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The Volvo Amazon is a mid-size car manufactured by Volvo Cars from 1956 to 1970 and introduced in the USA as the 122S at the New York International Auto Show in April 1959.
The Amazon shared both the wheelbase from its predecessor, the PV, as well as its tall posture and high H-point seating — while offering three model configurations: 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan and wagon. In 1959 Volvo provided front seat belts as standard equipment on all the cars, including the export models, becoming the world’s first manufacturer to take this step — later becoming the first car featuring three-point seat belts.
When introduced, the car was called the Amason (with an ’s’), which derives from the fierce female warriors of Greek mythology, the Amazons. Kreidler, German manufacturer of motorcycles had already registered the name, and the two companies agreed Volvo could only use the name domestically (i.e., within Sweden), modifying the spelling to Amazon. Subsequently, Volvo began its tri-digit nomenclature and the line became known as the 120 Series.
The Amazon was originally manufactured at Volvo’s Lundby plant in Gothenburg and subsequently at the company’s Torslandaverken, which began operating in 1964. By the end of production, 234,653 four-door models, 359,917 two-door models and 73,220 station wagons had been produced, 60% of them for export — for a total of 667,791 vehicles.
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