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Volvo 120 Amazon Series

Volvo Amazon
Volvo 130 Volvo 120 Volvo 120

Volvo P1200 / P120 Amazon

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.

Technical Specifications
Model: P 1200 / P 120 AMAZON, Sedan
Variants: P 1200 V, P 1200 H, P 121, P 122 S
Produced: 1956 - 1967
Volume: 234208
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.

Volvo P130 Amazon 2-Door

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.

Technical Specifications
Model: P130 Amazon, 2-d
Variants: P 131, P 132 (SPORT), P 123 GT
Produced: 1961 - 1970
Volume: 359916
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.

Volvo P220 Amazon Estate

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.

Technical Specifications
Model: P 220 Amazon Estate
Variants: P 221, P 222 (SPORT)
Produced: 1962 - 1969
Volume: 73169
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.

Source: Volvo Car Corporation.

Volvo Amazon - a female warrior turns 60.

Brief background to the Amazon

Register Keeper's reports. This page contains a series of articles of technical and general interest by the club official who specialises in this particular Volvo

Profile on the Volvo 120. An article outlining the history of the 120 Series Volvo with production information.

Living with a Volvo 120. An article outlining the day to day running of this model and its care and maintenance

Volvo Brochures These contain technical and general specifications.

Walking on Water. Article about driving an Amazon on the frozen rivers on Finland

Amazon Models. Great Swedish Amazon site

Amazon Page. Another great Amazon web site from Sweden.

Amazon Spares, Melbourne, Australia. John Pearey. E-mail: a href="">

Volvo-V44 Club. This is the web site for the Dutch Amazon-PV-1800 clubs

Amazon Restoration. Web page by Jim Hekker of the New Zealand Volvo club on his restoration project.

Amazon Page. Chew Yong Seong in Malaysia has done this page on his Amazon

Amazon Page. Udo Meixner's German Homepage about Amazons

Swedish Vintage and Classic Automobiles
Wayne Coles, 8 Somersby Road, Welshpool, Western Australia 6106. Email:

Nordicar. Dutch source for Amazon parts

VP Parts. Swedish source for Amazon parts

MotorOldies. Swedish source for 120 parts

Brookhouse Classic Volvo Parts. UK source for 120 parts Swedish source for parts for Volvo's from the PV to the 200

Amazon web site. By Rolf Franke in Germany

Amazon web site. From Thailand Site from the Netherlands on older Volvo's

Amazon Cars UK. Very useful UK site with tech tips and sales.

Amazons. Website in the Netherlands that is about Amazons, with running reports and project cars

Owners Manuals. VOC Members Only

Volvo Service Bulletins 1955 - 60

122S 1960 Specifications.

Amazon road tests 1958

221/223S Service Data Dated December 1967

Seat Belt Installation Volvo instruction document

Amazon turns 50 years of age.

Volvo Classics - new web site

Volvo Amazon. The first real international seller

122S Press release Part 1 - USA 1960

122S Press release Part 2 - USA 1960

Volvo 121 Volvo 130

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