By on July 5, 2013

14 - 1962 Volvo 122 Amazon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEverybody 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.
08 - 1962 Volvo 122 Amazon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis 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.
13 - 1962 Volvo 122 Amazon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere’s a lot of tractor-ish mechanical gear beneath the Amazon, but Volvo did add some snazzy styling touches here and there.
03 - 1962 Volvo 122 Amazon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior reminds me a bit of the Plymouth Valiant of the same era.
15 - 1962 Volvo 122 Amazon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI 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!
01 - 1962 Volvo 122 Amazon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou’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.

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16 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1962 Volvo 122S...”

  • avatar

    That’s a great ad.. and none of the stupid “professional driver on a closed course, do not attempt” crap.

    • 0 avatar

      Plus you get to hear Swedish in the other one.


    • 0 avatar

      Theres a mercedes benz commercial out that just shows the guy driving down the highway, not high speed at all. But of course they still put that warning on the bottom.

      • 0 avatar

        Lawyers! But then, there’s that woman in the Ford motor home who set the cruise control and went back to fix a sandwich. She blamed the crash on Ford’s improper cruise control instructions, and won. Soon, there will be warnings that driving a car on the street may lead to accidents.

  • avatar

    Charlie was very excited.

    The Amazon had spent quite awhile under the trees outside. Soon Charlie would finally get to drive his Volvo!

    The previous owner was somewhat eccentric. It had been a project forever. He had no time to fix it. The guy was 3 years into a Mosquito helicopter build that consumed much of his free time. He had purchased the car with some assembly required. The valvetrain had been taken apart, and bent pushrods were found. “This will be an easy fix! It’s like an hour of work. Why didn’t this guy just get it done?”, Charlie thought, eager to put his internet forum prowess and simple hand tools to work. A year had passed since the flatbed backed up Charlie’s steep driveway and delivered the Amazon.

    Charlie drove the nail into the last shingle on the roof of his hell project home. He looked down upon the Volvo. A thick layer of tree droppings covered it’s entirety. It was a depressing sight. “Finally. You’re next.”

    With broom in hand, Charlie cleared the debris. “What a fine looking car. This is going to be bad ass.”, he said aloud and alone. He took a moment to sit in the seat and envision how much of an ultimate badass he would become. He had a 4 point plan. 1-Get the motor running. 2-“Drop this sucker on bags.” 3-“Put on some sweet rims. Maybe billet, I dunno.” 4-The German Silver paint job he saw on that example on the forums. That car was awesome. His inspiration. Soon, he would have it all. He had a lot of time to dream about this. His house was done for the time being. At the very least, he would stop hemorrhaging cash. The day had finally arrived to start making it a reality. He opened the trunk to find the missing puzzle pieces where he left them. “Time to get to work.”

    The first order of business was to push the car into the garage. He inflated the 3 flat tires. Charlie strained every muscle. The car would not budge. The rear brakes were locked. He spent a week dismantling, ordering the necessary parts, and reassembling the brakes. Finally, the car could be rolled. Charlie hitched up the lawn tractor to tug the Volvo close to the waiting garage. He pushed it the rest of the way in, set the parking brake, and opened the hood.

    Charlie opened the wrapper on some fresh pushrods, and installed them. He was elated at having the car finally in one piece again. “Almost done, then I can fire this sucker up.”, he thought. “Just need to look up the valve clearance spec.” As the screen door slammed behind Charlie, the Amazon inexplicably came to life, and started to move on it’s own. Compelled by gravity, the car moved out of the garage by the time Charlie logged onto the Brick forums. Charlie entered his search query. The Volvo reached terminal velocity.

    The Amazon made a metallic bang as it met the Cyprus.
    “WTF was that?!”

    • 0 avatar

      Haha, excellent! Did I ever tell you this happen to my Z31? Only a couple years ago, I left the car in gear in the driveway on Ravine. I was sitting inside on the couch when I heard the horns blasting from the busy road out front. I peered through the window to see my Z, sitting in the middle of 2 lanes of traffic (10+cars backed up in each direction) with no one inside.

      Luckily I escaped unscathed. I wish Charlie could say the same.

  • avatar

    They’re driving on the left side, but the steering wheel is also in the left? Strange.

    • 0 avatar

      Good observation and good question. Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right side in the late 1960s. Search for it on google or whatnot- it’s a neat story if you’re a car history nerd like me.

      As for Swedish home market Volvos always having had the steering wheel on the left side (while UK exports were right hand drive), there’s a story to that too but it comes down to it being just “one of those things.”

  • avatar

    Another long term Survivor bites the dust .

    I’m amazed the horns are still there ~ they’re loud and pleasing in tone and simple to repair if they don’t toot .

    My ex FIL had a ’64 122 Coupe in Guatemala , he was always after me to find one here in Pick-A-Part for cosmetic bits .

    Very good cars these were .


  • avatar

    So sad indeed. These make greaty little runabout cars, either restored or in the slightly-battered state. It seems that everyone loves them, but they never trade hands above the $2,000 mark unless they’re either a wagon, or in exceptionally good state. 4 doors like this one…I’ve picked up a half- dozen of them in recent years, never for more than $800 in any condition. Yet the 4 door is possibly the most interesting example. It only weighs about 150 pounds more than the 2 door, and shares the same roofline and wheelbase as the 2 door. The extra two doors make the back seat actually usable, and all of the mechanical bits are the same.

    Unfortunately, being a ’62 this one likely had 4 wheel drum brakes, and some of the trim can be hard to come by. I’d still rescue this one if I had to pay scrap value for it, though. My loving, understanding wife has given me carte’ blanch to buy any complete Amazon for scrap value that I find. The solid sheetmetal left on this one alone is worth that.

  • avatar

    We used to call these “old Volvos,” back in the eighties. You’d cast them a stunned look – is that still running? But you never really wanted to own the stodgy – Amazon just re enforced your image of Volvo. They’d garnished a solid reputation. You used to see plenty still running twenty years on.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I still see these on the road just chugging along in decent shape. Volvo’s styling was always one generation behind other makes. They did not have the need to change styling with the times like tail-fin era, planned obsolesce Detroit. Just focus on quality, functional and safety improvements. The PV544, 444 looked like a 40’s Ford but was around till the 60’s. The Amazon looked like something from the 50’s, Hudson Jet, Rambler, Wiilys but was around till the late 60’s. Oddly enough you can find Amazon’s for less money and in better shape than other imports of the era such as Beetles. An easy restoration as well.

  • avatar

    Didn`t Volvo do a Timex watch add???
    I see to remember one with that ,oh..I forgot his..Cameron Swazy?? doing the voice over…

  • avatar

    I see from the instrument cluster where Volvo got their inspiration for the font they used on trunk badges in the 80’s.

    The add on third brake lamp is a nice touch.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

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