Junkyard Find: 1962 Volvo 122S

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Everybody loves the Volvo Amazon, including me, and so it’s saddening to see an early example heading to The Crusher. The truth is that non-perfect Amazons (even two-doors) just aren’t worth much these days, so one with rust and/or major body damage usually gets crushed.

This California Amazon appears to be completely rust-free, but a hard hit in the right rear would cost more to fix than you’d spend for a pretty nice Amazon.

There’s a lot of tractor-ish mechanical gear beneath the Amazon, but Volvo did add some snazzy styling touches here and there.

The interior reminds me a bit of the Plymouth Valiant of the same era.

I couldn’t get the hood to open, but I was able to squeeze the camera in through the grille opening. Yep, the B18 (not to be confused with the Honda B18) is still there!

You’d expect the owner of a 51-year-old Volvo to be a member of the Experimental Aviation Association.

Hey, this could be the car from the 1962 Volvo ad!

I’ve always preferred the home-market Amazon ad, from the era during which Swedes drove on the left. They switched sides on Högertrafikomläggningen in 1967.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Summicron Summicron on Jul 06, 2013

    I enjoyed the squealy rubber sounds when he stops on the dirt road. That video producer must've moved on to TV-Land.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jul 09, 2013

    Does the Amazon nomenclature apply only to the 122S? It seems like people would like the stylish P1800 more. Previously, when people said Amazon I had assumed they were referring to the P1800. Ignorance source: born after all of these cars stopped production.

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...