This page is a serious attempt to present the differences between the fourteen model years of the Volvo Amazon. It is not a complete record of those differences. Partly because Volvo didn’t get the whole model year concept straight until the mid 1960s but instead changed many details at certain chassis numbers. The term model year is not established within Volvo until after the launch of the 122 S and the PV 544 in the USA in 1959, and even after that it takes several years before the concept is in full use in the organization. Volvo continues to make several changes during the model years after this and probably do so still today. Partly because of Volvo’s penchant for mixing and matching whatever happened to be on the shelves at any given time. Still by the early 1960s, Volvo was a small business with the intent to sell anything they could sell. It should also be mentioned here that Volvo has always been paying very close attention to customer needs: if a customer wanted a sports equipped P 220 Amazon Estate with the bigger engine and overdrive transmission, then the customer got just that – regardless of whether or not that particular edition was made in just that one unit or as part of a series. One example is a customer who in the spring of 1962 asked why he couldn’t get an Amazon with automatic clutch. Volvo answered that automatic clutch had been available on the models with the B16 engine but that the demand simply had been too low. But if a customer wanted his Amazon delivered with Saxomatic clutch ”then we will be able to accommodate such a request through our service network.”
Until the mid 1920s the American car manufacturers did what Volvo did up until the mid 1960s, i.e. they introduced changes more or less continuously into production. But the sales of cars varied during the year and for instance open cars sold better in spring, and it was important to have new cars ready by fall when the farmers’ harvests were over and the car agencies were real busy. It was simply best practice to have most/all changes introduced at one point in time early during the fall rather than at the turn of the year. In 1925 the term model year is used for the first time by management at General Motors, is soon established and used also further down the street by Ford and Chrysler.
Volvo has not bothered to document all changes concerning parts in the production, which also makes it difficult to make this page complete (or, rather, to know if it ever becomes complete). It can for instance be a part that initially came as chromed but later appears completely in aluminum. There are most likely cost reasons behind this but it can also be pure risk spreading by having several suppliers of the same part (which not only the vast number of suppliers of the electric components show), but regardless this is done without Volvo changing the part number or otherwise documenting the change.
So please note that as Volvo did not consistently use the term model year during the first years of Volvo Amazon production, the descriptions below are in one sense afterthoughts mainly concerning the model years 1957 – 1961.
The descriptions on this page mainly relates to the cars sold on the Swedish market.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Volvo P 1200 or Volvo P 120 AMAZON is introduced to a well represented crowd of resellers on Friday, August 3rd 1956 in Skövde and to the public on the weekend of September 1st and 2nd the same year in Örebro. The car is priced at SEK 12,600 ex works Gothenburg which at the time equaled USD 2,435. As a customer you have to pay SEK 4,000 down payment (close to a third of the value of the car) and get promised delivery in January 1957. Production is preceded this first model year by two prototypes, called X1 and X2; read more about them in the section on history. The engine in the new Volvo is based on the B4 B from the PV 444 and is named B16 A. The displacement yields 97 CID (1,583 cm3) and the engine is armored with one Zenith 34 VN carburetor. According to Volvo, the car has a top speed of 90 mph (145kph), but turns out to rust easily and has serious issues with water leakage. The brakes are also an issue. The side windows has the habit of falling down by themselves and the gearshift lever rattles when driving. The first series produced Amazon is delivered as grey with white top. It exists still today but is in quite miserable condition. The Volvo Amazon is available as black with grey beige top (paint code 49), as grey beige with black top (50), as cherry red with grey beige top (51) or as single tone black (19) or olive green (56). Single tone finish is available but is not particularly popular – most customers prefer the two-tone finish, which is easy to understand as it is one of the strongest characteristics of the new Volvo. Midnight blue with grey beige top (54) is introduced later during the model year, from ch.-no. 1933. The very first ten or so production cars had the door frames painted in the same color as the top, just like the prototypes, and also has a finer masking of the radiator grille than later 1957 cars have and glove shelf in metal sheet (painted in the same color as the car). Volvo starts to launch the sales of the Amazon on foreign markets early, in Great Britain already in October 1956. But with Swedish labor costs and British import duties the Amazon becomes quite expensive compared to its competition and therefore sold poorly. After 249 produced cars, Volvo briefly stopped the production to address some of these early problems. Significant construction changes were also made in October 1957, from ch.-no. 2611 (see below). Volvo also promise more efficient and less expensive maintenance due to a reduced number of grease points. When introduced, the car caused some surprise for a relatively under dimensioned engine with a performance matching (in some cases exceeding) many sports cars at the time. Below are some of the car’s characteristics:
- Laminated windshield
- Padded instrument panel top for additional safety
- Dash pad extends to the doors
- Dual padded sun visors
- Narrow bumper guards front and rear
- Two-point front seatbelt attachments *
- Split chrome grille with thick edges and wide midsection
- Delivered in both single and two-tone finish
- Clear turn signal glass and red tail light glass
- Head lights with wide coaming that follow the lines of the fenders
- Letters ”V O L V O” in gold on nose and chrome list on top
- ”Amazon” badge in gold color on fenders
- ”Volvo” badge in gold color below trunk lid
- ”Amazon” text on the radio panel
- 6V electric system (with DC generator)
- B16 A engine with 60 hp (DIN) / 66 hp (SAE)
- Robust self-adjusting and self centered hydraulic drum brakes on all four wheels
- Hydraulic adjusted 8″ clutch
- Hanging pedals
- Radiator blind
- Three speed H6 gearbox with reverse and unsynchronized first
- ”V” badge on gearshift lever top
- 4″ rims with big wheel caps
- Chromed wheel caps with ”V” in red ring
- Tubeless low pressure tires of diagonal type, 5.90×15″
- Front mud flaps
- Heater and defroster
- Heat levers to the left of the steering wheel (LHD)
- Clock to the far right on the instrument panel (LHD) **
- Speedometer grading up to 160 kph (100 mph)
- Protective plexiglass in front of speedometer housing
- Upholstery and interior in textile with parts of leatherette
- Horizontal upholstery pressings on doors
- Headliner in textile
- Non-foldable front seats
- Handle on back of front seats
- Handle on door side with chrome list and plastic underneath
- Parking brake on door side (to allow for bench type front seat) with chrome ring on handle
- Rear seat center armrest (foldable) ***
- Chromed lists around front and back windows and along side rain gutters
- Chromed, openable ventilation windows in front and back doors
- Two 0.4″ long chrome lists on B-pillar ****
- Grey rubber mats on floor and in trunk
- Complete tool set, jack and standing spare tire in trunk
- Trisect red tail lights with long term parking light
- Split trunk lid handle with red license plate lights
- Opening and locking mechanism för trunk lid below this
- Only one key – the ignition key fits all locks
- Windshield wipers with two speeds and automatic return
Changes during the model year:
- Thicker masking of the radiator grille around ch.-no. 10
- Door arches on two-toned cars painted in same color as body (earlier same color as top) around ch.-no. 10
- V pressing in rear seat above center armrest is introduced around ch.-no. 15
- Rubber list between wings and front section disappears sometime after ch.-no. 129
- Improved heater system from ch.-no. 109
- New master brake cylinder from ch.-no. 160
- Glove shelf no longer in metal sheet (sometime after ch.-no. 1864)
- Improved hood opener from ch.-no. 510 *
- New hand brake wire and protective cover from ch.-no. 535
- Improved heating of occupant area through added air grating from ch.-no. 714
- New and improved door locks from ch.-no. 849
- Introduction of stop screw on rear doors’ locking mechanism from ch.-no. 2103
- New turn signal switch from ch.-no. 2611 (maybe somewhat earlier)
- Changed design of front and rear side members and spring anchorages from ch.-no. 2611
- New exhaust pipe from ch.-no. 2611
- Shorter check straps on rear axle, 385mm vs 400mm before, from ch.-no. 2611
- Changed caster on P 12004 from -½° – +½° to 0° – 1°, from ch.-no. 2611
- Changed hinging of hood from torsion spring to spring stay by left wheel house from ch.-no. 3700
- Glass thickness on side windows increased from 0.16″ to 0.20″ from ch.-no. 4803 to avoid rattling
- Right hand drive ******
- Electric windshield washers
- Power brakes
- Rear mud flaps
- Complete underseal treatment
- White wall tires (2 1/4″)
Examples of accessories:
- Two point static seat belts of diagonal type for the front seats (part numbers 279281 and 279282 respectively) *
- Foldable front seats (converts cabin into a bed), sold complete and per upholstery code (6, 7, 8)
- Chromed rim rings
- Spare petrol can
- Backup lamp
- Box with extra light bulbs
- Roof rack with holder and cover
- Fan to the rear window
* Most resellers in Sweden equipped the cars with seatbelts before selling them – not only out of concern for the buyers’ safety.
** Early ch.-no. with time adjustment screw in front of and through glass, later ch.-no. with time adjustment screw on back (also with bigger numbers) due to that the early construction often led to that the glass cracked.
*** Not all editions, for instance not upholstery code 9-109.
**** Between the doors: one in level with the mid list and the other in level with the side windows lower edge. The lower disappears around ch.-no. 1500.
***** Also ch.-no. 300, 361-366 and 437-450. Also fitted on already produced cars through Volvo’s service organization.
****** Not prior to ch.-no. 249. Less than one percent of the customers in Sweden opt for this, despite the fact that Sweden at the time had left side traffic.
Production of cars that later are assigned to model year 1958 by Volvo starts in February 1958 and these distinguish themselves from the 1957 model year (which is still in production) by being fitted with the new, fully synchronized four speed transmission M4. This is possibly a reconstruction of the event by Volvo. One example of this is that cars with the older H6 gearbox were being produced in parallel with cars with the newer M4 gearbox (see the section on production). There are several other, minor differences (such as a smaller gap between the rear wheels and the rear wheel arches), but it is very questionable whether the concept of model year was at all used at Volvo at this time. The Volvo Amazon Sport is introduced at the Geneva Car Show in March 1958, primarily to lift sales on foreign markets and consequently the Amazon Sport is not sold in Sweden until September this year. Volvo has printed sales brochures (including UR 6401) for Amazon Sport for several foreign markets (with the name Amazon and not 122 S) already in December 1957. The Sports model forces Volvo into adjusting the type designations, again by adding digits to it. The type designation plate is also changed by adding English text to several of the fields. Sales outside Sweden continues in countries like Great Britain and the Netherlands and the car is marketed there as Volvo Amazon, just like in Scandinavia. But Volvo soon find themselves involved in a legal process with German moped manufacturer Kreidler who owns the international rights to the name Amazone. In the settlement that follows Volvo is allowed to sell the car under the name Amazon on the Scandinavian market but not anywhere else. The step to rename the cars to Volvo 121 and Volvo 122 S respectively (depending on edition) takes place in September 1958 at ch.-no. 12083 and Volvo again change the type designations. Until then, all cars regardless of market were fitted with Amazon badges on the front wings and on the radio cover plate. Sales outside of Sweden is initially very slow and Volvo uses several marketing tricks to boost sales, including presenting a brand new Amazon to Princess Margrethe (later Queen of Denmark) on her 18th birthday on April 16th, 1958. The color? Royal blue, of course. Volvo hire a certain Nils Bohlin to their safety department and during the model year, on July 4th, 1958, the Amazon with ch.-no. 10000 is produced – a Midnight blue with white top – and is delivered to Stockholm four days later.
- Sales outside Sweden continues, while still slow
- Volvo 121 and 122 S is sold without heater unit on some markets
- An added letter B in the type designation indicates the B-body
- M4 fully synchronized gearbox (initially with the ”V” but later with gear layout on gearshift lever top)
- The air filters are now also available as oil bath type for both B16 A and B16 B
- The clock on the instrument panel is still there, but only up to ch.-no. 13345 when the new instrument panel is introduced
- Options include rear mud flaps, electric windshield washers and two-point front static seatbelts
Changes during the model year:
- New handbrake bracket from ch.-no. 6306 (on some cars from ch.-no. 5425)
- New, wider rear bumper over riders from approx. ch.-no. 7000
- New version of the Zenith carburetor (B16 A), LHD cars from ch.-no. 8083 (on some cars from ch.-no. 7477), RHD cars from ch.-no. 9431
- Changed throttle control linkage on LHD cars with B16 A from ch.-no. 8083 (on some cars from ch.-no. 7477)
- The pressings in the upholstery on the doors and on the front seats become vertical from approx. ch.-no. 8500
- ”V” pressing in backseat disappears at the same time
- Changed throttle control linkage on RHD cars with B16 A from ch.-no. 9431
- New clutch release fork from ch.-no. 9442
- New hood from ch.-no. 10337 *
- New front end from ch.-no. 10337 *
- New hood opener from ch.-no. 10337 *
- Three protective plates added to engine room together with new hood opener, to prevent dirt
- New brake pedal shaft from ch.-no. 10447 (on some cars from ch.-no. 10076)
- Stainless steel parts in grille replaced by parts in aluminum from ch.-no. 10633 (also ch.-no. 10607-10621)
- Changed throttle control linkage on LHD cars with B16 B from ch.-no. 11521 (on some cars from ch.-no. 11203)
- Changed fastening of the grille frame and center molding from ch.-no. 12022
- New type designations and changed type designation plate from ch.-no. 12083
- New front fender badges on cars sold outside Scandinavia from ch.-no. 12083 (do not say Amazon) **
- ”Amazon” text on radio cover plate replaced with ”VOLVO” text on cars sold outside Scandinavia from ch.-no. 12083
- New door window exterior seal strip from ch.-no. 12690 (on some cars from ch.-no. 12438)
- Changed design of rear side member brackets from ch.-no. 12793 ***
- New, bigger (1¾”) exhaust pipe (earlier 1½”) from ch.-no. 12793 ***
- New muffler from ch.-no. 12793 ***
- New and more reliable speedometer from ch.-no. 13015 ****
- Two-point seatbelts in front are standard *****
- Rims with welded lanes, previously riveted *****
Late in the model year (from ch.-no. 13346) the following is also introduced:
- New instrument panels
- New and improved heater unit
- Heat and fan levers are moved to the center of the instrument panel
- Choke lever moved to the left of the steering wheel ******, where fan lever used to be
- Light switch moved to the left of the steering wheel ******, where the choke lever used to be
- Switch for windshield washers moved to the left of the steering wheel ******, where the heat lever used to be
- Cigar lighter moved to the left ******, where the light switch used to be
- New torpedo wall mats to fit the new instrument panels
- New dash pad with slightly different pattern
The Amazon Sport is presented at the Geneva Car Show in March 1958:
- B16 B engine with 76 hp (DIN) / 85 hp (SAE) +
- Dual horizontal SU H4 carburetors
- M4 fully synchronized gearbox
- Chromed valve cover
- Electrical windshield washers with switch under cigarette lighter (up to ch.-no. 13346)
- Two-point seatbelts in front
- More powerful horn
- Mud flaps for all four wheels
- Volvo states the top speed to be 100 mph (160 kph)
- Initially only for export: type designation P 12105 VB/HB
- From September 1958 with ”Volvo 122 S” badges on front fenders outside Scandinavia ++
- From September 1958 also in Scandinavia: ”Amazon S” badges on front fenders +++
* On some cars from ch.-no. 9743.
** As a result of the settlement with Kreidler. ”Volvo 121” badges on Volvo Amazon and ”Volvo 122 S” badges on Volvo Amazon Sport.
*** On some cars from ch.-no. 12669.
**** Both kilometer and miles graded instruments and in two versions: with and without text for warning lamps. On some cars from ch.-no. 11920.
***** Late during the model year.
****** On left hand drive cars, the opposite for right hand drive cars.
+ Essentially 88-89 hp (SAE) through (aside from dual carbs) different camshaft, lead-bronze bearings, different inlet valves and valve springs.
++ Type designation P 12105 VB/HB cars manufactured February – August 1958, thereafter P 12204 VB/HB. See the section on type designations. Same badge as later came on all markets with the B18 engine in 1962.
+++ Type designation P 12206 VB/HB. See the section on type designations.
Sales outside Sweden continue. Sales of the 122 S starts in the USA and the first cars arrive in Englewood, New Jersey on March 16th, 1959. Volvo 122 S is introduced together with the PV 544 in April at the International Automobile Show in New York, at which both Volvo CEO Gunnar Engellau as well as Sweden’s ambassador to the USA Gunnar Jarring attends. A grey beige 122 S with black top is shown together with a black with grey beige top, the latter with hood and trunk lid in plexiglass. Some 2,000 Volvo 122 S are shipped to the USA during the year and the equipment level on these cars is adjusted somewhat for this market, including the classic front bumper bar as a complement to the front bumper (which are also reinforced). This was because the Volvo 122 S is very small compared with contemporary American cars, whose bumpers would hit a 122 S higher up in a collision. The 121 is not included in the sales plans for USA and Canada as the A-engine (with single carburetor) in the 121 is considered to be too weak for these two markets. The cars intended for the North American market came to be lavishly equiped compared to the Swedish editions (something which is true yet today). This is a sales brochure for the Volvo 122 S in USA. Sadly, not many of these 2,000 cars remain today but ch.-no. 21205 is one of them. The front page of Volvo’s customer magazine Ratten issue 3 1959, on a picture taken by Lennart Håwi, shows the first Volvo Amazons loaded for export to the USA. Notable are white wall tires, front bumper bar, the mix of single-tone and two-tone cars and how they are shipped without headlights (the US at the time had legal requirements of sealed beam headlights and these were apparently fitted locally). The Volvo Amazon is tested thoroughly in the September issue of the American car magazine Road & Track and is generally well received. Volvo still has some distance to go in terms of getting their model years straight and several changes are introduced at certain chassis numbers, this model year at 21000 with a very clear connection to the introduction of the car in the USA. During the year 30,016 new Volvos are registered for traffic in Sweden, the highest number a car manufacturer had ever achieved this far. In November, preparations begin for a new production plant in Torslanda further out on Hisingen outside Gothenburg when Volvo purchase 1,000 acres of land about 4 miles west of the Lundby plant and start preparing the access roads. The Police in Sweden buys eleven extra equipped Amazon Sport for traffic surveillance. The cars are painted black and white with the word POLIS on both sides, in front and in the back. This is new in Sweden and something they learned from America. Nils Bohlin becomes head of Volvo’s safety department during the year at which he develops and patents a three-point static safety belt. The design holds both the upper and lower body in place, and is simple enough that the driver can buckle up with one hand. Volvo introduces the invention as standard equipment on the Volvo Amazon during the model year and thereby becomes the first car manufacturer in the world to equip series produced cars with three-point safety belts as standard. It has later been acknowledged as one of the most important inventions for mankind in the 20th century. During 1963, Volvo makes the patent available to all car manufacturers. Kreidler’s moped Amazone is discontinued during the year.
- Complete underseal treatment is standard, with an added U in the type designation
- The upper chrome list on the B-pillar disappears
- Improved heating system
From and including ch.-no. 21000 (March 1959):
- Tail lights are now bisect red and without the long term parking light
- Switch for long term parking light removed
- New trunk lid with opening and locking mechanism in lid
- New trunk lid handle
- Engine bracket reinforcement in wheel housing removed
- New hood hinges
- New gas pedal suspension and dust cover
- New turn signal lights
- New interior lamp
- New switch for lights
- Relay for headlights replaced with a fuse box with four 8 A fuses
- Wires with cable shoes (previously soldered)
- New torpedo wall mat retainers with rubber plugs
- The ”Volvo” badge under the trunk lid disappears
- ”Amazon” text on radio cover plate replaced with ”VOLVO” text on all cars
Volvo 122 S is sold to customers in the United States:
- Only in 122 S edition (engine B16 B and gearbox M4)
- Type designation P 12208 UVB
- ”Volvo 122 S” badges on fenders *
- Upholstery entirely in leatherette (also leather, 15-113)
- Backseat center armrest
- Fitted with the classic front bumper bar **
- White wall tires (2 1/4″) is standard equipment
- Headlight dip switch is disabled (due to legal demands)
- More narrow head light fenders ***
- Different kind of headlamp insert units
- Locally fitted sealed beam headlamps (a legal requirement)
- Speedometer grading in miles per hour (graded up to 100 mph)
- English text on instruments and switches
- Adjusted license plate retainers
- Shipping hooks on bumper bar brackets
- Exclusively available in several single tone alternatives, including California white (42)
Changes during the model year:
- The rear view mirror is replaced continuously during the year with a variant with black paint on the back, from previously being chromed
- New generator with sliding bearings from Bosch on cars with B16 A from engine number 100123 +
- Wheel cylinders of duo servo type for the brakes on all wheels ++ from ch.-no. 15239 (some cars from ch.-no. 14986)
- New hand brake wire and protective cover from ch.-no. 15239 (some cars from ch.-no. 14986)
- New wheel hubs from ch.-no. 15239 (some cars from ch.-no. 14986)
- New air filter bracket for cars with B16 A and conventional air filter (not oil bath type) from ch.-no. 17111 (on some cars from ch.-no. 16878)
- New, stronger upper control arm from ch.-no. 18777 (on some cars from ch.-no. 18685)
- New type of ventilation window on rear doors from ch.-no. 18880 (except for ch.-no. 18923)
- New anchorage for rear tunnel from ch.-no. 19226 +++
- New window elevators on front and rear doors from ch.-no. 19826
- Changed throttle control linkage on RHD cars (both B16 A and B16 B) from ch.-no. 21548
- Steering wheel lock is eventually sold as accessory and fits from ch.-no. 22408 ++++
- Three-point seatbelts in front are now standard on some markets (not USA) from ch.-no. 24039
- Fittings for two-point diagonal type rear seat belts are added from ch.-no. 24039 and belts are sold separately as accessory (part number 279495)
- New floor mats both front and rear from ch.-no. 25000, in front now only one-piece (earlier also divided)
- Changed spring anchorages from ch.-no. 25370 +++++
- New speedometer cable from ch.-no. 25719
- New ash tray from ch.-no. 27817 to avoid rattling
- Improved exhaust system from ch.-no. 27851
- Changed fitting for seatbelts on B-column (from 100 mm to 80 mm) from ch.-no. 28000
- Changed control unit of the heater and fresh air unit from ch.-no. 29951
- Changed fixture of rear mud flaps from ch.-no. 32297
* Same as on other markets outside Scandinavia from ch.-no. 12083 and on all markets with the B18 engine with model year 1962.
** Only in front. Called the ”America bar” in Sweden. Later also on other export markets, including Canada and Chile. Also sold as third party accessory in Sweden, including a rear bumper guard.
*** Same later came on other markets during model year 1961. The protector casing is also changed.
+ Bosch LJ/GG 200/6 2300 R7 is replaced by LJ/GG 200/6 2300 R6.
++ The one brake lining exercise (when braking) a pressure on the other brake lining, which results in a certain servo effect.
+++ On some cars from ch.-no. 18992.
++++ Exactly when Volvo starts selling these is unclear, but it’s probably later than this model year.
+++++ On some cars from ch.-no. 24918.
Several earlier options now become standard on the Volvo 121 and the type designations are changed as a result of this where P12104UVB/UHB is replaced by P12106UVB/UHB on several markets. But the less equipped P12104UVB/UHB remain on some markets. There are serious plans for an assembly plant in Canada to reduce import duties, where it would be less expensive for Volvo to assemble the cars in Canada rather than importing them. The insurance company Volvia, a fully owned subsidiary to Volvo, is founded and Volvo owners are offered a prolonged insurance policy the day that the warranty expires. During the model year, Volvo introduce changes on the head liner in the interior worthy of a comment. Until now, there have been two different variants of the head liner used in the production and also two different fastening methods for this. In early 1960, at ch.-no. 40167, the older variants of head liners are replaced by two new variants and from now on only one of the two fastening methods is used. The fabric in one of the two variants is vinyl and in the other textile, but it is not fully clear what cars got fitted with what variant of head liner. Possibly, as on the Volvo PV, the more lavish 122 S was fitted with vinyl and while the 121 got the one in textile. This is a sales brochure for the 122 S this year.
- Electric windshield washers first with 0.8l (later 1.0l) container is now standard *
- Mud guards for all four wheels is now also standard
- New standard equipment leads to retyping and new kerb weight: 2,580 lbs (LHD) and 2,560 lbs (RHD)
- Two blind wires added from dash to trunk for extra equipment (one brown and one grey)
- Engine ignition setting changed to 2°-4° BTDC for both 87 and 97 octane gasoline
- Stronger rear suspension available as option under part number 660542 for cars with expected high load on rear axis
Changes during the model year:
- Trim molding on door armrests (front and rear) disappears at ch.-no. 39965
- New headliner from ch.-no. 40167 **
- Only one method used for fastening of the head liner, using plastic retainers (previously also glued), from ch.-no. 40167 **
- Panel behind rear seat disappears at ch.-no. 40167 **
- New kind of heater casing in engine room from ch.-no. 40239
- New fuel line between fuel pump and carburetor on cars with B16 A from ch.-no. 41160
- Glove shelf loudspeaker grille removed from ch.-no. 42090 (also ch.-no. 41462-41469)
- More narrow head light fenders, from ch.-no. 42249 ***
- The numbers in the upholstery code on the type designation plate switch place somewhere between ch.-no. 42407 and 45535
- New fuel line between fuel pump and carburetors on cars with B16 B from ch.-no. 42569
- New type of door armrests (front and rear) from ch.-no. 42734
- Forward fuse box replaced by connector, from ch.-no. 43000 ****
- Damping spring with roll on passenger seat to reduce rattling from ch.-no. 43000
- New type of windshield washer pump from ch.-no. 43497 (also 42897, 43009-43251, 43253-43495)
- New wiring harnesses for head lights, turn signals and horns from ch.-no. 43497 (also 42897, 43009-43251, 43253-43495)
- New headlamp insert units from ch.-no. 46776 (some cars from ch.-no. 46039)
- New rear door handles from ch.-no. 47638 (some cars from ch.-no. 47293)
- New front door handles from ch.-no. 48525
- New steering gear on RHD cars from ch.-no. 53551 (some cars from ch.-no. 42897)
- New steering gear on LHD cars from ch.-no. 54393 (some cars from ch.-no. 42897)
Last model year with:
- Chrome ring on parking brake handle
- Handles on back of front seats
- Backseat center armrest (not P 12208 UVB)
- The M4 gearbox
* Delivered by both Auto-Lite and SWF and these washers are alternate with each other.
** Also ch.-no. 39983-40115, 40118-40150 and 40156-40164. The new headliner comes in two versions: one in vinyl and one in textile.
*** Also on some cars from ch.-no. 20061. The protector casing is also changed.
**** New wiring diagram from this ch.-no. Also on some cars from ch.-no. 42897.
One consequence of the introduction of the Volvo 122 S and the PV 544 in the USA in 1959 is that Volvo for the first time starts getting the model year concept straight. Cars manufactured between the industrial vacations in 1960 and 1961 belong to model year 1961, which is something that from now on is valid throughout the end of Volvo Amazon production. Major changes on the power train are introduced this year including new gearboxes with overdrive and Saxomatic clutch available as option. Saxomatic clutch, a semi-automatic electric clutch that is activated when the gearshift lever is touched, more or less flunked in sales and can only be found on this model year. The same went for the M31 gearbox, that with overdrive on both second and third gears in principle has five gears. A total of 1,120 Volvo Amazon with M31 are produced during the model year (type designation 12133x) of which most were sold in Denmark. Saxomatic clutch is available both on cars with floor lever and on cars with steering wheel lever, and both to 121 and 122 S. These cars don’t have a clutch pedal. The model year is the only one in which color midnight blue (31 and 35) is available. Major changes are also made on the interior. Volvo 122 S is now also assembled in Durban, South Africa by Motor Assemblies Ltd. Read more on the South African made cars in the section on production. Some time into the new model year a new rear axle is introduced, the Spicer M27. It is distinguishable from its predecessor in that it lacks the oil tap plug (the oil is instead changed through the inspection hole). Late during the model year, in May 1961, Volvo introduce the sports car P 1800, which is based on the chassis from the Amazon. Most people still consider the P 1800 to be a body trimmed Amazon, which is actually true. The prototypes of the P 1800, including P958-X3, are mechanically based on Volvo Amazon Sport model year 1958. Around the same time, the M41 becomes available on the Amazon with adaptions for 6V electric system (the P 1800 has 12V) and the B16 engine. This is a sales brochure for the 122 S this year.
- Extended color program with several single-toned alternatives (midnight blue, mist green, slate blue, etc.)
- New type designations are introduced with an added model year letter
- New gearboxes M30, M31 and M40 are introduced with the start of the model year
- New gearbox M41 * is introduced late in the model year
- M31 and M41 are fitted with an Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit of type D
- 121 is available with the gearboxes M30, M31 and M40
- 122 S is available with the gearboxes M40 and M41
- Cars with M30 and M31 come without gear layout on gearshift lever top **
- Cars with overdrive are fitted with a special ”Overdrive” badge on the trunk lid
- Cars with overdrive have a lever opposite side of the steering wheel pole cover to toggle the overdrive
- Cars with overdrive have a control lamp on the instrument panel between and above lighter and fan knob ***
- Cars with overdrive are not sold in the USA **
- Changes in the body with wider drive shaft tunnel to fit the new gearboxes (the ”D-body” ****)
- Changes in the engine crankshaft and flywheel housing for the new gearboxes
- New design of the brakes with bigger break area, but no longer self adjusting
- New, much more comfortable and adjustable (in three fixed steps) front seats with adjustable cushion *****
- New upholstery with textile in the middle of the front seats and the rest in leatherette ******
- Pockets on front doors
- New anti-dazzle rear view mirror
- New choke control and new embellisher
- Wider backseat, which is moved back and lowered somewhat
- Rear seat center armrest is removed (remains on the export cars to the USA)
- Fixtures for rear shelf mat have been removed, same on B-pillar upholstery
- Chrome ring on parking brake handle replaced with one in black plastic
- Instrument lighting and levers with chrome ring
- Gearbox with steering wheel lever is available as option for SEK 90
- For cars with steering wheel gear lever, front type bench seat is available as option
- Saxomatic clutch is available as option
- Limited slip differential (”anti-spin”) is now available as option (can be retrofitted on earlier model years)
Changes during the model year:
- New generator with radial carbon brushes from Bosch on B16 A in January 1961 from engine number 190159 +
- New generator with radial carbon brushes from Bosch on B16 B in March 1961 from engine number 116657 ++
- New rear axle Spicer M27 introduced from ch.-no. 61891 (also on ch.-no. 57679) which replaces Spicer M23
- Protective plates at front wheel houses removed from ch.-no. 64711
- New master brake cylinder from ch.-no. 64860 (on some cars from ch.-no. 64379)
- Rust protection on closed body sections from ch.-no. 64940
- New version of upper ball joint, steering rod and tie rod on approx. 5,000 cars for the Swedish market from ch.-no. 65941 +++
- Changed fixture of safety belts in B-pillar from around ch.-no. 66389
- Changed fixture of hood letters (”V O L V O”) from ch.-no. 67982
- Changed brake lines from ch.-no. 68460 (on some cars from ch.-no. 64379)
- Damping springs introduced on both front seats to eliminate rattling from ch.-no. 69188 (also possible to retrofit)
- Modified details on floor shift lever for M30, M40 and M41 from ch.-no. 69884 to facilitate change of rubber bushings
- Plastic seal compound replaces gaskets behind headlight protector casings from ch.-no. 73185
- New horns from ch.-no. 75000 (both high tone and low tone)
- New wheel brakes, brake shoes and brake cylinders from ch.-no. 78485 (on some cars from ch.-no. 78056)
- New type of bushing for idler arm from ch.-no. 80587 ++++
- New rear hood seal molding from ch.-no. 80650, replaces early production divided seal molding
- New handles on front and rear door ventilation windows from ch.-no. 82019
- The last Amazon with M31 has ch.-no. 80258 and a total of 1,120 121 with M31 are produced during the year
- The first Amazon with M41 has ch.-no. 80683 and a total of 199 122 S with M41 are produced during the year
- New water pump and new fan on engine B16 A from engine number 69915 and on B16 B from engine number 22838 +++++
Last model year with:
- Two-tone finish
- The B16 engine
- 6V electric system
- Single tone front turn signal glass (some markets)
- Saxomatic clutch
- The M31 gearbox
- Rubber strip between over riders and bumper
- Chromed valve cover
* Volvo 122 S / Volvo Amazon Sport with overdrive (B16 B + M41, 12235V/HD), for instance ch.-no. 80701, 80756, 81361 and 81362.
** This is consistent through out all model years.
*** The idea with the red warning light is to warn that the overdrive will be engaged when the third (M31) or fourth (M41) gear is engaged.
**** ”D” coincides with the new model year character for 1961. Retrofitting the new gearboxes on earlier bodies is not possible (they won’t fit).
***** The back of the seats is also arched to allow more leg room for rear seat passengers.
****** The export cars to the USA have upholstery entirely in leatherette. Headliner in vinyl.
+ Bosch LJ/GG 200/6 2300 R6 is replaced by LJ/GG 200/6 2300 AR6. On cars with B16 A and saxomatic clutch from engine number 167446.
++ Bosch LJ/GG 200/6 2300 R7 (also on B16 A up to engine number 100122) replaced by LJ/GG 200/6 2300 AR7. Changed back to previous generator from engine number 120675.
+++ Some cars from ch.-no. 58818-.
++++ RHD cars. Also on a few from ch.-no. 74792 and on cars assembled abroad from ch.-no. 73111. On LHD cars produced in Lundby from ch.-no. 84325 (i.e. model year 1962).
+++++ Four bladed fan also available. This change was possibly made earlier model years – it is unclear when in time particular engine numbers were manufactured.
The big news this model year is the new B18 engine which was introduced a few months earlier on Volvo’s new GT car P 1800. The two-tone paint of the B16 era disappears and from now on the Amazon is available only as single toned, not counting the Police edition. Volvo is by now Sweden’s largest single exporter and approximately half of the total production is exported (an increase of 18 % compared to the previous year). By now, every fourth new car sold in Sweden is a Volvo. Volvo is the fourth largest imported car brand in the USA, to which the 100,000 Volvo car is shipped during the year. Volvo Amazon number 100,000 is produced in February 1962. A Volvo Amazon is priced at SEK 12 705 this year. The two door sedan (P 130) is introduced on October 27th 1961, by many perceived as a sportier model of the Volvo Amazon. At first, the P 130 is ´only available in black (19) * with nougat brown interior, later also in slate blue (67) and mist green (73), and it is priced SEK 500 lower than the P 120. It is initially sold only in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. At the Stockholm Motor Show in February 1962, the P 220 is introduced as the Volvo Amazon Estate, for the first time providing Volvo with a full model range within one and the same program. A Volvo Amazon Estate this year costs SEK 14,475 including sales tax. The Estate is somewhat longer behind the rear wheels compared with the sedan models and the rear is generally reconstructed to allow for a lower level of the cargo area, which implicates a different design of the fuel tank compared with the sedan models. The Estate is fitted with a split trunk lid. Volvo establishes a competition department later during the year – Volvo Competition Service – with a reluctant Gunnar Andersson as head (Andersson would much rather have continued as a full-time rally driver). On May 28th, 1962 one of Volvo’s founders, Assar Gabrielsson, passes away. Gabrielsson was CEO in AB Volvo since the company was founded in 1925 and since 1956 Chairman of the Board. Gearbox with steering wheel lever (M40RV) attracts 6.5% of the customers.
- The new and eventually legendary B18 engine is introduced with 68 hp (DIN) / 75 hp (SAE)
- One slightly bigger B18 badge in the left grille half and one slightly smaller on the trunk lid’s right side
- New fender badges; ”Volvo 121” and ”Volvo 122 S” **
- New front fenders
- New and bigger turn signal housing
- Bisect front turn signal glasses (white, yellow)
- Asymmetrical front lights
- New front with more narrow midsection (also as spare part for earlier model years) for increased cooling of the bigger engine
- New grille with thinner edges and more narrow midsection
- Rear ventilation windows on the P 120 no longer opens
- P 130 comes with foldable front seats and wider back seat
- 12V electric system (still with DC generator)
- Wider disengagement of the clutch
- Hanging gas pedal
- Rubber pad moved slightly to the left on brake and clutch pedals
- New exhaust system
- Increased cooling capacity in radiator
- More robust front suspension cross-member (later also available as spare part for older cars)
- Changed fastening of upper control arm shaft
- New bushings for lower control arm shaft
- Speedometer gets increased scale to 120 mph (180 kph)
- New choke and windshield wiper knobs
- New leatherette upholstery on doors (without textile)
- The chassis number of the car is now stamped in to the body near the heater in the engine compartment
- Plastic putty in the joints replaces tin paste on parts of the body
- Some emblems and decorative lists are now fitted by the resellers, instead of by Volvo
- P 130 and P 220 not available with bench type front seat and/or gearbox with steering wheel lever ***
- Power brakes and automatic reverse lights are available as options
Volvo 122 S:
- Equipped with the B18 D engine with 80 hp (DIN) / 90hp (SAE) and A camshaft
- Dual horizontal and two-bolted SU HS 6 carburetors
- With induction manifold in aluminum and separate exhaust manifold
- Front disc brakes from Girling (can also be retrofitted)
- Changed rear axis ratio from 4.56:1 to 4.10:1 on sedan cars without overdrive (both 121 and 122 S) ****
- Unchanged rear axis ratio (4.56:1) on 122 S with overdrive ****
- Different dynamo, Bosch LJ/GG240/12/2400AR7 (all model years with dynamo)
- P 130 in the 122 S edition available only on some markets (including USA and Canada but excluding Sweden *****)
- Marketed and sold only in Scandinavia and North America this model year
- Different rear axis ratio of 4.55:1 ****
- Fittings for two point seatbelts in rear seat
- Front door pockets
- Headliner in vinyl
- Automatic reverse lights are standard
- No rear seat center armrest ***
- Not available with overdrive ***
- More firm rear springs are available as option for cars intended to be used with heavy loads (265 mm compared to the standard 247 mm)
- Wider rims (15×4½”) and tires (6,40×15″)
- Drum brakes on all four wheels (also in the USA)
- The Estate sold in Scandinavia (P22134VA):
- Only with B18 A engine and M40 gearbox
- Predominantly as Mist green (73), but some Grey beige (65) cars exist ******
- Only with upholstery in nougat colored leatherette and beige textile (504-215)
- Trisect tail lights (yellow, red, white)
- Rear view mirror on right fender (at this time Sweden had left hand traffic)
- ”Volvo 221” fender badges (all later model years have 121 or 122 S fender badges)
- White wall tires not available as option
- The Estate sold in North America (P22244VA):
- Only with B18 D engine and M40 gearbox
- Only as California white (42), possibly also as Grey beige (65)
- Only with upholstery in red leatherette (503-232)
- Bisect tail lights (red, red, white)
- Dual fender mirrors
- ”Volvo 222” fender badges without ”S” (all later model years have 122 S fender badges)
- Fitted with the classic front bumper bar
- Comes with white wall tires (2 1/4″) as standard
Changes during the model year:
- New spring mounted horn from Hella (previously Bosch)
- Camshaft markings changes from part number to a letter (A for B18 A and B18 D, B for B18 B) in early 1962
- New version of the engine fan introduced on all models of the B18 engine (A, B, D) during week 13, 1962 +
- New type of clutch release fork on P 120 from ch.-no. 87019
- New slide blocks made of nylon for front seat adjustment on P 120 from ch.-no. 88500
- Changed version of door handle lock links on P 120 from ch.-no. 92844 (some from ch.-no. 92156) and on P 130 from ch.-no. 507
- Volvo reintroduce the older type of clutch release fork on P 120 from ch.-no. 92851 (from ch.-no. 94091 on cars assembled abroad)
- New version of lower ball joint on P 120 from ch.-no. 94271 (also 94183)
- New version of drop arm and bushing of steering idler arm on P 120 from ch.-no. 97701, on P 130 from ch.-no. 2013 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 5 ++
- New relay for directional indicator on P 120 from ch.-no. 102015, on P 130 from ch.-no. 3819 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 30 +++
- Speedometer cable with wire protection for gearbox M41 introduced on P 120 from ch.-no. 102594 ++++
- New fan motor on P 120 with heater from ch.-no. 103152 (without heater from ch.-no. 107587), on P 130 from ch.-no. 4191 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 37
- New suspension from Delco introduced on P 120 from ch.-no. 110099 and on P 130 from ch.-no. 8450 +++++
- Speedometer cable with wire protection for gearboxes M30 and M40 introduced on P 120 from ch.-no. 110103, on P 130 from ch.-no. 8408 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 764 ++++++
- New opening mechanism knob on P 130 rear side windows from ch.-no. 8085
Last model year with:
- Dash pad extension on doors (the Estate also comes with this extension)
- 221 and 222 fender badges on the Estate (P 220)
- Bisect tail lights
- M30 gearbox in the P 120 (12132x)
* All P 130 ch.-no. 1-877 has color code 19 (black) except ch.-no. 703 that has color code 73 (mist green) and ch.-no. 704 that has color code 67 (slate blue).
** Same as used on cars outside Scandinavia in previous years.
*** This is consistent through out all model years.
**** See also the section on rear axis.
***** There are of course exceptions, for instance ch.-no. 8362 and 10239 (both P13234VA).
****** For instance ch.-no. 3 is Grey beige (65) and ch.-no. 15 is California white (42), both with red interior. Ch.-no. 3 is marked internal delivery and ch.-no. 15 is marked district 7630 (Canada), i.e. a 122 S.
+ Just as before with four blades and available in two versions: standard and tropic.
++ Some LHD P 120 from ch.-no. 97448. On RHD P 120 from ch.-no. 99929. On cars assembled abroad from ch.-no. 96785.
+++ Some P 120 from ch.-no. 101901. Cars for the USA already have the new version.
++++ On cars assembled abroad from ch.-no. 103759. The new cables fit both newer and older speedometers but older cables only fit older speedometers.
+++++ Some P 120 from ch.-no. 109927 and some P 130 from ch.-no. 8354. On cars assembled abroad from ch.-no. 110707.
++++++ Some P 120 from ch.-no. 109927 and some P 130 from ch.-no. 8354. On cars assembled abroad from ch.-no. 109798.
The changes that are made this model year are focused on appearance and comfort with new upholstery and color combinations. On June 11th, 1963 Sweden’s Prince Bertil officially inaugurates Volvo’s assembly plant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada housed in an old converted sugar refinery. This is Volvo’s third foreign assembly plant (and the first fully owned), and the only plant Volvo has ever built in North America (it was closed in 1998). Through the establishment of the Dartmouth plant Volvo becomes the first European car manufacturer with production in North America. The Volvo 122 S produced here are intended for the domestic Canadian market where they are marketed as Volvo Canadian and Volvo Canadian Station Wagon. With production start in June only a few cars of model year 1963 are made and it is during the model year 1964 that the volumes start to grow. The Canadian built Amazons get a special ”Volvo Canadian” badge to the left side on the trunk lid (cars sold in the French speaking Canadian province of Québec naturally gets ”Volvo Canadienne” badges instead). The PV 544 is also assembled in Dartmouth and later also the 140-series. Read more about Volvo Canadian in the section on production. The Volvo 122 S sold in the USA are imported from Sweden, but there are plans to import Dartmouth assembled cars to the USA. Assembly of Volvo 122 S is started also at DiVolvo’s assembly plant in Arica, Chile in the summer of 1963 to which in total 2,956 Volvo Amazons are shipped for assembly up to 1967, but Swedish built Amazons were sold in Chile both before and after this assembly. Volvo produce 108,376 vehicles during the year. Read more about this in the section on production. See pictures of ch.-no. 169607 which was assembled in Chile (although of a later model year). The Estate is now sold on more markets than Scandinavia and the USA. So far 100,000 units manufactured. During the year, Volvo releases the free use of its patent on the three-point static seat belt to all car manufacturers in an effort to reach wider acceptance for the use of seat belts. This is a sales brochure for the 122 S this year and here is one for the Estate.
- Front seat three-point seatbelts are now standard on all markets except USA
- Trisect tail lights (yellow, red, white) on all models *
- Improved body on P 120 and P 130, officially to better provide for optional towing hook **
- Inside door handles are now in one piece
- Automatic reverse lights are now standard
- New and more efficient rust protection on door steps
- New instrument panel padding on all models
- Gearbox M30 now available on the P 130 (and only on the P 130)
- Now sold on more markets than Scandinavia and USA
- Upholstery now in leatherette on all markets
- New door armrests
- Catch for rear door upper section (excluding ch.-no. 1460-1465)
- Available in more colors: Pearl white (79), Slate blue (67), Mist green (73) and Graphite grey (80)
- Only in 122 S edition
- Only as left hand drive
- Type designation xxx9x (also Arica, Durban and later Ghent) ****
- Assembled in Dartmouth, Canada of CKDs shipped from the Lundby plant ***
- Marketed as Volvo Canadian and Volvo Canadian Station Wagon respectively
- Volvo Canadian badge on trunk lid
- Smaller Volvo Canadian badges also on front fenders, from 1965 changed to 122 S badges
- Made in Canada on plate in engine compartment
- Rear seat center armrest (not the P 220)
- Upholstery entirely in leatherette
- White wall tires is standard equipment
- Headlight dip switch is disabled (due to legal demands) *****
- All red tail lights (red, red) *
- English text on instruments and switches
- Adjusted license plate retainers
- Speedometer grading in miles per hour ******
Changes during the model year:
- Retainer with lock pin for floor hatch in P 220 added from ch.-no. 2500
- Changed engine brackets on P 220 from ch.-no. 5275
- Estate passenger side fender mirror removed from ch.-no. 5925 (is kept on the Swedish market)
- New version of disc brakes for P 120 with improved protective front plates and glued rear drum brake linings from ch.-no. 118305
- Steering gear (250108) is now made under license also by Svenska Flygmotor AB and used alternatively with gears from other suppliers +
- Changes on rear seat backrest and side panels on P 130 from ch.-no. 25200 to better alignment with the body ++
- Propeller shafts with round flywheel companion (same as PV 544) introduced on P 120 from ch.-no. 130000 (also 129901-129903), on P 130 from ch.-no. 25200 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 5400
- Glued brake linings on cars with drum brakes – P 120 from ch.-no. 138868, P 130 from ch.-no. 37903 and P 220 from ch.-no. 7858 +++
Last model year with:
- The airplane-like long trunk lid handle
- White instrument panel lighting
- Head liner in textile
- Wide white wall tires (2 1/4″) as option
- M30 gearbox on the 121 edition (13132x) – M30 later returns on the Volvo Amazon Favorit (13121x and 13191x)
* Bisect tail lights (red, red, white) on US and Canadian export cars to the USA and Canada from ch.-no. 112915 on P 120, 10725 on P 130 and on all P 220.
** In reality, this is a correction of a construction flaw. The rear section is reinforced at the bend above the rear axis to prevent the rear of the car from folding down upon a collision from behind. The stated towing hook effect comes with the package.
*** CKD = completely knocked down unit, packed car shipped for assembly abroad.
**** See the section on type information.
***** Same as on US market, headlight relay missing and wires taped to wiring harness.
****** Canada doesn’t adopt to the metric system until 1977.
+ P 120 from ch.-no. 123680 (some from ch.-no. 113886), P 130 from ch.-no. 19838 (some from ch.-no. 10974) and P 220 from ch.-no. 3809.
++ On cars assembled abroad from ch.-no. 26873.
+++ Also P 120 ch.-no. 138682-138850, some P 130 from ch.-no. 37273 and some P 220 from ch.-no. 7826.
Starting on February 1st 1964, assembly of Volvo Amazon takes place also in the Belgian importer Société Belge de Materiel Automobiles’ (SBMA) facilities in Alsemberg outside Brussels. In an old converted textile factory some ten cars and three trucks are assembled per day. The assembly of cars is moved to Ghent in June 1965 when the new assembly plant there is finished. On April 24th, 1964 production of Volvo Amazon is moved from the Lundby factory to the brand new and custom built plant in Torslanda just outside Gothenburg (an investment which wouldn’t be possible without the success of the Volvo Amazon). A Volvo Amazon is the first car produced at Torslanda. Automatic transmission is added to the program upon request from Volvo’s North American sales organization, but for starters only on the four door (P 120). New colors golden yellow (84) and blue green (85) replace fawn brown (72) and mist green (73), but blue green can only be found on early cars of this model year – the paint was discontinued due to quality issues (it dried so slowly that it slowed down production). Late during the model year Hayes is added to the list of suppliers of the M27 rear axis (later also the newer M30), which is identical with Spicer. The Hayes axles have a washer labeled H on one of the screws for the rear casing, and also have a green paint stain on this casing. Volvo is by now Sweden’s largest corporation with the USA as its continued biggest export market where 14,175 Volvo cars were sold during the year. This is a sales brochure for the 122 S this year and this is another one.
- New trunk handle on P 120 and P 130
- New low profile tires on the P 120 and P 130, 6.00×15″, on the same rims as before
- The low profile tires get a thinner white stripe (3/4″, option)
- Head liner now in vinyl on all cars
- New instrument panel lights in colored plastics together with new speedometer (see below)
- Instrument lighting now in green
- Glued brake linings on the drum brakes on all models (introduced late previous model year)
- New, weaker rear license plate lights on the P 220 (now 2x5W, earlier 2x10W)
- Changed cover plate on C-pillar on the P 220
- New flasher relay for directional indicators with two terminals (earlier three)
- New upholstery
- Welded ribs on the door panel upholstery (wider)
- Front seat frames changed (improved setting locks)
- Panels between backseat and floor in P 130 replaced by rubber mat
- Bigger incline on rear seat in the Estate with changed locking mechanism
- Automatic transmission is available as option on the P 120 *
- Cars with automatic transmission are fitted with a special Automatic badge on the trunk lid
- Changed crossmember for gearbox suspension
Volvo 122 S:
- The P 130 is now available in 122 S edition on all markets (until now only on export)
- Overdrive option only on P 130 in 122 S edition (not on export cars to the USA), i.e. no longer on the P 120
- The engines on the export cars to the USA are equipped with closed crankcase ventilation (emission control)
- Seat belts in front are now standard on the export cars to the USA (previously available as accessory)
Changes during the model year:
- The heater unit gets black paint (previously grey) sometime during the model year, on P 130 between ch.-no. 41279 and 71517
- Blue green paint (85) discontinued early due to quality issues
- New overdrive unit on M41 for cars with overdrive with improved hydraulic system announced in September 1963
- Conversion kit for center placed parking brake introduced during the fall of 1963 under part number 276514 and fits all three bodies
- Radio noise reduction (with new distributors) introduced on all Volvo engines in February 1964 **
- The oil cap on the valve cover is moved forward during the model year
- New clutch release bearing, part number 181428, introduced in February 1964
- Protective plates on the rear seat in the Estate to prevent damages on the upholstery when seat is folded are introduced late in the model year
- Changed engine brackets in cars without BW35, in P 120 from ch.-no. 140645 and in P 130 from ch.-no. 40526 ***
- Changes on backrests on the front seats for better fixation of seat settings on P 120 from ch.-no. 141306, on P 130 from ch.-no. 42265 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 8710 ****
- New version of the window elevators on P 120 from ch.-no. 142426, on P 130 from ch.-no. 44090 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 9061
- New km-speedometer on P 120 from ch.-no. 143661, on P 130 from ch.-no. 45803 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 9330 *****
- New fresh air grille below windshield in aluminum (earlier chromed) on P 120 from ch.-no. 144194, on P 130 from ch.-no. 47327 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 9439 +
- Rear light reflectors changed on P 120 from ch.-no. 145115 and on P 130 from ch.-no. 48784
- New miles-speedometer on P 120 from ch.-no. 146876, on P 130 from ch.-no. 52441 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 10663 ++
- Reinforcement of the spare wheel container (part number 277484) introduced on P 120 from around ch.-no. 147770 and on P 130 from around ch.-no. 54060
- Shorter version of glued brake linings on cars with drum brakes on P 120 from ch.-no. 154521, on P 130 from ch.-no. 65700 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 13352 +++
- New version of lower ball joint, steering rod and tie rod on approx. 5,000 cars for the Swedish market on P 120 from ch.-no. 154600, on P 130 from ch.-no. 65700 and on P 220 ch.-no. 13500-13572
- Changed rear seat on P 220 from ch.-no. 14336 (some from ch.-no. 13049) with differences in attachment and upholstery
- Changed version of rear axle casing for ENV axles with ration 4.10:1 on P 120 from ch.-no. 157690 and on P 130 from ch.-no. 71484 ++++
- First P 120 med Hayes manufactured rear axle is ch.-no. 159006 and first P 130 is ch.-no. 78240
Last model year with:
- Radiator blind
- Chromed rim rings as option
- The front bumper bar on the export cars to the USA
- White wall tires on the export cars to the USA
- Front axle beam painted in same color as body
- B18 badge on the body (and in grille)
* Borg-Warner’s three step automatic transmission BW35 with steering wheel lever. Also on a few P 130 this year, including ch.-no. 71124 and 81104.
** Distributor rotor and spark plug cover with dampening resistors. See also the section on distributors.
*** Some P 120 from ch.-no. 140000 and some P 130 from ch.-no. 39990 (which is model year 1963).
**** Also other smaller changes, including pre-drilled holes in the seat frame to allow for easier retrofitting of seat recliners.
***** Some P 120 from ch.-no. 142870, P 130 from ch.-no. 43625 and P 220 from ch.-no. 9269.
+ Some P 120 from ch.-no. 143292, P 130 from ch.-no. 45763 and P 220 from ch.-no. 9294.
++ Some P 120 from ch.-no. 146269, P 130 from ch.-no. 51472 and P 220 from ch.-no. 10418.
+++ Also on some earlier cars. Different ch.-no. for introduction on front and rear brakes. See workshop bulletin.
++++ Some P 120 from ch.-no. 157149 and also P 130 ch.-no. 70379-70489. Earlier on cars with ration 4.56:1. See workshop bulletin. Note also the reinstatement of old casings.
This model year reveals a number of major changes on the Volvo Amazon in all its models. The new Volvo seat is introduced, which has been developed together with medical expertise. The successful staking on the rally scene leads to the manufacturing and introduction of special trim kits for competition use under the name Rally Sport or R-sport. Some 1,000 units get these trim kits factory installed and become so popular that Volvo sells them as parts through their resellers. The new M30 rear axis is mounted also in the Estate, randomly mixed with the Salisbury axis. Later this year Volvo brings its active involvement in rallying to a close, after a number of serious accidents. The one millionth Volvo car, a black Volvo Amazon of model year 1965, is manufactured on September 19th 1964 and this is celebrated by fitting the millionth produced gearbox from the Köping factory in it. Staff from the Köping factory visited the newly opened Torslanda plant and attended this celebration. On October 20th 1965 the last produced PV 544 leaves the Lundby factory production line (a Sport with special paint and red interior) after 440,000 produced units. It was saved and can be seen at Volvo’s museum in Arendal. Volvo inaugurates its new assembly plant in Ghent, Belgium (Volvo Europe N.V., VENV) during the fall which assembles Volvo Amazon cars (the first produced car at VENV is a Volvo Amazon), by now the best selling car in Sweden. Read more on VENV in the section on production. This is a sales brochure for the 122 S this year
- Front disc brakes is standard on all models
- New rims with eight ventilation holes, with maintained dimension of 15×4″ (15×4½” for P 220)
- Black tires on all models without white wall (remains on some export markets)
- New wheel caps in chromed stainless plate with black ”V”
- New horns with better penetration capability
- New air cleaner on the B18 A (same as PV 544)
- New fuel pump with tin lid (earlier of glass)
- Rubber hose replaces fuel line between fuel pump and carburetor(s)
- New grille with three vertical bars, and with the B18 badge replaced by a Volvo badge (the ”iron” badge) *
- New front fender shield like badges on the 121 and 122 S (the latter now also on the Volvo Canadian)
- Interior is now completely in leatherette (earlier only on the export cars to the USA and Canada)
- Interior available in colors red, black, leather tan and blue
- New front seats with taller back rest, lower seat cushion and with lumbar back support (adjusted with a screwdriver)
- Foldable armrest in back seat (not on the Estate)
- Grab handle on instrument panel
- New supplier of steering wheels, with bigger distance between holes for puller
- Heat also in the back from the defroster channel (earlier a popular accessory)
- Rust exposed parts are galvanized
- New, pressed rubber mats on floor and in trunk and now in black
- Textile mat on rear shelf in P 120 and P 130
- Panel under rear shelf in P 120 and P 130 in same material as headliner
- New combinations of coat hangers and curve straps
- New seatbelts in P 130 (excluding USA and Canada)
- New interior door handles and window crank handles
- New rear mud flaps **
- New rubber casing at foot of handbrake
- Changed gear lever on cars with automatic transmission (both P 120 and P 130)
- New torque rods for the rear axle with bigger washers for the rubber bushings
- Green tinted windscreen (671889-4) and windscreen with green tinted top (671890-2) (all models)
- Headrests ***
Volvo 122 S:
- New overdrive badge
- With some exceptions, P 120 in 122 S edition is no longer sold in Sweden
- New spring mechanism (gas) on the rear door upper section, replaces earlier catch ****
- New version of the rear door upper section support ****
- Power brakes (without back pressure valve) is now standard (option on the P 120 and P 130)
- New color on textile trunk floor mat
- New panel on inside of lower trunk lid
Changes during the model year:
- New version of pistons in B18 engines is introduced early in the model year
- Shielding plate to prevent ice on the carburetor controls on engine B18 D introduced as accessory during the fall under part number 419251
- Improved theft protection through tamper safe ignition introduced during the fall of 1964
- New, single spring shock absorbers from Delco introduced on P 120 and P 130
- Hole on right side of transmission tunnel to facilitate adjustment of rear brake linings of the automatic transmission +
- Stopping mechanism for gear shifter on cars with automatic transmission introduced on P 120 from ch.-no. 167596 and on P 130 from ch.-no. 87982
- New and more direct tubing of the brake line for right (LHD) / left (RHD) front wheel on P 120 from ch.-no. 182029, on P 130 from ch.-no. 116500 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 24373 ++
- New heater unit and new occupant area fan on cars with heater on P 120 from ch.-no. 184445, on P 130 from ch.-no. 124636 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 25730 +++
- New ashtrays in rear doors on P 120 from ch.-no. 187147 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 26797
- New starter motor on P 120 from ch.-no. 178695, P 130 from ch.-no. 113765 and P 220 from ch.-no. 23384 ++++
- New, longer and thinner fixing mechanism for seat belts between front seats +++++
- Ventilated refueling system to prevent leaking gasoline when car sways on P 220 from body number 24373 (also 24250-24251, 24300-24370)
- New distributor with vacuum regulator in February 1965 (see the section on distributors)
- Changed wiring of reverse lights to be independent from the parking lights in May 1965
- Improved construction of the water pump to prevent leakage and wear is made towards the end of the model year ++++++
- Locating pin for the spring on the non-return valve is introduced on overdrive units from serial number 11238
The trim kits contained the following parts:
- Leveled cylinder head with reduced combustion chamber (compression 11.1:1)
- Bigger inlet valves (1.65 ” compared to the previous 1.57 ”)
- Bigger valve springs
- Bigger washers for the valve springs
- Thinner cylinder head gasket
- More efficient camshaft
- Low weight flywheel (17.6 lbs instead of 25.4 lbs)
- More powerful ignition coil
- Different needles for the SU-carburetors
- Special manifold
- More powerful springs for the clutch
- Oil cooler
These modifications would give the car an output of approximately 124 hp (DIN) / 135 hp (SAE). Later editions of the Volvo trim kits would allow outputs up to 180 hp (SAE). These included specially made cylinder heads, valve sizes of up to 1.81 ” and revolutions of up to 8,500 rpm.
* The front is also changed, but keeps the same part number (663946). Fitting of old grille in new front requires adaptions. See workshop bulletin.
** 20mm shorter than before after customer complaints that the mud flaps reach the ground when the car is loaded.
*** Front seats with pre-installed guide sleeves for the headrests on some markets, including USA.
**** From body number 17650.
+ Only on cars with automatic transmission. Rubber washer to cover hole. P 120 from body number 170430, P 130 from body number 93547.
++ Also P 130 ch.-no. 115744 plus some P 120 from ch.-no. 181638 as well as some P 220 from ch.-no. 24250.
+++ New fan on P 120 without heater from ch.-no. 185345. Some P 130 from ch.-no. 120019. Bulged cover in front of fan disappears at stated ch.-nos.
++++ Bosch 0 001 311 001. Some P 130 from ch.-no. 111079 and P 220 from ch.-no. 23181.
+++++ P 120 ch.-no. 183249-. P 130 ch.-no. 121731, 121765-121777, 122943-123089, 123320-. P 220 ch.-no. 25311-.
++++++ Deflector on B18 A from engine number 89115, B18 D from 48514. Cleat on B18 A from engine number 121850, B18 D from 65338.
The Volvo Amazon Favorit is introduced on some markets this year as a more economic alternative to the Volvo Amazon 121 as a way to compensate for the discontinuation of the PV 544 in the previous model year, and is prices SEK 1,500 lower than a 121. Just like the PV had, the Amazon now gets a standard edition from earlier only having a special edition (121) and a sport edition (122 S). Volvo Amazon Favorit has no special badges on the body, on the contrary it ships with ”121” badges on the front fenders just like special edition. The Volvo Amazon Favorit is sold on several markets (but not all) and is also assembled at VENV in Belgium from model year 1967. In Denmark it is marketed as the Volvo Amazon Quick. A sales brochure * from Volvo states that all two door Amazons with the B18 D engine are fitted with overdrive transmission as standard this year and that automatic transmission is an option only on cars with the B18 A engine. This concerns the domestic Swedish market. A record number of 119,000 units are manufactured this year and consequently the most common Volvo Amazon is a pearl white two door sedan of model year 1966 with red upholstery. Production in Dartmouth, Canada has now reached 3,700 cars annually. Four-way emergency flasher unit becomes mandatory equipment on the North American market (both USA and Canada) sometime during this or the previous year and Volvo’s resellers therefore equip all Volvo cars sold there with this function. See pictures of for instance ch.-no. 173269 to get an idea of what this could look like on the instrument panel. Door mirrors, limited slip differential and headrests are also common reseller additions on these two markets.
- Higher compression in the B18 A engine from 8.5:1 to 8.7:1 through thinner cylinder top gasket (same as B18 B) **
- Washer nozzle, still chromed but now only one, moved to hood
- Back pressure valve on rear brakes to avoid the rear wheels locking
- Permanently greased universal and front chassis joints
- Ashtray now have plastic runners, to eliminate rattle
- New and mechanically fastened hood gaskets (front and rear)
- New and shorter jack
- Smaller changes on the rear seat on the Estate (including ferrules under the seat)
Volvo 122 S:
- Higher compression in the B18 D engine from 8.5:1 to 8.7:1 through thinner cylinder top gasket (same as B18 B)
- New B-camshaft and changed carburetor needles in the B18 D engine
- Combined, this gives an increased output of about five horse powers to 95 hp SAE ***
- Delivered with radial tires in dimensions 165S15 (6.40S15 on the Estate)
- The P 220 is now available in 122 S edition on all markets (until now only in North America)
- The P 120 is again available in 122 S edition in Sweden, but not with overdrive
Volvo Amazon Favorit:
- Only with two-door body (P 130)
- Engine B18 A
- Only with three gear manual transmission (M30)
- Only as LHD
- Black gearshift lever top without gear layout
- No cigarette lighter
- No passenger side sun visor
- No front door pressings, chrome lists or pockets
- No chrome lists on windows
- New type of list between rear window and body (painted in color of car)
- No chrome on drip rails
- Only one horn
- Rear windows do not open
- Rear shelf in cardboard
- Limited tool set with green cover (others in black)
- Limited color selection: initially only as black (19) but later during the year also as pearl white (79)
- Dark blue (90) Amazon Favorit are delivered to Norway during the model year, for instance ch.-no. 207371
- Only with red upholstery (420-532)
- Does however have rear seat center armrest (the opposite is often stated)
- Type designation 13121V
- Dual rearview mirrors of new type (Sweden only)
- Glued brake linings with better wear tolerance for rear brakes
- Glued rails
Changes during the model year:
- Volvo introduce recommendations for addressing carburetor issues caused by wet and/or blowing snow, see workshop bulletin
- New seals for front door ventilation windows in January 1966 +
- New fastening of instrument panel chrome list in January 1966 +
- Tudor becomes sole battery supplier for the Volvo Amazon starting with P 120 ch.-no. 218496 and P 220 ch.-no. 30832 ++
* RK 1716-2, page 7.
** Of course, this also led to an increased output but Volvo didn’t bother to mention this.
*** Top speed in the 122 S increased with about 3 mph.
+ From P 120 ch.-no. 206185, P 130 ch.-no. 172295 and P 220 ch.-no. 35147.
++ Does not apply to foreign assembly. Earlier also Boliden, Noack and SAAJ. P 130 from ch.-no. 216950, i.e. model year 1967.
During the year Volvo produce 145,447 passenger cars, 11,041 trucks and 863 buses on top of tractors, farming vehicles, marine and industrial engines, shop machines, printing presses and jet engines. Now, after the discontinuation of the PV 544 and with the introduction of the 140-series, the Amazon constitutes 62% of the total produced passenger cars but production of the P 120 comes to an end in December 1966 and the four door sedan only exists as half model year 1967. The last unit to roll off the assembly line at Torslanda does so with ch.-no. 233747 on November 29th, 1966 – a light blue (95) 121342M bound for England. The last 480 units are delivered in parts to the assembly plant in South Africa where the very last four door is a 122 S with B18 B engine (type 123942M) with ch.-no. 234653. The Amazon Favorit is now also assembled in Ghent, Belgium (type designation 131911M). The assembly plant in Canada is relocated a few miles from Dartmouth to a new and larger facility in Halifax, still in Nova Scotia. The Halifax plant has a capacity of 10,000 car per year. The last four door Amazon to be exported to Canada is a dark blue (96) 122 S (type 122941M) with ch.-no. 232336. Volvo starts manufacturing the M30 rear axis, that now has three suppliers: in addition to Volvo also Spicer and Hayes. As a direct result of Volvo’s racing successes, the 123 GT is introduced this year as a top of the line model with a vast number of extra features. A new 123 GT is priced at SEK 18,800 including taxes. The engine is a B18 B with C-camshaft, higher compression and different armament of the carburetors compared with the B18 D on the 122 S and has a stated output of 96 hp (DIN) / 115 hp (SAE) which is lower than on the P 1800. Besides the engine, previously available only on the P 1800, the 123 GT is equipped with the M41 gearbox with overdrive. Essentially being a 122 S with P 1800 mechanics, the story is that persistent delays in manufacturing P 1800 bodies in the UK caused a backlog of B18 B engines and M41 transmissions and so Volvo used up the excess by producing the 123 GT. Officially, Volvo states that the 123 GT is designed for those not able to fit their family in a P 1800 but still looking for a sportier car. The 123 GT is not sold in the USA *, but several cars are privately imported and it is also available for American customers via Volvo’s European Delivery Program. The 123 GT is assembled also at the Halifax plant in Canada (type designation 133951, for instance ch.-no. 258557). The Volvo Canadian GTs typically came without the auxiliary lights, the stronger wiper arms and had only one fender mirror but came with limited slip differential and four-way emergency flasher unit **. These Volvo Canadian GT were also available in other colors, including light green (91), light blue (95) and dark blue (96) and are often seen with S-codes 5145 and 5324. The 123 GT is assembled also at the Ghent plant in Belgium (VENV, type designation 133951M, for instance ch.-no. 235563) and is often seen with S-codes 5118 and 5297. Several improvements and safety innovations developed for the 140-series, such as dual circuit brake system and collapsible steering wheel pole, are introduced late in the model year on the Volvo Amazon in its export edition to the USA. A number of cars in 122 S edition are delivered with the B18 B engine, including export cars to the USA (133441M, 223441M), cars for assembly in South Africa (123942M), and cars to the Swedish police (133441MP, 223341MP). A number of cars, both P 120 and P 130, in 122 S edition with B18 D engine are delivered with overdrive this model year (12235xM, 13235xM) despite overdrive officially being exclusive to the 123 GT. Volvo Amazon remains Sweden’s most sold car with 19,252 units this year.
- New layout of the type designation plate; S-code added and chassis number removed
- Type designation and chassis number on torpedo wall
- ”V” and ”H” in the type designation are replaced with ”1” and ”2” to indicate LHD or RHD
- New grille with double bars
- New seatbelts (changed fittings, locking mechanism, adjustment and hangers)
- Attachment for static three-point seatbelts in the backseat, allows also for lap belt in center
- Nose letters (”V O L V O”) now in silver paint
- Added chrome trim on rear window on the Estate, also new seal molding that goes with this
- New Zenith-Stromberg carburetor (175 CD) on B18 A
- Engine improvements through new carburetors, new air filter, cast iron manifold (with dual outlets) and front part of exhaust pipe
- Engine output in the B18 A is increased to 75 hp (DIN) / 85 hp (SAE) as a result of this
- All engines type B18 D and those type B18 A with automatic transmission (12136x and 13136x) are fitted with positive crankcase ventilation (emission control)
- Bracket for alternator in engine block (only used for 123 GT)
- Thicker material in the exhaust pipe (0.06 ” compared to 0.05 ” earlier) provides longer durability
- Closed cooling system with expansion tank (new radiator)
- New clutch of fan type and bigger operating cylinder (requires lower pedal pressure)
- Improved rear axis suspension on sedan models
- Changed main shaft on gearboxes M30 and M40
- Changed retainers on fresh air grille below the windshield
- Sedan models delivered with radial tires (165S-15) as standard
- Speedometer and road trip meter are adapted for these tires
- Reinforcement console between engine and clutch case
- Changed tail light (painted wall between turn signal light and brake light)
- Locking mechanism on ventilation windows now theft protected
- New vertical courtesy handle for rear seat, with coat hook
- Bigger container for wiper fluid
- Reflective badge on doors, red ”iron” badge shape
- Borg-Warner’s automatic transmission BW35 now available as option also on the P 220, although not on RHD cars
- Static two- and three-point seatbelts for the backseat are available as accessories
Volvo 122 S:
- Engine improvements through new carburetors, new air filter, cast iron manifold (with dual outlets) and front part of exhaust pipe (earlier aluminum intakes are discontinued)
- New dual and three-bolted SU HS 6 carburetors and thicker air filters
- Engine output in the B18 D is increased to 90 hp (DIN) / 100 hp (SAE) as a result of this
- Overdrive officially no longer available as option (exclusively for the 123 GT)
- Engine B18 B on a number of 122 S to the USA, South Africa and the Swedish police
- The Estate in 122 S edition gets 6.40S15, others 6.40-15
- All 122 S in export edition are fitted with emission control
- Vacuum type power brakes are now standard
Late in the model year *** on export cars to the USA and on cars assembled in Canada the following new safety features are added:
(See also pictures of ch.-no. 273106 that show some of these)
- Dual circuit brake system (divided between front/rear axles, i.e. not triangular)
- Warning light on instrument panel for parking brake and brake failure
- Collapsible steering wheel pole
- Windscreen of ”high impact” type
Volvo 123 GT:
- Only with two-door body (P 130)
- B18 B engine without oil cooler with output of 96 hp (DIN) / 115 hp (SAE)
- M41 gearbox with Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit type D
- Rear axle ratio 4.56:1 +
- Power brakes from Girling (same as 122 S)
- New GT steering wheel with Volvo GT badge
- Dash pad compartment
- Volvo branded tachometer from Smiths with wide chrome ring, red needle and 10×100 scale
- Chromed, fully reclining Recaro front seat fittings
- Three 123 GT badges on body
- Two Hella 162mm auxiliary H1 halogen lights (driving light and fog light) ++ with covers (white with blue ”Volvo” text)
- More powerful horns (Bosch)
- Visible cable joint outside cable harness below fuse box/type designation plate +++
- Round fender mirrors ++++
- Fully covering chromed wheel sides
- Chromed exhaust pipe extension
- Different wiper arms and blades of more robust type
- Lights in engine compartment and in trunk (with protective grating available as accessory)
- S.E.V./Motorola 35 A alternator, first with fully transistorized but later with mechanical charging control +++++
- Alternator warning sticker on inside of hood
- Extra wiring console in engine compartment with relays for driving and fog lights, horns plus extra fuse box and charging control
- Pirelli Cinturato P3 belt tires in dimension 165SR15 on 4″ rims (never 4½” or 5½”) ++++++
- Sportier suspension (same kind as P 1800)
- More firm engine rubber cushions
- Separate supplement to the instruction book
- Officially only in colors cherry red (46), pearl white (79) and dark green (94)
- A relatively large number of cars are delivered in steel blue metallic (53/102) +++++++
- A few cars are delivered with Blue green metallic paint (53/91) +++++++
- Dark blue (96) is relatively common on export cars and on 123 GT assembled in Canada
- Colors Light green (91) and Light blue (95) occur on cars assembled in Belgium and Canada (for instance ch.-no. 250024 and 250112 respectively)
- Type designation 133351/2M (Torslanda), 133951M (Ghent, Halifax)
Volvo Amazon Favorit:
- Red upholstery changed to 424-551
- Now available also in dark blue (96) in Sweden
- Now assembled also in Ghent (type designation 131911M
Changes during the model year:
- New Zenith-Stromberg carburetor (175 CD-2S) on B18 A
- New versions of upper and lower ball joints are introduced early during the model year
- New gasket without oil return hole on gearboxes M30 (from serial number 301451) and M40 (from serial number 313521)
- Bigger flywheel companion on the gearbox on the P 220 from ch.-no. 53957 ****
- Plate to protect against ice on throttle linkage introduced on cars with B18 B and B18 D on P 130 from ch.-no. 240604 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 49894
- Plate to prevent difficulties starting with warm engine introduced on cars with B18 A and Zenith-Stromberg carburetor on P 130 from ch.-no. 240660 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 49919
- New type of seatbelts and locking mechanism on export cars to the USA and CKD to Canada on P 130 from ch.-no. 255162 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 54083
- Reinforcement added between front fenders and front section on P 130 from body number 256299 and on P 220 from body number 54768
- New windshield on P 220 on export cars to the USA and CKD to Canada from ch.-no. 56880 (also 56029)
- New type of operating cylinder for the clutch on P 130 from ch.-no. 264205 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 57395
- New type of seatbelts and locking mechanism (again) on export cars to the USA and CKD to Canada on P 130 from ch.-no. 270671 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 59136 (reverting to the kind used on previous model years)
- New type of seatbelts and locking mechanism (excluding USA and Canada) on P 130 from ch.-no. 270993 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 59178
Last model year with:
- Four door sedan model, P 120
- Bench type front seat
- The B18 D engine
- Assembly of the Volvo 122 S in Chile
- Assembly of the 123 GT in Canada and Belgium
* Volvo Service Hints, Volvo Inc., 1968 page 16.
** Four-way emergency flasher unit on left kick panel, above hood opener.
*** P 130 ch.-no. 258799, 262115- and P 220 ch.-no. 56029, 56680-.
**** Part number 380606, can also be retrofitted on earlier cars with later gearboxes – see workshop bulletin P-43-13. Sometimes referred to as M40G.
+ Also with ratio 4.1:1 on rear axle from Hayes, S-code 5250, on cars assembled abroad. See for instance ch.-no. 251323 and 258376.
++ With separate switches under the instrument panel opposite side of glove compartment light. Driving light only in combination with head lights. Two fog lights on some markets (then with different wiring).
+++ Three wires (yellow, white, black) for cars with driving light and fog light. Four wires (yellow, white, black, red) for cars with two fog lights.
++++ Dealer mounted Talbot Racing mirrors on some markets; only one fender mirror on some markets.
+++++ Fully transistorized charging control (419444) up to and including ch.-no. 257499, mechanical charging control from ch.-no. 257500. Both from S.E.V./Motorola.
++++++ Goodyear on some markets, including 133951. Also Michelin. The P 130 is not approved for bigger rims than 4″ plus bigger rims will not fit in the spare wheel well.
+++++++ See the section on color codes.
Safety continues to dominate the changes between the model years, this year with collapsible steering wheel pole, non-reflecting windshield frames and power brakes. Several details in the interior are changed for increased occupant safety, especially on cars for the North American markets: knobs and fittings get a rounder design, knee and foot protective moldings are added, parts are made non-reflecting, etc. This is to a large extent driven by legal demands in the USA. The same or very similar legal requirements are later imposed also on several other markets. This is the last model year sold to customers in the United States – from now on, all marketing efforts there are focused on the new 140-series and the more luxurious Volvo 164. A 122 S is priced at USD 2,775 and an Estate at USD 3,075, an increase of USD 95 from the previous model year to compensate for the additional safety features. On July 4th one of Volvo’s founders, Gustaf Larson passes away. He held the position as chief engineer and deputy CEO until 1952 when he took a seat in the board of directors, a position he held until his retirement in 1958. On September 3rd 1967, Sweden shifts to driving on the right side of the road and in connection with this, speed limits are introduced also outside cities. The introduction of the 1968 model year in Sweden is therefore postponed and Volvo Amazon is for the first time introduced in foreign countries before Sweden. The Volvo Amazon Favorit – that never became a favorite among the customers (except in Norway) – is discontinued after this model year.
- New windshield washer nozzle in plastic
- Knob to the adjustable sway-back support
- Automatic transmission (BW35) available on all markets
- New shock absorbing steering wheel and collapsible steering wheel pole for better driver safety
- New choke lever
- New heat levers, first flat later rifled *
- New rear casing for heater and fresh air unit
- New heater unit on cars with heater, incl. new rear casing
- Power brakes on all models
- Non-reflecting windshield frames and wipers
- New interior rear view mirror that folds better during a collision (different variant for USA and Canada)
- New sun visors with more padding
- New door locks of security type
- New outer door handles (more leveled) *
- New locking mechanism for the rear seat in the Estate
- Gear shift layout on instrument panel
- Four-way emergency flasher is sold as accessory
Volvo 122 S:
- Engine B18 B on all markets
- Overdrive not available as option
The export cars to the USA and Canada also get the following features:
(See also ch.-no. 297036 for pictures of some of these features)
- B18 B engine fitted with emission control +
- Different rear view mirror
- New, rounded knob for ashtray
- Other, round and rubber like switches on instrument panel – knobs will fold on impact
- Door inside opening mechanism is made of non-reflecting (black) plastic
- Other, non-obstructive opening mechanism on ventilation windows (also made non-reflective) ++
- Spring loaded rear view mirror on driver side door
- New and rounder window crank handles (same as 140-series and P 1800) without Volvo logo
- Changed locking mechanism on the P 130 rear windows (same as later introduced on Swedish market) +++
- Knee protection pad is fitted under the instrument panel (”under dash”)
- Four side reflectors on the fenders (yellow in front and red in the rear)
- Dash-mounted four-way emergency flasher unit (located above fan knob)
- All amber front turn signal glass (also on Volvo Canadian)
- Early editions are fitted with a protective molding for the feet on the lower rear end of the front seats ++++
- Front seat headrests are standard (with S-code 5371-5374 depending on upholstery)
- Static two-point seatbelts in rear seat are standard (lap belts)
- Air conditioning is a factory installed option +++++
Volvo 123 GT:
- Keeps the GT steering wheel
- Knob to the adjustable sway-back support also on the Recaro fittings
- Smiths tachometer with thinner pale silver ring (non-reflecting), white needle and 1×1000 scale **
- Slightly bigger Hella auxiliary lights, now 164mm, with unchanged light spread
- Fender mirrors moved back slightly, from approx. 12.5″ from front of fender to approx. above center of wheel
- Dark blue (96) now available also in Sweden
- Now produced only in Torslanda, Sweden
- Type designation 133351/2P
Volvo Amazon Favorit:
- Red upholstery changed to 429-585 except on dark blue cars (96) which keep 424-551
- Now available also as red (46) and light blue (95) with black upholstery (428-584) on some markets (Norway and Denmark)
Changes during the model year:
- New and more robust torque rods and more firm hourglass shaped rubber bushings on the rear axle on the 123 GT from ch.-no. 280979
- Changed torque rods and hourglass shaped rubber bushings on the rear axle on P 130 from ch.-no. 291622 *** (not the same as on the 123 GT)
- Changed support arms and rubber bushings for the rear axle on P 220 from ch.-no. 63039
- Volvo introduce recommendations for air filter settings during winter time, see workshop bulletin
- Volvo publish a template for a protective plate under the engine to be used during difficult winter conditions, see workshop bulletin
- New type of oil dip stick for the gearbox BW35 is introduced in December 1967
- New float and float level on the Zenith-Stromberg carburetors is introduced in January 1968
- New reinforced hoses and clamps for power brakes and closed crank case ventilation in February 1968
- New control system with improved throttle control between 2nd and 3rd gear introduced on gearbox BW35 in mid February 1968
- Changed rear lid on gearboxes M30 and M40 for better oil flow is introduced in March 1968
- Air filter with thermostat controlled preheating for SU carburetors is made available on B18 B in April 1968
- New type of seatbelts and locking mechanism (yet again) on export cars to the USA and CKD to Canada on P 130 from ch.-no. 288115 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 66204
- New type of rear ventilation window and opening mechanism in P 130 on export cars to USA and Canada from ch.-no. 282208 ****
- Clutch disc with lower hub friction is introduced on P 130 around ch.-no. 292800 and on P 220 around ch.-no. 68000
- New and rounder window crank handles without Volvo logo ***** on P 130 from ch.-no. 295233 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 69299
- Bigger flywheel companion on the gearbox also on the P 130, on Favorit (M30) from ch.-no. 296543 and on 121, 122 S (M40) from ch.-no. 296129 ******
- The belt that holds the spare tire is replaced with a tensioner strap from ch.-no. 299476
- New legal demands in Belgium from March 1968 means changed type designation plate on Amazons sold there, see for instance ch.-nr. 322660 *******
Last model year with:
- Volvo Amazon Favorit
- DC generator
- The B18 engine
- Automatic transmission (BW35)
- Steering wheel lever gearbox (M40RV)
- Laycock de Normanville overdrive of type D
- Ignition in instrument panel
- Nose chrome list
- Chromed handle on the parking brake
- Chromed side drip rail moldings
- Textile mat on rear shelf in P 130
- Panel under rear shelf in P 130 in same material as headliner
- Gasket between headlight rim and retainer
- Two horns
- Rear seat center armrest
- Extra wiring console in 123 GT engine compartment
- The Estate in 122 S edition
- The Estate as RHD
- Volvo badge (the ”iron” badge) in grille
- Assembly of the Volvo Amazon in Canada
- Sales of the Volvo 122 S in the USA
* No change in part numbers.
** Early cars have the early type tach. Later type is same as was also sold as accessory. Surface of instrument house is now wrinkled, to avoid reflexes.
*** Also P 130 ch.-no. 280979-283629, 289598-289727, 291007-291136 and 291361 (excluding the 123 GT edition).
**** Same as later came on other markets from ch.-no. 329468.
***** Same as 140-series and P 1800.
****** Part number 380606, can also be retrofitted on earlier cars with later gearboxes – see workshop bulletin P-43-13. Sometimes referred to as M40G.
******* With fields for Belgian type approval number (PVA) and maximum weight (PMA). Concerns all cars sold new in Belgium, both imported and locally assembled.
+ Closed crank case ventilation: preheating of the air/fuel mixture through a special intake (very simple but compliant with the laws of the time).
++ Very prone to break and (therefore) today a hard-to-come-by item.
+++ From ch.-no. 282208.
++++ P 130 ch.-no. 279900-281807, P 220 ch.-no. 61800-63012.
+++++ FrigiKing 500, listed as Volvo F-500 by Volvo.
Product development of the 120-series has come to an end and the model year is characterized by several simplifications, of which many are derived from the now discontinued Volvo Amazon Favorit. This is the last model year with the Estate, which is now being replaced by Volvo 145 and Volvo 145 Express. The Estate is no longer officially sold in 122 S edition but several 223341S were sold to private persons in Sweden and also to the Swedish police (223341SP), and it is no longer produced as RHD. For the second year in a row the volumes are sliced in half and most likely the Estate was only sold on a limited number of markets this year. The last Estate manufactured, a dark blue with ch.-no. 73220, was saved and can be seen at the Volvo Museum in Arendal. An early design proposal of removing the front over riders is revoked. The model year is introduced with rear side windows on the P 130 that cannot be opened (also a feature inherited from the Favorit), but this is soon changed by popular demand and the cars are first fitted with the same locking mechanism as on previous model years and later with a locking mechanism similar to that of the 140-series. The new B20 engine is introduced also in the Volvo Amazon: B20 A in the 121 with 82 hp (DIN) / 90 hp (SAE) and the sport engine B20 B with 100 hp (DIN) / 118 hp (SAE) in the 122 S and the 123 GT. The new engine is of course based on the B18, and comes with a more powerful engine block compared to its predecessor. The same cylinder block is used in both the A and B versions and the difference in compression (8.7 and 9.5 respectively) is accomplished by having different thickness on the gaskets. The federal type approval for the Amazon in the USA ended with the 1968 model year and the Amazon is no longer sold there. The assembly of the Amazon in Canada has also ceased, but Amazons produced in Sweden are still shipped and sold in Canada (type 133441, for instance ch.-no. 335783). They come with headrests (S-code 5558, 5559 or 5560 depending on upholstery), just as in model year 1968, and has static two-point rear seatbelts as standard. The cars for Canada keep many of the North American market unique details, including the knee protection pad and the rubber switch knobs, while some of the safety parts introduced with the previous model year disappear (for instance the plastic door openers and the opener of the ventilation windows). The 123 GT is now available on only a few markets and the few cars exported in GT edition (for instance ch.-no. 325784) are done so with S-code 5314 and type designation P13335xS. Most of the extra GT equipment is now sold separately as accessories by Volvo (see for instance the 1969 accessories catalogue). There are trim kits made by Volvo Competition Service also for the B20. The carburetors are now called Zenith-Stromberg 175 CD-2 (B20 A) and SU HS 6 (B20 B). On some markets (North America) the B20 B is fitted with dual Zenith-Stromberg 175 CD-2 but apparently this concerns other models (P 1800 and 140) and not the Amazon.
- B20 badge in left grille
- B20 sticker in rear window
- Rearview mirrors on both front doors on P 130 and P 220 on most markets (S-code 5577)
- Rearview mirrors on both front fenders is available on P 220 on the Swedish market
- Rear view door mirrors are in blue tinted glass (without black plastic rim) and available in two variants: convex or flat glass
- New windshield of ”high impact” type
- Steering wheel column lock is standard
- Red fields for C and H on temp gauge and for E on tank gauge, earlier white
- Steel radiator on some cars within the Nordic market (S-code 5370)
- Four-way emergency flasher unit standard on some markets (not Sweden), with kept placement above fan knob
- The window crank handles get a new, rounder shape (same as P 1800 and 140-series) with Volvo logo
- Improved ignition with new type of interference suppression, better distributor cap and seals on cap and spark plugs
- 35 A alternator, first S.E.V./Motorola (same as 123 GT) and later Bosch (same as 140-series) *
- Mechanical charging control from S.E.V./Motorola (same as 123 GT)
- New type of ignition coil with plus connection on top (without protected cable to ignition)
- Closed crank case ventilation (emission control) on both the A and B engines
- New air filters, both for B20 A and B20 B (soundproofing on LHD cars with B20 B)
- Cars with B20 B are fitted with more firm engine rubber cushions (same as 123 GT)
- Thermostat controlled preheating of the airflow to the carburetor on some markets (incl. Sweden) **
- Backing plate behind grille prevents dirt from entering the preheating channel
- Increased pressure in cooling system from 4.27 PSI to 9.96 PSI, with reinforced radiator and hoses
- Dual triangular circuit brake system (developed for the 140-series), as opposed to the front/rear axis circuit brake system on earlier export cars
- Direct acting power brakes (same as 140-series)
- Rear drum brakes fitted with self-adjustment affected by parking brake
- Dual brake valves with breaking point 484 PSI on the P 130 and 711 PSI on the P 220
- Warning light on instrument panel for parking brake and brake failure
- New upholsteries without seat weld marks (417B, 425B, 430, 431, 432), without door pockets and without rear seat center armrest on P 130
- New upholsteries without seat weld marks (522, 523, 524) but still with door pockets and without rear seat center armrest on P 220
- Front seat headrests standard on some markets (not Sweden) with S-code 5558-5560 depending on upholstery
- Mechanical clutch control (wire, replaces earlier hydraulics) and new clutch of same type as 140-series
- Fan clutch on some models with B20 B (S-code 5396) ***
- Slightly reduced ratio on the third gear (M40 and M41)
- Parking brake wire with more powerful return spring (7.5 ” unloaded, previously 6.7 ”)
- Overdrive still only available on the 123 GT
- The Estate and cars with overdrive get a different rear axis ratio (4.3:1)
- Green tinted windscreen (671889-4) and windscreen with green tinted top (671890-2) available as option on P 130
- Heated rear view window available as option ****
- Three-point inertia reel front seat belts are available as option and accessory (281494/281495 P 130, 281555/281556 P 120 and P 220)
Simplifications (most are heritage from the now discontinued Volvo Amazon Favorit):
- No textile mat on rear shelf in P 130
- Rear shelf now in cardboard
- Side drip rail mouldings no longer in chrome
- Rearseat center armrest disappears
- No front door pockets on the P 130 (except for cars assembled in Ghent)
- No weld marks on front or rear seats
- Volvo ”iron” badge in grille disappears
- Only one horn
- No gasket between headlight rim and retainer
- Chrome list on the nose disappears
- Chromed handle on the parking brake disappears
Volvo 122 S:
- Engine B20 B
- Dual SU HS6 carburetors now with vented float chambers
- Gearbox M40
- Gets same, more robust torque rods and more firm hourglass shaped rubber bushings on the rear axle as the 123 GT
Volvo 123 GT:
- Engine B20 B
- Dual SU HS6 carburetors now with vented float chambers
- Gearbox M41 with overdrive, now with Laycock de Normanville type J
- Changed rear axis ratio (4.3:1)
- Both auxilliary lights are fog lights
- Delivered from factory without door or fender mirrors
- No extra wiring console in engine compartment *****
- Relatively few units produced, of which most are bound for Switzerland and Japan
- Type designation 133351/2S
Changes during the model year:
- New fully pressed engine fan for engines with fixed fan (i.e. not S-5396) introduced in November 1968, orange instead of yellow
- Isolation flange between carburetor and manifold added on B20 A to prevent problems starting engine when warm
- Three clamps fitted on windshield washer hose which otherwise easily falls off due to heat from engine are introduced during wk 48 1968
- New heat resistant windshield washer hose introduced during wk 5 1969 and clamps are removed from production
- New clutch disc on some versions of the B20 engine is introduced late in the model year
- Centerable bushing on carburetor SU HS 6 up to and including ch.-no. 316356
- B20 badge in left grille moved slightly upwards on the P 130 from ch.-no. 328000, still in left grille
- New type of rear ventilation window and opening mechanism in the P 130 from ch.-no. 329468 ******
- Different tie and steering rods on P 130 ch.-no. 333366-334165 and P 220 72511-72590
- Improved attachment of door mirrors to avoid vibrations on P 130 from ch.-no. 334875 and on P 220 from ch.-no. 72685
- Changed throttle linkage on P 130 from ch.-no. 335493 (also 334937-335101) and on P 220 from ch.-no. 72742
- Changed hang hook for front seatbelts on P 130 from ch.-no. 335569 (also 334937-335101) and on P 220 from ch.-no. 72751
- During wk22 1969 a new coding for paint and primer is introduced, on body number around 336000 on P 130 and 72900 on P 200, and the marking is at the same time relocated to the outer lip of the battery shelf in the engine bay
- New type of screw for air cleaner on cars with engine B20 A from ch.-no. 338220
Last model year with:
- The Estate (P 220), which no longer is available in 122 S edition *******
- Assembly of the Volvo Amazon in Belgium
* S.E.V./Motorola (419420) on B20 A with engine number -24610 (LHD), -420 (RHD) and B20 B -2928 (LHD), -2122 (RHD) and S-5396 -885.
Bosch (241527) on B20 A with engine number 24611- (LHD), 421- (RHD) and B20 B 2929- (LHD), 2123- (RHD) and S-5396 886-.
No alternator warning sticker on inside of hood.
** On the B engines the same kind of simple emission control as fitted on the export cars to the USA in 1968, on the A engines also changed carburetor (with sealed settings).
*** Fan speed is limited to 2 600 rpms using a clutch. This is standard on the 140-series cars with B20 B but option (S-code 5396) on the 120- and 1800-series cars.
**** Not factory installed. Location of switch therefore varies. P 130: 673712 clear and 673713 green tinted. P 220: 661983 clear and 661984 green tinted.
***** No relays for horn or overdrive, only one relay for auxiliary lights (both are fog lights).
****** Same as on export cars to USA and Canada from ch.-no. 282208.
******* A number of P 220 are delivered with the B20 B, including ch.-no. 71225, 71226, 71231 and 71232. Also delivered as P223341SP, i.e. Police edition (for instance ch.-no. 73180 and 73181).
Not since the B16 cars have there been fewer differences between two model years. The model year starts with ch.-no. 340000 followed by 340001, a dark green 123 GT with right hand drive (which is also one of only two known 123 GT of this model year). The last Amazon, a dark blue P 130 with ch.-no. 359726, rolls off the production line at the Torslanda plant in Gothenburg on Friday July 3rd, 1970. It was saved and can be seen at the Volvo Museum in Arendal. By then, the multi-talented car had given safe and reliable service to thousands of families all over the world, to numerous police forces plus winning the Acropolis Rally, among many other things. Thousands of Amazons around the world still bear witness of a true survivor, being well looked after collectors cars or mellowed ”million-milers” in daily use. When production is resumed after the industrial vacations in 1970, all Amazon production assets are relocated to the 140-series. The Volvo Amazon is no longer assembled in Halifax or Ghent – all production assets at these plants have already been relocated to the 140-series, but it is still being sold in Canada (for instance ch.-no. 344316). The very last Volvo Amazon cars are shipped in parts to the assembly plant in South Africa later in the fall of 1970, where production continues until December 18th, 1970. According to Volvo’s own definition of model year, these last cars were of model year 1971 and this also how these 192 units were registered in South Africa but the fact is that all of these cars are noted as model year ”T” in the delivery books, which means model year 1970. John Sully, CEO of Motor Assemblies in Durban, hands over the keys to the last produced Volvo Amazon in South Africa (and the last Volvo Amazon produced ever) to the buyer Dion Lardner-Burke, marketing director of the local Volvo importer Lawson Motor Group, on December 18th, 1970. The car was a yellow right-hand drive 122 S with engine B20 B and gearbox M40 (i.e. type designation P133942T) and with chassis number 359918. It was initially used by Lardner-Burke as a company car at Lawson but has despite attempts by Volvo Owners Club of South Africa not been possible to locate.
- Front seat headrests are standard on all markets (due to legal demands)
- Three-point static rear seatbelts are standard in Sweden on cars manufactured after December 31st, 1969 (due to legal demands)
- B20 sticker in rear window removed
- Zenith-Stromberg carburetors now of type 175 CD-2SE, with different needles
- New alternator charging control from Bosch (earlier S.E.V./Motorola)
- New upholsteries with rougher pressings (433, 434, 435)
- New air filter with oval hole placed on side, opposite air inlet
- New shutter housing and air intake on cars with preheated airflow (some markets)
- New control rod for the ventilation unit
- New wiring harness between engine housing and instrument panel
- New steering wheel column lock and ignition switch
- Only colors Black (19), Cherry red (46), California white (42), Dark green (94), Dark blue (96) and Blue (99) available, plus the Police edition (60)
The cars to South Africa:
(Also refer to pictures of ch.-no. 355818)
- Only in 122 S edition *
- Only right hand drive
- Built by Motor Assemblies LTD, Durban South Africa on torpedo wall plate in engine room
- Except for the type designation 133942 and sometimes an S-code, blank type designation plates **
- Four extra reflectors on the body, two white in front and two red in the back ***
- No visible seamline between rear fenders and backend body plate under trunk lid, which P 130 (and P 120) otherwise has ****
- Different and previously not used colors, including a yellow and a darker shade of brown
- Different power brake unit, same as P 1800
- Grey interior rubber mats (same as disappeared in 1965 on other markets)
- Black mats with Volvo ”V” on floor (grey on other markets)
- Older (up to 1964 on other markets) type of window cranks, which are fully chromed (incl. knob)
- Different pressings on the upholstery and different color than on other markets **
- Front door pockets
- Different front seat recliners
- Different pressing on trunk rubber floor mat (but with Volvo part number on it)
- Hub caps similar to, but not same as (won’t interchange), 140-series
Changes during the model year:
- New windshield washer pump and longer hose from ch.-no. 343864
- Changed brackets for brake servo on right hand steered cars from ch.-no. 348931
- California white (42) cars are delivered with blue upholstery (435-637) around ch.-no. 359656 *****
* Carburetor SU HS 6.
** The cars to South Africa were likely shipped unpainted and had some parts, such as upholstery, delivered from local suppliers.
*** Located in the seamline between front and back body plates on B16 cars, front reflectors moved to lower outer corners of grille on B18 and B20 cars.
**** A real characteristic which makes it easy to identify a P 130 (and P 120) assembled in South Africa. The seamlines are there in the front though.
***** The last California white (42) Amazon with red upholstery (434-636) is ch.-no. 359682 but there are cherry red (46) cars with higher ch.-no. that have red upholstery.