After the combined inspiration of what I’ll refer to as “Murilee’s Barrage o’ Volvo”—recently featured in his “Junkyard Finds” column—and my most recent “BODACIOUS BEATERS” entry—featuring a purple Chevy II Wagon—I have no choice but to segue to today’s entry!
Available from something like most of the ‘60’s decade here in the U.S., the Volvo 122S—sold as the “Amazon” in its home market—certainly holds a fond place among my youthful automotive memories. A neighbor across the street used to shuttle a group of us teenagers to High School in a sedan version. I recall the gear shift lever of exaggerated length, the rather organic engine thrash and gearbox whine demonstrated during acceleration, and the leisurely progress of this activity charted by a horizontal left-to-right “red tape” speed indicator. (I was surprised when I later did learn of the “Amazon” designation, as these vehicles never impressed me with anything I could properly call “ferocity”—all genders notwithstanding!)
At any rate, all of that Swedish uniqueness—and let’s not forget to mention the very un-Swedish twin side-draft SU carbs these models were equipped with—undoubtedly was a contributing factor in my choice to make my automotive repair career debut on imported vehicles.
A friend of mine had a 1967 P1800 toward the end of our High School years, which I shortly learned was equipped with many components found on the 122 then extant. We got to do a lot of ambitious “driveway” repairs on his “P-Ship”, most of which were successful! That “Saint-mobile” provided a very unique and memorable driving experience all its own—in spite of its modest 122 mechanicals.
Now, considering all of the water that has circulated through the oceans of automotive time since then, this particular 122S Wagon—circa approximately 1966—certainly appears to fit comfortably into its retro/modern SurfWagon persona.
What appears to be original paint (at least the original color—save for the replacement right front door) is complemented by randomly dispersed surface rust, some less-than-professional “touch-up” attempts, absent trim bits, and the odd dent or two. A couple of window stickers—which seem to indicate a mild state of identity crisis—round out the vibe quite appropriately.
Hope you all enjoy this Swedish blast-from-the-past; and stay tuned for more Vintage Volvo Bodaciousness!
Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this TTAC site). He can be contacted through this very site, or http://www.linkedin.com/