Send this page to a friend!
Fill in the form bellow

your name:
your email:
friend name:
friend email:
your comments:


Chris Bruce2012-02-15 16:27:02

Volvo Amazon Estate Turns 50, the Last of the Old-Fashioned Volvos

Volvo Amazon Estate Turns 50, the Last of the Old-Fashioned Volvos

On February 15, 50 years ago Volvo launched the Amazon Estate at the Stockholm Motor Show and unknowingly heralded the end for its post-war design language. Volvo launched the Amazon sedan in 1956, but it took until 1962 for the estate to come to market. 

"The new estate is a new Volvo model, for which the existing components of the Amazon have been used to the largest possible degree. The result is a fast and roomy passenger car with an extremely good load capacity. Four doors and a split tailgate enhance the positive character just as the design, the quality, the road manners and the overall economy. The aim has been to create a spacious family car for long-distance traveling and leisure needs," said the original press release when the Amazon Estate was released. 

The car was designed to be functional and family friendly. When introduced the Amazon cost the modern equivalent of 16,000 SEK, which is $23,826 or €18,217. The rear seats could be laid down to give either enough room to sleep or increase cargo space significantly. The tailgate was split into two horizontal sections: the lower section folded down and the top section folded up. This gave the car a large opening to load cargo an extra lip to make things even easier. 

The Amazon Estate came with a 75hp, four-cylinder engine that gave it a 140km/h top speed. A twin-carburetor S version came later with 85hp. 

Volvo also worked to make the Amazon Estate inexpensive to build. It used the same doors and chassis as the Amazon sedan, but added a reinforcing member halfway along the roof to reinforce the body. The rear suspension had to be modified to give a low load floor. 

The exterior design remained basically the same other than trim changes throughout its run. However, Volvo made constant performance upgrades to the Amazon Estate. Power front disc brakes replaced the drums in 1964; seats were also improved in 64; a collapsible steering wheel and more powerful 115hp came in 1968; Volvo added a larger 103hp, 2.0 liter four-cylinder in 1969. 

Between 1962 and 1969, Volvo made 73,220 Amazon Estates. The sedan stayed in production until 1970. Volvo launched the Amazon's successor, the 140-series, in 1966, but the station wagon version of the 140-series, the 145, was not released until 1968. That means for a brief period in 1968 and 1969, Volvo had three sizes of station wagon to offer: the Amazon, slightly larger, but far older Duett and brand new at the time and largest 145. 

The 140-series inaugurated the Volvo styling language that existed until the 900-series ended in 1998. The Amazon is the point where Volvo's post-war PV-series of cars ends, and its new style begins. While Volvo's engines remained basically the same over the coming years this is the point where Volvo's styling diverges. 





publish your news and scoops