk around the lip.

    Like 1
    • don

      Check out the PV36 model Volvo – It looks like a Chrysler Airflow !

      Like 0
  8. Tom

    The 123GT, made for the Swedish Highway Patrol (and in Canada) had an M41 transmission – the standard 4-speed with added Laycock-de Normanville electric overdrive. It also had Recaro reclining seats, a dash-mounted tach, a stiffer suspension and the B18B engine as fitted to the P1800, with more HP. My favorite car.

    Like 1
  9. nlpnt

    Someone made a point discussing the Datsun 510 on another forum that the two-door was the cheapskate model. It had two doors too few to hit a certain price point, not for any other reason; USDM 510s added things like full wheel covers and carpeting in place of floor mats in a package with the back doors.

    I’d argue the same is the case with these, the two-door arrived late as Volvo prepared for the imminent end of the 544 and hung around late after the four-door was replaced by the 144. The four-door is the full-fat model and should be the sought-after one.

    Like 0
  10. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve always loved the styling of the Volvo 122S (Amazon).

    Like 0
  11. Bud R

    Had a 122 about 1966 67, manual shift, 2 door, British Racing Green, tan leather bucket seats (leather was an amazing luxury to me, had almost never seen leather in a car). I was 19 years old. I thought it was a great car although I was very aware that kids my age were a lot more into American V8’s. Loved that super long shift stick. Drove it in snow and ice in Pennsylvania, never had a problem but of course I knew how to drive in snow. Wonder if it had a bigger engine although I do not recall feeling it was underpowered. Would be cool to have one now if it was manual BRG 2door at a “needing work price”, work I could handle personally. Finally have a garage, park it next to the Harley. Bud R in Virginia 3-19-2021

    Like 0

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