In 1956, a prototype of a new passenger car from Volvo was presented. The car became known as the Amazon in Sweden and the 121 and 122S on the export markets. The designation 122S was used for a version with a more powerful engine.
Production began in 1957 and this car was initially regarded as a larger model than the PV444. The fact that the 121/122 S was a 4-door model naturally contributed to this.
The styling was modern and this model was the first car from Volvo with a pontoon body. Customers found the car very attractive. The front was characterised by the two oval air intakes. The rear wings were extended and ended with a hint of a fin, a very popular design feature at the time.
The Amazon 121/122 S also had a very high safety level with features including a padded upper half of the dashboard, a laminated windscreen and seatbelt attachments both front and rear.
In the autumn of 1961, the P120 models included a number of relatively large changes. The previous 1.6-litre engine was replaced by the B18 with an output of 75 or 90 bhp, a 12-volt electrical system and a new grille, while the 90 bhp model featured disc brakes on the front wheels.
The 4-door model of the P120 was produced until the autumn of 1966, when it was replaced by an entirely new car, the Volvo 144.
Model: P 1200 / P 120 AMAZON, Sedan
Variants: P 1200 V, P 1200 H, P 121, P 122 S
Body: 4-door saloon
Engine: 4-cylinder, in-line, overhead valves, 1,583 cc, 79.37 x 80 mm, 60 bhp at 4,500 rpm or 85 bhp at 5,500 rpm. 1961: 1,778 cc , 84.14 x 80 mm, 75 bhp at 4,500 rpm or 90 bhp at 5,000 rpm, increased in 1965 to 95 bhp.
Transmission: 3- or 4-speed manual with or without overdrive, with floor-mounted gear lever (some cars delivered with gearshift mounted on the steering column). 3-speed automatic with gear lever on steering column.
Brakes: Hydraulic drums on all wheels. 1961: disc brakes on front wheels for S versions. 1964: disc brakes on front wheels for all versions.
Dimensions: Overall length 445 cm, wheelbase 2,600 mm.