When you think of Volvo, you probably picture rectilinear designs with the aerodynamics of an open umbrella. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice 122S may fly in the face of that paradigm, but does it come with a price that’s grounded in reality?
When I initially posted yesterday’s 1986 Suzuki Samurai “Super Sammy,” I thought it was just a hoot and a half of a project that might appeal to the zanier car nuts among us. What I didn’t know was that the 440-powered beast was actually a celebrity, having been built for Motor Trend’s Roadkill show. I guess I must have missed that episode. The Super Sammy was rescued from the junkyard and built up with the Mopar V8 by hosts David Freiburger and Steve Dulcich, and then was taken out for some video-friendly shenanigans.
That’s all history, and the Suzuki is now being offered on Craigslist for $2,900. And while most ordinary folks gravitate to the glitz of celebrity, few of you swooned over the rough and tumble Suzuki, killing its chances at a third comeback at life with a 60 percent No Dice loss.
There doesn’t seem to be any celebrity connection with today’s 1967 Volvo 122S. That is unless you consider a Canadian heritage to make it some sort of luminary.
The 122 was first introduced in 1957 and expanded Volvo’s model line from the previous two-door-only PV444 to include that body style plus a sedan and a wagon. All three models would continue in production until 1967, when the four-door was succeeded by the new 144. The two-door and wagon would soldier on for three more model years, until all 122 production ended for good. During that run, the model used the Amason (Amazon) name in Sweden. A copyright issue prevented Volvo from applying the name globally.
Regardless of the name, this two-door looks to be a fine example of the breed and is kitted in a very desirable fashion. Not only does it have the M41 four-speed transmission with Laycock D-Type overdrive, but that has been paired with the larger 2-liter B20 engine rather than the car’s original 1.8-liter B18. This being the S model, that motor breathes though two S.U. HS6 carburetors. Volvo’s OHV B-series is legendary for its durability and as this one is claimed to have been rebuilt before installation, it should have plenty of miles ahead of it.
The hot motor isn’t the only shiny new part on this car either. The seller offers a litany of replaced parts and systems which implies that this 122 needs practically nothing to keep it rolling down the road.
Aesthetically, it’s not quite up to snuff. The ad notes that the car left the factory with a coat of light green paint but was resprayed dark blue at the time of its original sale. It’s since been painted in its present not-quite British Racing Green. That current coat is claimed to be rough in patches with the blue showing up inconveniently, making it look like a frustrating Rubik’s Cube that refuses to be solved.
The painted bumpers will be up to personal taste as well. Some might argue that the look makes the car appear more modern. Others might suggest that it could benefit from the extra brightening the original chromed bumpers would offer.
There’s a bit of road rot here as well. It doesn’t seem to be significant in the external bodywork, but the seller does note break-through around the spare tire well in the boot.
At least the interior looks to be in excellent shape. That’s where you’d spend most of your time in the car anyway. In here you’ll find a very rare dash-mounted Volvo tachometer. That’s atop the padded dash and, as Volvo was really getting into the whole safe car thing during the 122’s production run, there are seat belt mounts at all four positions and shoulder harnesses up in front. The upholstery is in terrific shape, as is the dash cap. There’s some pitting on the brightwork, but it’s not bad. The odometer has rolled over at least once and now reads 28,900 kilometers. Apparently, nothing untoward has happened over the course of those miles, as the car is offered with a clean title.
The seller helpfully supplies a link to a photo gallery showing not only the car in all its present glory but also the sausage-making that brought it to this point. A lot of work has gone into this car, and now it’s our turn to roll up our sleeves and get to work on its $12,500 (Canadian) asking price.
That works out to around $9,850 American, and we’ll need to decide if the car could be worth that. What do you say, could this well preserved but still needed Swede command that much? Or, do the aesthetic issues ensure that price won’t get a second look?
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