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1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed

Is that a Volvo wagon? Damn straight—and it has 600hp!

Aug 13, 2012
Photographer: Max Earey
Sstp 1208 01+1969 volvo 122 amazon+cover Photo 1/15   |   1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed

Typically in this section we’d be pleasuring you with Hakosukas, AE86s, Celicas and Corollas. But this month, we were inspired by something Swedish. We wish it was during a massage but it happened over drinks one night. We were debating over the best Euros and wagons ever built. The only car we could all agree on was this spectacular ’69 Volvo 122 Amazon wagon.

Sstp 1208 03+1969 volvo 122 amazon+burnout Photo 2/15   |   1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed

While this wagon is a stranger to 99% of you, those who frequented the SEMA show might remember it. In ’06, the 122 Amazon was selected as Sweden’s hottest Volvo. The prize? A round trip ticket for the owner and his car to display in the Volvo booth. Thousands of people including us were trippin’ balls because we had never seen a project done as flawless as this, let alone an old Volvo. It was homebuilt from scratch and incorporated modern tuning and styling while still maintaining its old school swag.

The owner isn’t whom you’d expect either. At the time the owner completed the project, Mattias Vöcks was only 26 years-old. In our twenties we were still chasing girls and partying every other night—wait, we’re still doing that. But Mattias spent every weekend and night for six straight years putting together this wagon. Oh, we almost forgot his day job, too—he’s a mechanic and engineer for supercar-maker Koenigsegg!

But back to the wagon…You won’t find an inch on the car that’s not modified. To start, the fenders and front and rear panels were extended 2” closer to the ground using sheetmetal—this also lined up the exterior with custom side skirts. As for the arches, they were pulled and raised an inch to accommodate the 19” BBS LMs. The doors came next…This wagon would traditionally seat five comfortably, but Mattias shaved the rear doors and reworked the frame for larger Volvo coupe front doors.

Sstp 1208 04+1969 volvo 122 amazon+header Photo 3/15   |   You might think these headers were professionally done but the owner takes cred.

A few other magical touches included the trunk, which features a custom plate recess. We also can’t forget the exit for the side exhaust and relocated fuel door—it’s above the bloody C-pillar!

As for the motor, an 80hp four-cylinder was enough juice back in the day when the Amazon wagon was put on dealer lots. But Mattias’ goal was more than six times this so he sourced a 2.5-liter six-cylinder from a Volvo 960. Before dropping it in, he bored and stroked it to a 2.8, also adding new rods, pistons and crank. Then months were spent handcrafting the perfect manifold and exhaust, followed by porting the custom head and developing a long-runner intake plenum.

With a massive GT4088 turbo bolted on, the moment of time came to squeeze the motor on into the bay. Mind you, this iwasn’t going to be easy as dropping a K-Series in a Civic. This job was completely one-off and it required the firewall to be pushed back eight inches. The motor was then mounted at an angle.

Sstp 1208 05+1969 volvo 122 amazon+wheel Photo 4/15   |   Exhaust and body handcrafted by the owner himself including this sick side-exit.

Tuned to a tad over 600hp, it was just enough muscle to oust Mattias’ favorite opponent—Supras!

Of course the monster needed a buff drivetrain to handle that much abuse. Nothing straight out of the Volvo parts bin worked so Mattias welded a newer 960 front housing together with a Supra five-speed gearbox (ironically, the cars he wants to beat most). More reinforcements came from a BMW M5 clutch, custom driveshaft and upgraded axles.

A custom four-link suspension was designed for the chassis using Suzuki dampers on custom coilovers. And for stopping power, Mattias was able to smuggle some parts out of his office and installed Koenigsegg rotors and calipers all around. These parts alone are probably worth more than the cars we drive!

Just when you thought there couldn’t be anything else, we see the interior. A pair of Sparco seats were custom trimmed in rich red leather, along with nearly every other panel, carpet and accent in the cockpit. And since the rear doors were shaved, the seats weren’t needed. Now you’ll find an intricate 11-point rollcage, fuel cell and a Lexan floor revealing the tranny case, steering rack and chassis.

Sstp 1208 06+1969 volvo 122 amazon+side view Photo 5/15   |   1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed

Truth be told, this wagon stomps on 99% of the many so-called projects we’ve seen in our lifetime. From every panel to nut and bolt, Mattias sacrificed his early- and mid-twenties creating this work of art. It’s undoubtedly one of the hottest Euros and wagons to grace the planet, which is why we’re giving it a big Super Street salute.

Sstp 1208 07+1969 volvo 122 amazon+rear view Photo 6/15   |   1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed
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Sstp 1208 16+1969 volvo 122 amazon+vent Photo 14/15   |   1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed

Your title here...
Tuning Menu
1969 Volvo 122 Amazon
Owner Mattias VÖcks
Hometown Ängelholm, Sweden
Occupation Mechanic and Engineer a Koenigsegg
Power 600+HP, ja!
Engine Volvo 960 2.5-liter inline-six bored to 2.8-liter; SPM pistons and rods; Volvo 3.0 crankshaft; balanced crank and flywheel; Packman ported head; Hedlund cams; adjustable cam tuning; custom aluminum intake plenum, intercooler, stainless steel exhaust manifold and exhaust; Garrett GT4088 turbo; PPF 60mm wastegate; 50mm blow-off valve; twin Bosch 044 fuel pumps; Aeromotive FPR; aluminum expansion tank
Drivetrain Mk3 Toyota Supra five-speed transmission welded to Volvo 960 front housing; BMW M5 clutch; Svea Kardon custom driveshaft; reinforced Volvo 1031 rear axle with Volvo R-Sport differential; Volvo 960 steering rack
Engine Management Nira 13+ engine management
Footwork & Chassis Custom Koyaba coilovers; rebuilt Volvo 240 struts; four-link rear-end with polished stainless steel tubes and Watt’s link; stainless steel arms; adjustable sway bars; front strut brace
Brakes Koenigsegg CC85 340mm front rotors with six-piston calipers, 315mm rear rotors with four-piston calipers; custom hydraulic e-brake with Honda CBR900 calipers; Mercedes A-Class servo
Wheels & Tires 19x8.5" front, 19x10" rear BBS LM wheels with polished lips and black centers; 245/40R19 front, 275/30R19 rear Falken FK-452 tires
Exterior Two-door conversion using Volvo coupe doors; raised hood; 50mm metal fender and panel extensions; wheel arches raised and pulled; XC90-style rear plate recess; air outlets in trunk door; gas cap on roof; side-exit exhaust; Volvo PV-grey paint with extra clearcoat
Interior Sparco Pro2000 seats trimmed in red leather with white stitching; matching leather carpets; Sparco steering wheel and harnesses; custom e-brake, door and side panels; Volvo P1800 dashboard with original and Auto Meter gauges; MPM datalogger in aluminum box above rear view mirror; electric kill switch; color-matched 11-point rollcage; polished Sparco Fire Warrior extinguishers; rear-mounted aluminum fuel cell; Lexan trunk floor to view chassis; firewall moved back 8"; rear-mounted water cooler; aluminum transmission and battery covers

Sstp 1208 11+1969 volvo 122 amazon+seats Photo 15/15   |   1969 Volvo 122 Amazon - Swede For Speed
Sam Du
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