Back when there wasn’t much in the way of affordable sporty sedans for North American drivers, Volvo was one of the only choices. BMW was only just beginning to emerge from its odd super-luxury/super-economy strategy with the New Class 1500, Alfa was great but not as maintenance-free as most Americans wanted, and the American successes of Datsun were just a glint in their daddy’s eye. Debuting in 1956 with Chrysler-aping styling, by 1962 the 122S sported a dual-carburetor, 1.8-liter engine good for about 95hp. Let’s take a look at this 1962 Volvo 122S for sale for $2450 in Belmont, CA.
Pre-facelift 122 features about on this car, including the smoothie hubcaps with body color wheels, gold Volvo 122S fender badges, slimmer headlight trim rings and cross-bars bisecting the two grill openings. Unfortunately, the passenger-side hubcaps appear to be missing, and the paint is past its prime. The seller says the only rust to be found on the car is in the spare tire well, of which a photo is included, showing a sheet metal patch.
Things look pretty good in the back too, though the chrome trim appears to be missing from the tail lights, and the bumper is not laser-straight. The car still wears its (likely original) black plates, though perhaps it would have started out with earlier black-on-yellow tags. Though the year sticker is missing, registration and title are said to be up to date with no back fees.
The car benefits from much recent work, including new battery, fuel filters, water pump, valve cover gasket, spark plugs, thermostat, oil and filter, air filters, clutch slave cylinder, antifreeze, rear shocks, new starter, and reconditioned fuel tank, radiator, and rear wheel cylinders. The overall cleanliness of the engine substantiates these claims, and the hood also appears to have a new insulating blanket. The car also comes with a new set of shock absorbers and polyurethane bushings.
On the negative side, the seller has lost the keys, and the brake system needs bleeding. The car is said to need a tow to its new home, so perhaps the bleeding process was problematic. The interior looks quite decent, though the seats don’t appear to be as supportive as those found in later cars. Aside from the saggy door pockets, the interior looks quite tidy, with a relatively clean dash sporting a Volvo branded radio. If the car runs as well as it’s said to, this looks like quite a fair deal needing some minor cosmetic attention.