Probably the most famous Volvo of all the 120 Series, like the PV, had American inspired styling, with the same taught bull-nosed look as the Chrylers did in their mid 1950s period. It also gained a reputation for durability, with an amazing resistance to corrosion because of the high quality steel used in its construction. Mechanically it was pure PV444 at first with three speeds on the early 121s, but the range began to look quite a lot more interesting after 1958, with the introduction of the twin-carb 122S, which had four speeds as standard. As the 1960s unfolded so did the successful Amazon range, it was only sold under that name in Sweden, though, it grew even more complex. With the bigger 1.8 liter B18 engine of 1961 came optional two door bodywork (131) and again you could have single carb or twin carb (S) variants. The five door Estate was known as the 221 and later, with twin carbs, the 222.
Overdrive was a commonly specified option on the Amazon, and front disc brakes were standard from 1965 onwards. Rarest and most desirable of the breed was the 123 GT with its stronger 115bhp, coming in the much better looking two door shell. To some of its enthusiasts, the Amazon has become known as ‘The car that cannot die’. The durability of the Volvo 120 series is certainly without doubt, as the surprisingly high number of roadworthy and rust free, Amazon still attest to.