Live Auctions

Swedish Survivor: 1966 Volvo 122s

The Swedish-built Volvo 122s was quite popular worldwide and nearly 700,000 of them were sold across 15 years. This 1966 edition is a beautiful survivor that looks to have been well-cared for. The car is located in Tuscola, Illinois and offered by a dealer here on eBay where the bidding sits at $7,800 (reserve not met) but the Buy It Now option can be exercised for $17,747.

Volvo sold the 122s (called the Amazon in Sweden) from 1956-70, but not in the U.S. before 1959. It had a high roof and seating position, so it was a roomy car for its size. Also, in 1959, Volvo became the world’s first auto builder to have front seat belts as standard equipment (with safety being one of the cornerstones of the company’s marketing). The 122s was available in three body styles, 4-door sedans, station wagons, and 2-door sedans, like the seller’s, which made up at least half of the automobile’s overall production.

We’re told this ’66 122s had a previous long-term owner who bought the car in California in 1972. While the true mileage of the car cannot be verified, the odometer reads just shy of 42,000. Given that Volvo’s seem to last forever, there could easily be a “1” in front of that. It’s a good-looking automobile with no visible issues with the paint, body, chrome, or glass, making it one of the nicest 54-year-old-cars I’ve seen given most of this is original. While we’re told there is no rust to be found anywhere, the bumpers are new and have been triple-plated. Everything looks up to snuff in the interior except I might detect some tape on one of the front seats.

This Volvo has its factory 1800cc, the dual-carb engine which is said to help the car to start, run and stop easily and smoothly. As with all 122s models, this one comes with a floor-shifted 4-speed manual gearbox. The car rolls nicely on four brand-new Michelin tires. We’re appreciative of the seller’s efforts to provide a lot of quality photos for this car. Hagerty says the sale value of a car like this is between $5-25,000, Fair all the way to Concours. Given the mostly impeccable condition of this Volvo, the BIN price doesn’t sound unreasonable. This is not a car you see turn up at Cars & Coffee every month.


  1. Wolfgang Gullich

    As with all Amazons, it has a floor shifted 4 speed manual? Did you miss that they also offered a Borg Warner 3 speed auto? Or the optional 4 speed manual with electric overdrive? Hmm 🤔

    Like 3
    • RJ

      Somebody else’s name on what would have been my comment – must be because I overslept this morning.

    • Matt

      The only gearbox options on the 122S were the M40 and M41 gearboxes which were both 4 speed manuals. If you got a non “S” car you could get the three speed auto from what I have read.

      Like 1
      • Pete

        I actually have a 3 speed automatic sitting in my garage that came out of a 65 122.

  2. Howard A Member

    On an earlier post of a 122 wagon, I said the car was a dud, as far as Americans went. My 1st car was a ’58 444, and so the 122 was a step up in styling, and I’ve always wanted a wagon, even though, it was nothing new underneath. For Americans to notice, foreign cars had to be something special, not foreign renditions of a decade ago styling.( 1940’s 444/544 style, in the 50’s,,1950’s 122 styling in the 60’s) it was a poor seller. This particular car is an outstanding example, I wonder if they like squarebody GM’s?
    Quick correction, I believe it was Saab that had the 1st seat belt, Volvo had the 1st 3 point belt.

    Like 6
  3. Christopher Davis

    I had one of these, same color, but a four-door. It had a nice Blaupunk radio and accessory air conditioning. The internal shift linkage would go out sometimes leaving me in whatever gear I happened to be in. Also, the hydraulic clutch sprung a leak and I have to drive it well over 1,000 miles before I could find a new tumbler ($6.45 1969 dollars!!).

  4. DRV

    The 3 point was first in a ’59 544 I think. They are in my ’64 544. This is a great color not often seen on them. The seat frames are from a GT or were an option . This would be 18k on BaT if it is as good as it looks.

  5. Spud

    Geeze, it’s deja vu all over again here on Barnfinds.

    For the money, I’d go for the very similar condition 67 Amazon posted yesterday. It’s in Washington state (home to all of the best-preserved Volvo finds) and for the $7K saved, you could easily convert it to the manual trans that this one has. Such conversions are inexpensive and relatively easy to do. You’d still come out ahead of the rather insane $18K wanted for this one.

    Like 1
    • Kenn

      deja vu means “all over again”. So, you’re saying: “It the same thing all over again all over again.”? Not sure why you feel it necessary to repeat yourself.

  6. RJ

    I’m not sure how you judge ‘easy’. Aside from the rear cross-member mount being different, the larger tunnel on the Auto-equipped car requires re-shaping the brake and clutch pedal arms or dealing with the gas pedal (and your foot) being under the edge of the brake pedal. But not impossible, of course.

  7. Big Steve

    My cousin and I learned to drive in 74 in my Uncle’s 64 122S. It had been sitting behind his barn for a few years and he told us if we could get it running we could use it as a field car. 2 days later we were learning to drift in his huge fields. A rugged, indestructible car that took everything 2 14 year old’s could dish out. My father also had one from 63-72 and put 200K on it. The only thing that killed it was NY road salt. He then bought a used 164 which was an amazing car in it’s own right.

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