Brief background to the Volvo Amazon
Source: Volvo Car Corporation.
Amazon 1956 - 1970
In 1956, a prototype of a new passenger car from Volvo was presented. The car became known as the Amazon in Sweden and the 121 and 122S on the export market. The designation 122S was used for a version with a more powerful engine.
Production began in 1957 and this car was initially regarded as a larger model than the PV444. The fact that the 121/122 S was a 4-door model naturally contributed to this.
The styling was modern and this model was the first car from Volvo with a pontoon body. People found the car very attractive. The front was characterised by the two oval air intakes. The rear wings were extended and ended with a hint of a fin, a very popular design feature at the time.
The Amazon 121/122 S also had a very high safety level with features including a padded upper half of the dashboard, a laminated windscreen and seatbelt attachments both front and rear.
In the autumn of 1961, the P120 models included a number of relatively large changes. The previous 1.6-litre engine was replaced by the B18 with an output of 75 or 90 bhp, a 12-volt electrical system and a new grille, while the 90 bhp model featured disc brakes on the front wheels.
The 4-door model of the P120 was produced until the autumn of 1966, when it was replaced by an entirely new car, the Volvo 144.
Model: P 1200 / P 120 AMAZON, Sedan
Variants: P 1200 V
P 1200 H
P 122 S
Produced: 1956 - 1967
Body: 4-door saloon
Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line, overhead valves, 1,583 cc, 79.37 x 80 mm, 60 bhp at 4,500 rpm or 85 bhp at 5,500 rpm. 1961: 1,778 cc , 84.14 x 80 mm, 75 bhp at 4,500 rpm or 90 bhp at 5,000 rpm, increased in 1965 to 95 bhp.
Transmission: 3- or 4-speed manual with or without overdrive, with floor-mounted gear lever (some cars delivered with gearshift mounted on the steering column). 3-speed automatic with gear lever on steering column.
Brakes: Hydraulic drums on all wheels. 1961: disc brakes on front wheels for S versions. 1964: disc brakes on front wheels for all versions.
Dimensions: Overall length 445 cm, wheelbase 2,600 mm.
In September 1961, yet another version based on the 121/122S was presented - a 2-door saloon. This version was an eagerly awaited model, particularly on the Swedish market, as Sweden was a typical market for 2-door cars at that time.
Technically speaking, there was no difference between the two models. The doors were naturally longer on the new 2-door model to make it easier to get into the rear seat, and the front seats could, of course, be folded forward for the same reason. The rear side windows could be opened at the rear edge to improve ventilation.
The engine programme was originally supposed to follow that of the 4-door model. However, as the 2-door was somewhat lighter, it was also regarded as somewhat more sporty and was therefore used in competitions, both rally driving and motor racing
To enhance the sporty image of the Amazon, the fast and lavishly equipped 123GT version was introduced in 1966, with the same engine as the 1800S sports car.
In 1968, another engine version was added to this model - the so-called B20 engine, a 2.0-litre version.
Production of the P130 continued until July 2nd 1970. This was the final version of this car family, with a total of 667,323 P130s produced over the years.
Model: P130 Amazon, 2-d
Variants: P 131
P 132 (SPORT)
P 123 GT
Produced: 1961 - 1970
Body: 2-door saloon
Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line, valves overhead valves, 1,778 cc (108 cu. in.), 84.14 x 80 mm, 75 bhp at 4,500 rpm or 90 bhp at 5,000 rpm, 95 bhp in 1964, 115 bhp in 1966. 1968: 1,986 cc, 88.9 x 80 mm, 90 bhp at 4,800, 118 bhp at 5,800 rpm.
Transmission: 3-speed manual or or 4-speed manual with overdrive with floor-mounted gear lever. 3-speed automatic with gear lever on steering column.
Brakes: Hydraulic drums on all wheels, S-version with discs at front. In 1964 all with discs at front.
Dimensions: Overall length 445 cm,wheelbase 2,600 mm.
This model can be described as an estate based on the 121/122S (Amazon). It made its debut at the Stockholm Motor Show in February 1962. This extension of the model range gave Volvo a more extensive programme in one and the same car family than ever before.
The P220 had four doors and the tailgate was divided into two parts, one part folded down and the other folded up. This design was inspired by station wagons from the USA.
The production of the P220 took place alongside that of the P210 and the P220 became more frequent outside the Nordic markets. This car represented yet another important step towards a more family-oriented estate which was less of an into the commercial vehicle market. In this way, the P220 played an important role for Volvo in its development as leading producer of estate cars.
Model: P 220 Amazon Estate
Variants: P 221
P 222 (SPORT)
Produced: 1962 - 1969
Body: 4-door estate
Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line, overhead valves, 1,778 cc, 84.14 x 80 mm, 75 or 90 or 95 bhp, and later 1,986 cc, 88.9x80 mm, 90 bhp.
Transmission: 4-speed manual (with or without overdrive) with floor-mounted gear lever or 3-speed automatic with gear lever on steering column.
Brakes: Hydraulic drums on all wheels initially, discs on the front wheels at a later stage.
Dimensions: Overall length 449 cm,wheelbase 260 cm.
Some more Volvo Amazon facts in shorter form:
121 (B16A, 1957-1961). First production model with 60bhp 1582cc single-carb engine, four doors and a 3-speed manual gearbox.
122S (B16B, 1958-1961). Produced for export with 85bhp twin-carb 1582cc engine and four speed gearbox.
121 (B18A, 1961-1968). Single carb with new cylinder head and 1778cc, 75bhp engine. (85bhp from 1966). 2-door, four-door and 5-door estate. The 4-door ended in 1967.
122S (B18D, 1961-1968). A twin-carb 121. A 2-door from 1963, with the last 4-door being built in 1967. Power outputs were 90bhp (1961-1965), 95bhp (1966), 100bhp (1967), 115bhp (1968).
221/222 (B18A, B18B, B18D, 1962-1969). Amazon estate with 1778cc engine. Sometimes called the 121 or 221 Combi or estate. Fitted with the 4.5J wheels from the 1800.
121 (B20A, 1968-1970). 2-door with B20A 1998cc 90bhp engine of the 140 series.
123GT (B18B, 1966-1968). 2-door with 115bhp high compression version of the P1800 engine. Also with 4.5J wheels.
122S (B20B, 1968-1979). A 118bhp 1998cc engine of the 140 series. With either twin SU's or Strombergs. 2-door only.
131 (B18D, 1965-1970). A 2-door entry-level Amazon with single-carb 75bhp engine.
Volvo Amazon Cars by Series.
A-Series (from 1957):
- 60bhp B16A engine
- 4-door saloon only
- 2-tone paintwork
B-Series (from spring 1958):
- B16B engine
- 4-speed M40 gearbox
C-Series (from August 1958):
- Standard front seat belts for all cars
- Amazon Sport for Swedish market
- New type of brake servo (known as the duo-servo)
- Improvements to the heating system
D-Series (from August 1960):
- New 3-speed and 4-speed all-synchro gearboxes
- Overdrive option for the 3-speed gearbox
- New seats
E-Series (A-Series for P130 and P220, from August 1961):
- 12-volt electrical system
- B18 engine
- Asymmetrical headlights
- New grille
- 2-tone paint option dropped
- Stronger front suspension is reinforced and heavier
- Girling front disc brakes for sportier models
- 2-door option introduced
F-Series (B-Series for P130 and P220, from August 1962):
- Rear axle strengthened
- New rear lights (now incorporating reversing lights)
- Improved rustproofing
G-Series (D-Series for P130 and P220, from August 1963):
- Borg-Warner BW35 automatic gearbox offered
- Redesigned boot handle incorporated number plate light
- New headlining design
K-Series (E-Series for P130 and P220, from August 1964):
- Front disc brakes standard on all models
- Estate gets brake servo
- New radiator grille
- New wheels and hubcaps
- New emblems on the sides
- Rear seat passengers get their own heating duct
- Rear armrest on all models
- Front seat passengers gets handle on the dashboard
- Radiator blind no longer fitted
- Estate gets gas struts for upper tailgate
- New ergonomically designed seats
L-Series (F-Series for P130 and P220, from August 1965):
- New compression ratio for B18 (by fitting thinner head gasket)
- New camshaft
- Sealed front suspension and propshaft
- Rear wheel now has a valve to help prevent locking when braking
- Amazon Favorit economy special introduced (no chrome around the windows, black or white paint only, and M30 3-speed gearbox)
M-Series (from August 1966):
- New grille
- Redesigned seatbelts
- 123GT introduced
- Extra power for all engines (thanks to the use of Stromberg carbs)
- Sealed cooling system with new radiator
- P120-Series discontinued for most markets
P-Series (from August 1967):
- Collapsible steering column
- New steering wheel
- Brake servo on all models
- End of production of 4-door models (replaced by the 144)
S-Series (from August 1968):
- B20 engine
- Dual-circuit brakes
- Brake servo
T-Series (from August 1969):
- Production of the Amazon estate ends
- Only B20 engine offered
- Standard seatbelts for the rear seats
- Adjustable headrests for front seats
The following tables are reproduced with the kind permission of Fredrik Lofter and his Volvo Amazon site www.volvoamazonpictures.se
During the first years of the production of the Volvo Amazon series the "model year" was not very clear and many changes were introduced at certain chassis numbers and not the actual calendar year.
|Period||Model year||P120 Ch nr||P120 produced||P130 Ch nr||P130 produced||P220 Ch nr||P220 produced||Totals||Accumulated|
|April 1956 and June 1956||1956*||X1, X2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|August 1956 - spring 1958||1957||1 - 5272||5,184||-||-||-||-||5,184||5,184|
|February 1958 - November** 1958||1958||4436 - 14999||9,815||-||-||-||-||9,815||14,999|
|November** 1958 - October** 1959||1959||15000 - 32999||18,000||-||-||-||-||18,000||32,999|
|October** 1959 - July 1960||1960||33000 - 54399||21,400||-||-||-||-||21,400||54,399|
|August 1960 - July 1961||1961||54400 - 84299||29,900||-||-||-||-||29,900||84,299|
|August 1961 - July 1962||1962||84300 - 112799||28,500||1 - 10499||10499||1 - 1399||1,399||40,398||124,697|
|August 1962 - July 1963||1963||112800 - 139999||27,500||10500 - 39999||29,500||1400 - 8274||6,875||63,575||188,272|
|August 1963 - July 1964||1964||140000 - 166399||26,400||40000 - 84599||44,600||8275 - 17949||9,675||80,675||268,947|
|August 1964 - July 1965||1965||166400 - 193799||27,400||84600 - 144399||59,800||17950 - 29399||11,450||98,650||367,597|
|August 1965 - July 1966||1966||193800 - 225049||31,250||144400 - 216949||72,550||29400 - 44599||15,200||119,000||486,597|
|August 1966 - July 1967||1967||225050 - 234653***||9,604***||216950 - 279899||62,950||44600 - 61799||17,200||89,754||576,351|
|August 1967 - July 1968||1968||-||-||279900 - 312499||32,600||61800 - 70299||8,500||41,100||617,451|
|August 1968 - July 1969||1969||-||-||312500 - 339999||27,500||70300 - 73220***||2,921***||30,421||647,872|
|August 1969 - July 1970||1970||-||-||340000 - 359918||19,919||-||-||19,919||667,791|
* Includes the two prototypes X1 and X2 which had chassis numbers 1 and 2 respectively in their own chassis number series. Both were registered for traffic in Sweden and therefore included here.
** Calculated point in time based on available chassis number data and the assumption of an even distribution of produced cars during the period.
*** The actual figures for these models are unclear as they vary according to source. Even Volvo's sources are different. They also record the following:
- P120 totals - 234209
- P120 model year 1967 - 9160
- P220 totals - 73196
- P220 model year 1969 - 2897
- Total Amazons - 667,323
The last manufactured P 220 was saved and is on exhibition in the Volvo Museum in Arendal and has chassis number 73220.
|Model year||Chassis number||Type designation||Comment/Gearbox|
|1957||1 - 248||P 1200||H6|
|1957||249 - 4435||P 1200 V/H||H6|
|1957||4447 - 4636||P 1200 V/H||H6|
|1957||4639 - 5193||P 1200 V/H||H6|
|1957||5214 - 5215||P 1200 V/H||H6|
|1957||5271 - 5272||P 1200 V/H||H6|
|1958||4436 - 4446||P 1200 VB/HB||M4|
|1958||4637 - 4638||P 1200 VB/HB||M4|
|1958||5194 - 5213||P 1200 VB/HB||M4|
|1958||5216 - 5270||P 1200 VB/HB||M4|
|1958||5273 - 12082||P 1200 VB/HB||M4|
|1958||12083 - 14999||P 12204 VB/HB||-|
|1958||12170 - 14999||P 12206 VB/HB||-|
|1958||12379 - 14999||P 12104 VB/HB||-|
|1959||15000 - 32999||P 12104 UVB/UHB||-|
|1959||15000 - 32999||P 12204 UVB/UHB||Export|
|1959||15000 - 32999||P 12206 UVB/UHB||-|
|1959||21000 - 32999||P 12208 UVB||USA|
|1960||33000 - 54399||P 12104 UVB/UHB||-|
|1960||33000 - 54399||P 12106 UVB/UHB||-|
|1960||33000 - 54399||P 12204 UVB/UHB||Export|
|1960||33000 - 54399||P 12206 UVB/UHB||-|
|1960||33000 - 54399||P 12208 UVB||USA|
|1961||54400 - 84299||P 12132 VD/HD||M30|
|1961||54400 - 84299||P 12133 VD/HD||M31|
|1961||54400 - 84299||P 12134 VD/HD||M40|
|1961||54400 - 84299||P 12234 VD/HD||M40|
|1961||54400 - 84299||P 12235 VD/HD||M41|
|1961||54400 - 84299||P 12244 VD||USA|
In March 1958 Volvo issue a service bulletin about the introduction of the new gearbox M4, and eventually also stated what chassis numbers belongs to what model year based on the gearbox (H6 means 1957 and M4 means 1958.)
|Model year||Production run||P 120 Ch nr||P 120 numbers||P 130 Ch nr||P 130 numbers||P 220 Ch nr||P 220 numbers|
|1957||August 1956 - December 1956||1 - 34||34||-||-||-||-|
|1957||January 1957 - December 1957||35 - 3100||3,066||-||-||-||-|
|1957||January 1958 - spring 1958||3101 - 5272||2,084||-||-||-||-|
|1958||February 1958 - November* 1958||4436 - 14999||9,815||-||-||-||-|
|1959||November* 1958 - December 1958||15000 - 16057||1,059||-||-||-||-|
|1959||January 1959 - October* 1959||16059 - 32999||16,941||-||-||-||-|
|1960||October* 1959 - December 1959||33000 - 38408||5,409||-||-||-||-|
|1960||January 1960 - July 1960||38409 - 54399||15,991||-||-||-||-|
|1961||August 1960 - December 1960||54400 - 66064||11,665||-||-||-||-|
|1961||January 1961 - July 1961||66065 - 84299||18,235||-||-||-||-|
|1962||August 1961 - December 1961||84300 - 96301||12,002||1 - 1852||1,852||-||-|
|1962||January 1962 - July 1962||96302 - 112799||16,498||1853 - 10499||8,647||1 - 1399||1,399|
|1963||August 1962 - December 1962||112800 - 124544||11,745||10500 - 20615||10,116||1400 - 4039||2,640|
|1963||January 1963 - July 1963||124545 - 139999||15,455||20616 - 39999||19,384||4040 - 8274||4,235|
|1964||August 1963 - December 1963||140000 - 150170||10,171||40000 - 57366||17,367||8275 - 11593||3,319|
|1964||January 1964 - July 1964||150171 - 166399||16,229||57367 - 84599||27,233||11594 - 17949||6,356|
|1965||August 1964 - December 1964||166400 - 176552||10,153||84600 - 106768||22,169||17950 - 22209||4,260|
|1965||January 1965 - July 1965||176553 - 193799||17,247||106769 - 144399||37,631||22210 - 29399||7,190|
|1966||August 1965 - December 1965||193800 - 206184||12,385||144400 - 172294||27,895||29400 - 35146||5,747|
|1966||January 1966 - July 1966||206185 - 225049||18,865||172295 - 216949||44,655||35147 - 44599||9,453|
|1967||August 1966 - December 1966||225050 - 233747||8,698||216950 - ?||?||44600 - ?||?|
|1967||January 1967 - July 1967||233748 - 234653||906||? - 279899||?||? - 61799||?|