The Volvo Amazon was a mid-size car produced and sold by Volvo from 1956 to 1970 and debuted in the United States as the 122S at the 1959 New York International Auto Show. Whether your restoring your Amazon or just doing some regular maintenance, get yourself a Volvo Amazon workshop manual to see that your Amazon stays on the road for years to come.
The Amazon shared the high H-point seating and wheelbase of its predecessor, the PV444/544, and was offered in a four-door sedan, five-door wagon body styles, and two-door sedan. Volvo became the first manufacturer to provide front seat belts as standard equipment, in 1959 — by providing them on all Amazon models — and later becoming the first car featuring three-point seat belts as standard equipment.
The Amazon sedan's ponton genre, three-box styling was inspired by American 1950s cars. According to designer Jan Wilsgaard, Amazon's styling was inspired by a Kaiser he saw at the Gothenburg harbor. The Amazon featured strong articulation from bumper to bumper, pronounced ""shoulders,"" and slight but still very evident tailfins. The Amazon's bodywork was constituted of phosphate-treated steel and with heavy use of anti-corrosive oil treatment and undercoating.
The station wagon estate was unveiled at the 1962 Stockholm Auto Show. It featured a two-piece tailgate, with the lower section folding down to provide a load surface and the upper part that hinged. The vehicle's rear license plate, which attached to the lower tailgate, could fold ""up"" so that when the tailgate was lowered, the license plate was still visible. Originally, this idea was used by the 1959 Mini.
The Amazon was released to the press in February 1956, and deliveries commenced in August 1956. Further versions included the 121, the base model with a single carburetor 66 hp (49 kW;65 PS) engine, the 122S introduced in 1958 as a performance model equipped with a dual carburetor 84 hp (63 kW;86 PS) engine. In February 1957, it was released.
In 1966 the Amazon Favorit, a less expensive version of the Amazon. The newer Volvo 140 was rapidly becoming the company's mainstream model. In 1967, came the 123GT, which was a Model 130 with high-compression 4-cylinder B18B engine (from the Volvo P1800), M41 gearbox, front fog and driving lights (on some markets), fully reclining seats, fender mounted mirrors, alternator, dash with a shelf and tachometer, special steering wheel, and other cosmetic upgrades. In 1969, the displacement of the B18 engine was increased and was renamed the B20.
Original specifications for the Amazon included a 3-speed manual gearbox (H6) paired with the new Volvo B16 engine and RWD. In 1958, Amazon Sport was released and later became the first series produced car to make the front-seat three-point safety belts standard. In 1962, Volvo introduced a two-door version, five-door wagon, and the new B18 engine. In 1965 the new gearbox selections were the 3-speed M30, the 4-speed M40 and the M41 with 4-speed and overdrive. Introduced in 1961, the M31 gearbox was only available that year. Gearbox offered on the 121 were the M30, M31, and M40, while the 122S was paired with either the M40 and M41 gearboxes. In 1964 the Borg-Warner BW35 3-speed automatic transmission also became available on the two-door and four-door. From 1967 to 1968 the BW35 was also available on the five-door wagon.
On July 3, 1970, the last Amazon was manufactured. And with that, the Amazon faded away into automotive history. If you are ever working on an Amazon and need some help. Grab yourself a copy of our Volvo Amazon service manual.