Swedish Project: 1966 Volvo 122

88,776 miles is barely broken in for certain cars. Think of some of the vehicles that you’ve had and how many miles that you put on them. This 1966 Volvo 122 Sedan seems like it would be barely broken in, but as you can see it’s also very much in need of work. A little maintenance goes a long way and if that maintenance isn’t there, just like with humans, things start to fall into disrepair. This white 122 is listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $1,700 and no reserve after that. It’s located in Denver, Colorado.

This car sure looks good upon first glance. The seller even has a sun shield in the windshield to keep the padded dash pad in good shape; which it is. But, they say that it’s a “project car for sure but the rust is minimal located in the wheelwells and sideskirts and driverside door bottom.”

But, with fewer than 89,000 miles, how does a car get to this point? My current winter car is a bought-new 1997 Subaru that’s almost too rusty to be safe on public streets and it has 356,200 miles on it. It’s been mechanically maintained and it still runs like new; albeit with a few small drips here and there.. including the driver.. My only other car with over 300,000 miles on it was a 1991 Dodge Spirit that had 315,000 miles on it and literally ran like new until the gas tank rusted out and a ball joint fell off in a Home Depot parking lot once, then it was off to the junk yard. Maintenance is key but rust knows no limits in the upper-Midwest. I don’t know if Colorado salts their roads and this Volvo is still a bit rusty, but nothing like we experience in the Midwest.

I can’t get past the perfect dash on this car! A few other things will need work, though, and the seller gives zero information about how the rest of the car is or if it even runs? There are no engine photos, either. With NADA’s average retail price of $10,750, is this one worth a gamble?


  1. 8banger dave

    No salt, mag chloride though. Not near as bad. I live here and can check it out if anyone’s interested! As a shop owner, I give a good eyeball to vehicles, and one of our shop loaners is my trusty ol 240 DL wagon.

  2. Ben T. Spanner

    I like its lot mates, an XJS and an International pickup. I’ve driven all three. The International would be my choice.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Ditto from me, Ben T. Spanner, including choosing the Cornbinder (and I like Amazon-series Volvos).

      It’s certainly worth a look if someone is interested…

  3. Doug

    I’m thinking more likely 189,000 miles …… The B18-B20 was usually good for 200K+…. The SU carbs will probably need work to run properly, especially at a different elevation. Body parts and patch panels are available for these from several sources, and the Swedespeed forums can be helpful with most issues one is likely to find.

  4. Billy

    My first car in 1981 was one of the last of these, a ‘68 wagon. Two years later I sold it for $100 with 270k miles still running strong on the original un-maintained (or just plain abused, depending on your outlook) B18 with twin SUs. The front seats were quite literally falling through the floor and the rest of the body, especially the front fenders looked like swiss cheese.

  5. Peter

    I wonder what they are doing with the XJS?

  6. tommy

    bad thing is the XJS’s bring no money.

    • Peter

      I don’t know.. whats a lot of money?

  7. RickyRover

    I’ll take the International and the Airstream!!

  8. Mark Radtke

    Volvo Amazon’s are terrific they run forever and this one if not too rusty is very restorable put about $7,000 into it. I’d love to get a wagon. this is what Volvo built their reputation on. Here in the Milwaukee Chicago area cars that are far worse than this people are asking $4,000 for.

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