Swedish Survivor: 1967 Volvo 122S

After nearly 40-years spent parked in a garage, this 1967 Volvo 122S has emerged into the light of day. It has been treated to a host of new parts and is now in a roadworthy state. Time has been kind to this Swedish classic, and the decades in hiding have not had any adverse effects on the car’s overall condition. It is now on the market, so the owner has listed it for sale here on Facebook. The Volvo is located in Redmond, Washington, with an asking price of $10,500.

It isn’t clear whether the Ice Blue paint that the 122S wears is original or whether the car has undergone a repaint at some point. The photos seem to indicate that the driver’s side rear quarter panel might have received a touch-up, although this could also be a trick of the light. If most of the paint is original, it has held up well over the past 53-years. It isn’t clear what sort of garage the Volvo was parked in back in 1980, but the storage conditions would appear to have been quite favorable. The paint and panels show no sign of fading, damage, or rust. The seller makes no mention of rust issues under the car, which isn’t that surprising. Swedish winters aren’t the kindest, and vehicles from that region need to be hardy to survive the rigors of snow and ice. Volvo has always been a company that paid careful attention to details. The result is that a surprising number of their older models have tended to survive without any rust problems. The chrome trim is all present, and its condition is just as impressive as the rest of the exterior. I also can’t spot any chips or problems with the glass.

The impressive presentation continues when we open the doors and take a look around inside this classic. There is only a single interior photo supplied by the owner, but it does paint a positive picture. There is a defect visible on the driver’s seat, but it looks like a weird stain rather than a tear. The rest of the upholstery appears to be in good condition, and what can be seen of the dash looks quite positive. The floors are covered with the original rubber mats, which makes for a hard-wearing and easy-care interior. These do have their attractions, especially for people with limited time. If they get dirty, a quick vacuum and a wipe over with a damp cloth can have them looking great once again. If rubber mats aren’t to the buyer’s taste, carpet kits are available. However, these are not cheap. A full carpet set will leave no change from $310, which is pretty expensive compared to most classics that we see here at Barn Finds. We can’t see the condition of the rear seat or the headliner, but if what is visible is an accurate indication, then this is an interior that will need nothing.

There are plenty of people who rave about the performance of V6 Volvos, but it is unwise to write-off the potential of a Volvo with a four under the hood. That’s what we find lurking here. This 1,778cc powerhouse wears a pair of SU carburetors, blessing the vehicle with 95hp. Backing this is a 3-speed Borg-Warned 35 automatic transmission. That is a slight disappointment because I was hoping for either the 4-speed or, even better, the overdrive unit. When the 122S was pulled from storage, the owner went through it to ensure that it was returned to a roadworthy state. He says that he has replaced many parts but doesn’t specify what these were. It looks like the brake booster and master cylinder might be new, while the radiator also looks relatively fresh. Many of the hoses also have a new appearance, so I’m tipping that those and the belts have also been done. This work has paid dividends because this Volvo is said to run and drive well.

One of the attractions of Volvos from this era is their generally bulletproof nature. This one appears to be a beauty, and it would seem to need nothing more than a new owner who will appreciate it as a clean survivor. Looking at recent sales results, the price on this one seems to be very competitive. If you are hunting for an interesting and practical classic that is reasonably affordable, this might be one to add to your list.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    I recommissioned one of these back in 2018, and ran it in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Kickoff Rallye. My wife and I finished in the middle of the pack of 90 cars.

    These are easy cars to work on, parts are available, dead reliable, and comfortable. With the BW automatic instead of the 4-speed, it turns the driving experience from “kissing your sister” into kissing your grandmother.

    Quirky and quaint, sexy it ain’t.

    Like 7
    • kiteflier

      Reliable it is. Walked out of my high school graduation in May 1970 with diploma in hand, hopped in my 122S and drove mine from Chicago to San Francisco in June 1970. I went looking for the hippies, you know, free love and all that. I remember because it cost me just over $22 in gas money and I was broke.

      Like 3
  2. alphasud Member

    Be careful driving a Volvo with a Borg transmission. You will be assimilated into the vintage Volvo culture where you will be compelled to wear a wool hat and a tweed jacket. By the looks of the car the only let down is the automatic. The rest is in awesome shape and I think a fair asking. Like Rex said very sturdy and more reliable than a Saab from my experience. I agree not sexy but not hard on the eye either.

    Like 4
  3. Bob C.

    Yah, dis looks like a nice Svedish car for da price.

    Like 1
  4. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking Volvo. It’s nice to see an original survivor. I’d buy one if I was in the market for a classic car. I’ve always loved the Volvo 122S Amazon.

    Like 1
  5. Driving La Carrera

    If it was a two door, I’d suggest turning into a vintage rally car. We race a ’65 122S with a B20 in the Carrera Panamericana. Strong, reliable, and goes like heck.

  6. Spud

    Uh, I’m not sure who the “plenty of people” are who “rave” about V6 Volvos…at least not classic Volvos. Just looking at the prices for well-sorted Amazons versus 260s (if you could even find one) ought to give you pretty much all the info you need about that bit of nonsense.

    Great looking 122. It’s at a fair price now…and likely could go for more than that.

  7. Richard Van Dyke Sr Member

    For some reason the word timeless popped in my head. Volvo has always had a reputation for reliability and this car is no doubt a reason for that. The price is very good IMHO

  8. Charles Sawka

    The “Best British Car the Swedes Could Build “. Rock solid

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