Solid Project: 1966 Volvo 122S Amazon

Two of the toughest and most brutal forms of motorsport are rallying, and rallycross. Both disciplines take a heavy toll on equipment, and it is amazing to consider that the Volvo 122S still competes in both of these sports with some success in various Scandinavian domestic series. This is a testament to the strength and durability of the 122S, so finding an example that is in sound physical health should maximize the chances of the next owner enjoying years of reliable classic motoring. If that sounds like a good deal to you, then you will find this 1966 122S Amazon listed for sale here on Workhorse. The owner has set a BIN for the Volvo of $7,500.

The Amazon is a really solid looking car. The original Light Green paint is now quite faded, but you can see evidence inside the vehicle showing just how good it looked when it was at its best. There is evidence of some corrosion developing around some of the body-panel joints, but none of it looks to be severe. The owner provides some really clear photos of the floors, and once again, while there is some very limited surface corrosion, there is no actual rot. One of the most prone areas on an Amazon is the front end of the rockers, but in this car, they look to be fine. The paint has a few scratches and marks on it, but the body itself looks to be extremely straight. In fact, it appears that the Volvo has no urgent needs, so there is no real reason why it couldn’t be returned to active duty in the short term, with any restoration work being performed as time and circumstances allow.

The interior of the Volvo shows similar levels of wear to the exterior, and once again, there is no reason why it couldn’t be used as it currently stands. The dash pad is cracked in several places, but I did a bit of a search, and a replacement cover can be bought for around $90.00. The door trims are quite dirty, but I think that they might be able to be revived with a clean. The seats will all require new covers, and after a bit of checking, I found that a set of reproduction covers can cost in excess of $800. However, I have also found an interesting alternative for those who don’t mind deviating from the original trim slightly. I have located a company that can supply a complete interior trim kit. This includes a full set of covers, new complete door trims, and new rear quarter trims. These are all in the correct pattern and stitching and are all leather. That’s the whole lot in leather, not just the seat covers, and the complete kit can be yours for an astounding $1,400. There is only one drawback with these kits, and that is the fact that color choice is limited to either black or to brown. I’ve looked at the kit in brown, and I think that it would suit the interior of this Amazon quite nicely. The carpet is also showing some wear, and if the rest of the interior trim is going to be treated to a bit of a birthday, perhaps a new carpet set should also be placed on the shopping list. Otherwise, one of the big standouts for me is the fact that the Volvo has been fitted with air conditioning. There is no word as to whether this functions, but the system does look to be complete.

The beating heart of the Amazon is the 1,778cc B18 4-cylinder engine, producing 95hp. This power is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed M40 manual transmission. The Volvo has been sitting for around 20-years, but the owner fitted a host of new parts, including a battery, rotor, distributor cap, plugs, and plug wires, and that tough little four has kicked back into life. He does suggest that the carburetors need a tune, but if they are essentially untouched after all of these years, I would be very inclined to have them properly rebuilt. The brakes and clutch will both require attention because the owner says that both pedals go straight to the floor. Once this relatively minor work has been completed, it sounds like the 122S might be ready to hit the road once again.

With only 95hp on tap, you would be right if you assumed that a Volvo 122S is not a high-performance vehicle. However, they do have some very important factors in their favor. The first of these is that it is surprisingly easy to extract extra power from the B18 engine, and as a general rule, they are a pretty bullet-proof item. The other is weight. The Amazon tips the scales at a paltry 2,200lbs, meaning that even the smallest of power increases will be very obvious to the average person. Couple those factors with the vehicle’s inherent strength and the fact that they are an entertaining car to drive anyway, and that makes this look like a very promising classic to park in your garage.


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  1. Howard A Member

    Now, the banner headline should read, “the condition of this Volvo is Amazon”,,( rim shot) Great cars, nobody wanted them for whatever reason. I thought it was one of Volvos best models, just too stodgy for Americans, and 140 series is what people wanted. I have no idea if the price is justified, sure is a clean bugger, most of these are in bad shape. There was no interest then for these, and not much more today. At this price, I believe you’ll have plenty of time to think about it.

    Like 5
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Actually, a lot of people are into these. They were well built and can make great little drivers today!

      Like 6
      • Howard A Member

        I’m into these, they are great cars, but I wouldn’t spend $7,500 bucks on one. The biggest thing going for a 122 is you’ll drive the same car as Gen. Colin Powell( ret)

    • joe

      You know that only you….and me, know what that Rim Shot comment means. :-)

      Like 1
  2. Shawn Fox Firth

    Looks like an LS would slip right in there .. .

    Like 2
  3. art

    Hmmm, $7,500, plus $1400, plus A/C fix(?), plus carpet, plus dash pad cap, plus brakes, plus clutch, plus carburetor work, plus a myriad of other needs that will crop up because the car sat for 20 years and you’ve got $10,000++ in a non-de script white two door sedan with a terrible name. But if you like these cars, perhaps money can be no object.

    Like 3
  4. Joe

    No no no. Never change interior colors – Especially when it’s so unique – as this beautiful light green.

  5. James

    While it may me original color, it certainly isn’t original paint. Would be wary of body filler in bottom corner of doors and elsewhere. Seems solid underneath though. A decent restoration candidate but overpriced.

  6. John Revels

    I bought one of these while I was in college in 1971 for $150., but it was a red
    1967 122(but looks identical)!

  7. Shoelesstrucker

    Just watched Wheeler Dealers with the same car in the same condition bought for $3500 and once fixed up and back on the road sold it for $6500…running and stopping. GLWTS!

  8. Randolph Bourne

    If kept, there’s a good chance this car will still drive in a hundred years from now. Cars from only a few decades after, will not. This unit reflects an era of a healthy and sound Sweden, where people had a head on their shoulders, character and ethics.. This is a time long gone.

  9. Robert Thomas

    One of my cousins bought his 122S used from Jules Bergman, ABC News science editor (who covered America’s space program). He commuted in the car at least 50 miles daily without incident until a Mercedes hit from behind. The Mercedes needed to be towed but the 122S hardly appeared damaged.

  10. Michael van der Putten

    Poor old Volvos,, get overlooked because old Volvo owners are cheap. hey when the nice ones are gone, there isn,t any more and they won,t be cheap……….hopefully this happens soon as I have 4…………………….M

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