Roaming the streets of Alameda in search of another street survivor for this series, I spotted this '66 Volvo on the east side of the island...

This one looks like it's been subjected to a steady bombardment of low-speed shopping carts. You can see how Bay Area cars tend to rust: in slow-motion, from the top down. No hurry on fixing that fender.

The Amazon was simple and reliable; you still see a fair number of them chugging along local streets in their stolid Scandinavian manner.

This car was sold in the United States as the 122S, but the home-market Amazon name just sounds so much better. Still, this emblem looks cool, with its suggestion of castle-like safety.

The Amazon was produced back when Swedish men were men and Swedish cars were austere. You got your steering wheel, your AM radio, some gauges. You did not get frills and/or frippery.

Perhaps the myth- and it sure as hell is a myth, at least for the last few decades- of the Reliable Volvo grew out of the rep these cars established. There just wasn't much to go wrong with them.

Cynics might say that the Amazon's design was ripped off from Detroit, circa 1952, but Sweden didn't get one of the world's highest standards of living by dashing headlong into every new trend that came along. If it was good enough for 1952, it's good enough for 1966, ja?

Let's hope this car is still on the road 40 years from now!

SEMA Show: Swedish Volvo Amazon Wagon [internal]