Volvo Amazon: A Timeless Icon

Volvo Amazon

I love everything that Sweden ever produced, in this article I’m not talking about Koenigsegg or SAAB, I just want to mention the old lady that changed the history and made our nowadays driving safer and more reliable, This car was initially called Amason (with an “s”), after the female warriors of Greek mythology, the Amazons. In the US market this car was known as the 122S.

This piece of art was produced from 1956 to 1970. It was a mid-size car available in various body styles, including a two-door sedan, four-door sedan, two-door estate (wagon), and a five-door estate.

The Amazon was renowned for its durability, safety features, and innovative engineering for its time. Its design was considered quite modern when it was introduced, featuring a distinctive curvy body shape.

Volvo Amazon (122S)

Volvo Amazon Safety

One of the notable features of the Volvo Amazon was its robust construction, which contributed to its reputation for safety. In fact, it was the first car equipped with three-point seat belts as standard equipment.

This safety innovation was a significant step forward in automobile safety and has since become a standard feature in cars worldwide.

If you are interested you should read about the Top 10 Porsche Cars for Collectors

Volvo Amazon Engine

Amazon was powered by a range of engines, including four-cylinder units with various displacements. It offered a comfortable ride and solid performance, making it popular not only in its home market of Sweden but also internationally.

Engine TypeDisplacementConfigurationPower OutputYears Available
B161.6 L (1583 cc)Inline-460–85 hp1956–1961
B181.8 L (1778 cc)Inline-475–115 hp1961–1968
B202.0 L (1986 cc)Inline-482–118 hp1969–1970
Volvo Amazon Station Wagon

Volvo Amazon Transmission

These were the main transmission options offered for the Volvo Amazon throughout its production period.

Transmission TypeDescriptionYears Available
3-Speed H6 ManualThree-speed manual transmission1956–1970
3-Speed Volvo M30 ManualThree-speed manual transmission1956–1970
3-Speed Volvo M31 Overdrive ManualThree-speed manual transmission with overdrive1961–1970
4-Speed M4 ManualFour-speed manual transmission1956–1970
4-Speed Volvo M40 ManualFour-speed manual transmission1956–1970
4-Speed Volvo M41 Overdrive ManualFour-speed manual transmission with overdrive1961–1970
3-Speed Borg-Warner 35 AutomaticThree-speed automatic transmission1961–1970

With a big number of choices this car was one of the most successful Volvo cars through its history.

Volvo Amazon Reliability

  1. Robust Construction: The Amazon was built with durability in mind, featuring a sturdy body structure and quality materials. Its chassis and body panels were well-engineered to withstand the test of time, contributing to its long-term reliability.
  2. Simpler Mechanical Systems: The Amazon’s design employed relatively straightforward mechanical systems compared to modern cars, which often translates to fewer potential points of failure. This simplicity, coupled with Volvo’s reputation for engineering reliability, contributes to the Amazon’s longevity.
  3. Ease of Maintenance: Many Amazon owners appreciate the ease of maintenance and repair. Its design allows for relatively straightforward access to key components, making routine maintenance tasks more manageable. Additionally, the availability of spare parts, both genuine Volvo and aftermarket, further enhances the ease of upkeep for Amazon owners.
  4. Legendary Volvo Engineering: Volvo has a long-standing commitment to safety and reliability, which is evident in the Amazon’s design. Volvo’s engineering ethos prioritizes longevity and safety, leading to features like the Amazon’s robust drivetrain and safety innovations such as the introduction of three-point seat belts.
  5. Dedicated Community and Resources: The Volvo Amazon has a passionate community of owners and enthusiasts who share knowledge, expertise, and resources. This community support can be invaluable for maintaining, restoring, and troubleshooting Amazon vehicles, further bolstering their reliability.
Volvo Amazon Photo


  1. What is the Volvo Amazon?
    • The Volvo Amazon, also known as the Volvo 120 series, was a line of cars produced by the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1956 to 1970. It was a mid-size car available in various body styles, renowned for its durability, safety features, and innovative engineering.
  2. What are the key features of the Volvo Amazon?
    • Key features of the Volvo Amazon include its distinctive curvy body design, robust construction, pioneering safety features such as three-point seat belts, and a range of engine and transmission options.
  3. What engine options were available for the Volvo Amazon?
    • Engine options for the Volvo Amazon included the B16, B18, B20, and B30, ranging from 1.6 to 3.0 liters in displacement, available in both four-cylinder and six-cylinder configurations.
  4. What transmission options were offered for the Volvo Amazon?
    • Transmission options included 3-speed manual (H6, Volvo M30), 3-speed manual with overdrive (Volvo M31), 4-speed manual (M4, Volvo M40), 4-speed manual with overdrive (Volvo M41), and 3-speed automatic (Borg-Warner 35).
  5. How reliable is the Volvo Amazon?
    • The Volvo Amazon is known for its reliability, thanks to its robust construction, simpler mechanical systems, ease of maintenance, and Volvo’s commitment to safety and engineering excellence.
  6. What is the significance of the Volvo Amazon’s safety features?
    • The Volvo Amazon introduced groundbreaking safety features such as three-point seat belts as standard equipment, setting new standards for automotive safety that have since become industry norms.

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