Monday, December 2, 2013

5k: Back To Normal: 1965 Volvo 122S Amazon Survivor

The Volvo 122S/Amazon  is regular feature on Daily Turismo because they are rugged, cool looking and (most importantly) cheap!  Imagine our shock/horror/flabergastification (that isn't a word) when we witnessed an original condition one we featured skyrocket from the $8k when we picked it up to $36k at the end of bidding...which turned out to be some funny business, but the car still get $18k when the auction ended the second time, or roughly twice normal going rate.  Faith in humanity shaken, we continue to cautiously monitor the 122S/Amazon market for good deals and this one looks to be a well used and abused classic for a blue collar price.  Find this 1965 Volvo 122S Amazon for sale in Auburn, WA currently bidding for $4,550 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go.

This 122S wears its original black coat of paint as applied by the factory in Sweden and the seller (a small time dealer/flipper in WA) claims he purchased it from the original owner a few weeks ago.  We'd always prefer to purchase this kind of vehicle from the previous owner/driver, but sometimes one shows up at a dealer/flipper and you've got no choice but to pay them man his profit for nice photos and (if you are lucky) a set of sparkplugs, an oil change and some detailing work.

The engine bay hasn't been detailed or subjected to any quick spray-paint-details (thankfully!) and the B18 4-cylinder probably sounds like a sewing machine at idle. Even though these engines lack a cross-flow head (intake and exhaust ports & manifolds are on the same side of the engine) they make up for their agricultural nature with a "rorty" exhaust note and good fun-per-dollar value.

The interior looks great with a read-on-black color scheme and a spindly unicorn horn shifter is capped with the hope diamond.  We can only imagine spinning the thin spoked steering wheel like a captain of a tug boat - ding ding!!

We love the Amazon's styling - it was penned by Volvo designer extraordinaire Jan Wilsgaard, who was born in Brooklyn but went on to design almost all of our favorite vintage Volvos. Although he didn't design the P1800, he was responsible for its transformation into the sleek 1800ES. The Amazon is clearly inspired by '50s American cars, with its pontoon fenders, vestigial tailfins and wide-mouth grille. It's a stark contrast to Wilsgaard's subsequent work on the 140 and 240 series.

See a better classic 122S/Amazon for sale? email us here:


  1. That would be Auburn Wa just down the hill from me .

    1. Yes, JB1025 you are correct, slip of the keyboard. Fixed!

  2. Not that it matters but this car was posted on CL for $2200 about a month ago. I have no problem with people that flip cars but Mark's buddy spotted this car on craigslist nor in a parking lot.

    1. it's an interesting, almost philosophical question: whyfor CL versus eBay? certainly there's overlap, but the venn diagram seems relatively clear:

      - primarily local audience
      - free and easy to post
      - clear distinction between owner and dealer sellers
      - no shipping issues
      - minimal oversight and rules

      - national and even international audience
      - structured postings, better filter and sort options
      - fuzzy distinction between owners and dealer sellers
      - shipping
      - buyer and seller protection, lots of rules

      no doubt there's more to it - but the stories should generally fit:
      - eBay for rare, newer, unusual and/or higher value cars
      - CL for more fungible and/or lower value cars

      other factors can skew it: laziness, comfort with one site or the other, not wanting to deal with callers and people dropping by - the size of the metro area is probably a factor too, with big city CLs covering a diverse enough market that sellers can reasonably go either way, whereas in small metros unless it's a very usual car you might have trouble ever finding a buyer

      this is where flippers come in - when a car is on CL but really should be on eBay (or on a used car lot for that matter), and the seller doesn't want to deal with it, the flipper spots it and moves it upstream - if they can resist the temptation to futz with the story and the car, and don't get too obviously flippy about it, none of us will probably mind, and even would call it a service - on the other hand, like with that green peugeot from a few weeks ago, we get a bit indignant

      anyway, that's how i see it from putting a bit of time and effort into this activity - your perspective may vary, and i'd be interested to hear it

  3. It was high bid to $4,550 but didn't make reserve, so now it's been re-listed with bids at $1,625 and a BIN at $4,789.
    Time will tell I guess, but I do wonder if the seller wasn't better off with the original high bid.

    I do like this car though, a nice looking survivor with a wonderful paint/interior colour combo.


  4. I sold this car to the flipper. I purchased it for $1200 just a month before this from the 3rd owner. I stiched the seat seams back together and renewed the passenger door pocket and installed the crystal door knob....I sold the car for $3200


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