Junkyard Find: 1966 Volvo Amazon Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1966 volvo amazon coupe

The Volvo 122S aka Amazon is not a very common sighting in American self-serve junkyards these days. In this series so far, we’ve seen just this ’62 sedan, and I’ve also written about this flood-damaged ’69 coupe and this ’66 wagon elsewhere. On a recent trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, I spotted this well-worn but still relatively complete ’66 coupe.

There’s some rust, where it always happens in California cars whose weatherstripping gets powderized by smog and sun: in the corners where rainwater flowing past the windows tends to accumulate during those long, wet winters.

The good old pushrod B engine (this car came from the factory with a B18, but I see “B20” cast into the block in this photo, indicating an engine swap). This engine looks non-grimy enough to have been a recent-ish swap.

Not that B20s are in any great junkyard demand these days (having been installed in fairly common 140s and very common 240s, you can always find one in California wrecking yards), but these good-enough-to-run-but-not-great compression readings scrawled on the underside of the hood might cause some internal debate in the minds of prospective purchasers: Are those numbers from the engine in the car now? Are they from 25 years ago? Are they actually the weights, in grams, of bags of weed offered for sale by the previous owner?

The interior is grimy but most of it is still present.

I couldn’t resist buying this aftermarket “Tri-Bar” Yankee Metal Products mirror. It will look good on my van. What the heck, $12.99 well spent.

Disc brakes were still pretty exotic stuff in the 1966 US-market car world.

I’ll bet this locking Waso gas cap was installed during the 1973 Oil Crisis. Cars with easily accessible, low-mounted fuel fillers were common siphoning targets during that era.

Too bad about the smashed rear window.

Odds are that Swedish women wouldn’t have tolerated this “Ha ha, the weaker sex cain’t drive!” ad, even in 1966.

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2 of 27 comments
  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Aug 05, 2014

    I recall these old Volvo's were considered 'old' in the 70's.

  • -Nate -Nate on Aug 06, 2014

    GREAT cars ! . I remember in the 1980's & 1990's you could find a tired but rust free Amazon Coupe for $600 with a burned valve or bad brakes etc. but otherwise decent . I suppose this one is restorable but that rust made me think it's a parts car ~ if I had an Inde Volvo Shop I'da kept this one handy for the mryad small daily driver parts it contains , I'd easily make well over $4K out of it and scrapped only a bare shell . -Nate

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.