Even though demand for their PV series continued at a high level, by the early Fifties, Volvo was already planning their replacement- one that would take the company into the Sixties.

Possibly launched ahead of its time, the Amazon was ready to make its first public appearance in 1956, almost two years before the release of the PV544, which it was supposed to replace.

  Marketed as the Amazon in Sweden, for export markets, the model was labelled as the  121 and 121S, with a more powerful version released as the 122S.

The twin identities appeared to be overelaborate, although they did represent a significant logistical problem for the Volvo management team.

The problem was that the Amazon label had already been solely granted to a West German motorcycle manufacturer, meaning that in Europe, the 121 had to be marketed by model number alone.

Production for the Amazon/121 started in Gothenburg but later moved to Torlanda, an island just to the northwest of Volvo's home city.

Volvo soon realised that they had developed a vehicle that the car-buying public of the mid-Fifties were looking for- light and more pleasing to look at than its predecessors whilecontinuing Volvo's reputation for reliability and durability.

The 120 was the first model produced by Volvo with a pontoon body, more streamlined in appearance by its dual oval air intakes.

According to Volvo, the Amazon 121 was the first car in the World to be fitted with seat belts when Volvo upgraded their safety provisions going into the Sixties.

These included standard lap-strap front seat belts, three-point seat belts for all passengers, a padded upper dashboard, and a laminated windshield.

Although the  Amazon/121 was regarded as being ahead of its time, especially in terms of safety features, by the end of the Fifties,  Volvo were well aware that the model was overdue for a facelift

In 1962 Volvo's stand at the Stockholm Auto Show of 1962 must have been a hive of activity, with three news cars making their debut.

While a  lot of attention was understandably focused on the new and exciting 1800 sports coupe,  for the more practical the new generation Amazons, included an eagerly awaited estate version, were equally well received.

The Volvo Amazon 122 Series, available either as a two-door and four-door sedan and the estate version, were powered by a 1782 cc engine, this time matched up to a  four-speed manual gearbox was added.

Overdrive was also available for those who opted for a manual gearbox, while automatic transmission became another option from 1964.  

With the 122 series, Volvo began to focus more on increasing passenger comfort and safety, introducing a unique design of reclining front seats that could be individually adjusted to find the optimum driving position.   

Disc brakes became standard on all Amazon 122s models, while the estate was fitted with power-assisted brakes.

The Amazon 122 came with a specially designed two-piece tailgate to ease cargo loading, which allowed the lower section to fold completely flat.

This feature provided the dual advantage of providing a flat and stable load-bearing surface, which with the upper section of the tailgate capable of opening to its maximum, thanks to specially designed hinges, allowed  more than ample access and added length

The 122 series remained in production throughout the Sixties, selling close to six hundred models, the " Amazons" last.

Domestic production was phased out in 1967, although the model did remain in production at other Volvo subsidiaries throughout the World until the summer of 1970.

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