Swedish Surfer: 1967 Volvo 122 Wagon

Here is today’s obligatory Volvo. Reader David C sent this in last week for Wagon Wednesday and ironically it is from the same area as the surf wagon (Morro Bay). This one is in a little better shape though. The engine and tranny have been gone through recently, but there are a few other problems to deal with. They are asking $2,500 on craigslist.

Supposedly the engine runs good with a new Weber carb and alternator. The transmission is also claimed to have been rebuilt recently. Unfortunately there are a few areas that need attention.

There is rust. The seller mentions some holes in the floor which need repaired. There is also a clunking sound when accelerating. We would have to do a test drive it to diagnose that problem, but because of the rust, we wouldn’t recommend buying this one long distance anyway. A local Volvo enthusiast may be able to talk them down if they are looking for a project.

Thanks goes out to David for sending this one in. Looks like Morro Bay may be the place to go if you are looking for an old wagon. Unfortunately, we think the owners may have spent more time surfing than maintaining their board haulers though….

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Comments

  1. Tricky Dickie Member

    Just a suggestion…………..Rust is a major problem to just about any car along the California coastal area, right by the sea. Salty sea mist and fog is invasive 24/7.

  2. Mark Hershoren

    That clunk while accelerating? Check the center drive-shaft support and bearing. That’s probably it. Not rocket science and not too hard to source either. If you’re clever and resourceful, even this car is not such a bad prospect to drive cross country. I’ve made a run from Birmingham AL to Pensicola FL to Northern MI in a 66 122 wagon I bought for 300 dollars, essentially sight-unseen. It was a 1200 dollar car by the time I reached my driveway but it never made me walk. Still have it!

  3. Tom Minch

    There are others without rust for double the amount but worth it. If you don’t mind rust, this might be worth 2k if there are no mechanical probs…

  4. Somer

    +1 on center support bushing. Common problem.
    I put a lot of miles on a 122 wagon.

  5. scot c

    ~ had the same drive shaft rag joint repair on a couple Volvos. not expensive. rust may be another thing.

  6. paul

    Tanks, last for ever these old Volvos.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    This one brings back a lot of memories. Not surfing, mind you, but back in ’67 our high school principal had one. He was an avid skier and we went on numerous trips to Whitefish, MT in his Volvo wagon. The car was underpowered but tough as a boiled owl. But good things never last. He was driving down the highway after spring thaw and ran into a patch of water running right across the road. He hydroplaned, slid off the road and end over ended it, killing him at the scene.

  8. Dolphin Member

    Had a 122S wagon with the same nice brown vinyl seats as this one, but in better condition. Bought it for $275 in 1976, ran it a year, sold it for $500. Those things haul…as in transport lots of stuff for not much gas plus the occasional small fix. They are not nimble by today’s standards but you could fix almost anything on it yourself because everything was manually operated and the only doo-dad it had was a radio—manually tuned of course.

    This one has a Weber carb conversion, which is OK, but I prefer the original dual SUs. With a car like this the reason you have it is to enjoy a solid, practical ride back in time. It makes no sense to try to hot rod it since any little econobox will outrun it. OTOH, those SUs could be tricky to tune if you don’t understand how they work, so maybe the Weber conversion was for practical reasons.

    They were built so solid and the sheet metal was so thick that they could survive in the rust belt better than the later 240 series cars. When 122s rusted it showed first in a vertical line at the back of the front fenders just in front of the gap to the doors. The fix was fairly easy since the front fenders simply bolted on and off, so if you invested in new or good used fenders and some paintwork the car would look a lot better.

    I like old Volvos and had various models from a ’65 544 thru 122s, 140s, 240s, and even the dreaded 5-cylinder Ford….er, V70 (wife’s car), but there are so many great cars nowadays to choose from that I haven’t owned one myself for years…altho my wife loves her V70 XC. I admit that when I want a comfortable ride, as opposed to the hard-riding performance cars that I own, I like to take the XC. When I read that Peter Egan had bought a late model Cadillac for the same reason, I breathed a sigh of relief.

  9. Seth Karpen

    had an early 1600 bmw with the same issue on the drive shaft. cheap aprt but pain in the neck to put in. luckkily always had a gofer vehicle where I worked

  10. Chris

    That sea salt mist is nasty as it gets in everywhere. I’d want to take a close look around aound the windshield and rear window moldings as by the time you spot the rust, a leak into the interior has or will start around the window opening. Taking out the glass and repairing the leak prone area is not an easy fix on Volvos. Funny to be looking at a car door and realize it doesn’t have electric windows. Good news on this one is it doesn’t look like it was abused, just has the “patina” of 45 years. ’67 was a good year for Volvos, especially this series.

  11. FRED

    WHEN I MOVED TO TX. FROM NY. I WENT TO WORK FOR A NEW INDEPENDANT PHONE OMPANY THAT STARTED IN CO. I MET THE OWNER AND HIS SON IN A BAR AND JONED THEIR SOFTBALL TEAM.AFTER THE SASON WAS OVER THEY ASKED IF I WANTED TO O TO WORK FOR THEM.AFTR TELLING THEM I HAD NEVER DONE THAT TYPE OF WORK THEY TOLD ME WHAT I WOULD BE MAKING AND SAID I ALSO GOT A COMPANY CAR. THAT MADE MY DECISION EASY. WHEN THEY GAVE ME THE CAR I WS SURPRISED TO SEE IT WAS A VOLVO WAGON.THEY APOLIGIZED FOR NOT BEING NEW BUT EXPLAINED WE WERE JUST STARTING OUT AND WE WOULD WORK UP TO NEW CARS.I DROVE THAT CAR ALL OVER TX., LA AND OK AND AFTER TWO YRS I COUD NOT KILL IT.WE WERE GROWING FAST AND TIME TO HIRE ANOTHER TECH.HE GOT THE VOLVO AND I GOT A NEW MONTE CARLO THAT I GOT TO PICK OUT.I BET THAT VOLVO IS STILL GOING .MY POINT IS VOLVO WAGONS GO ON AND ON KINDA LIKE THIS BOOK I JUST WROTE.SORRY GUYS.

    • FRED

      SORRY FOR ALL THE TYPOS,I FORGOT TO SPELL CHECK THE BOOK BEFORE POSTING.

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