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Volvo Amazon Original Paint

The color code identifies the original paint color of the body from factory and can be found on the type designation plate in the engine bay. The color codes on this page represent the normal and official colors found on Volvo Amazon between 1957 and 1970 in Sweden. The same color codes were used on several Volvo models, for instance dark blue (96) which was used both on the Amazon and on the 140-series. They are of course exactly the same color. Test paints that were tested on the Volvo Amazon later became production paints on the P 1800 and the 164, including steel blue metallic (102).

Sections: Single tone and two tone Metallic Paint codes Colors per model year Touch-up paint Test paint




Single tone and two tone

From being available in a two-tone finish the first years, the Volvo Amazon became available in single tone finish only in the early 1960s, except the Police edition. The first single tone cars were option already from the start in 1956, started to become more common in 1961 and became standard in 1962. The two prototypes X1 and X2 (read more about them in the section on history) were two toned and a vast majority of all Amazons produced up until 1961 were two toned. In the beginning the Amazon was available as Black with grey beige roof (paint code 49), as Grey beige with black roof (paint code 50), as Cherry red with grey beige roof (paint code 51) and later, from ch.-no. 1933, as Midnight blue with grey beige roof (paint code 54). There has probably been a paint code 52 and a paint code 53 too, but which colors these represented has not been possible to establish. What has been possbile to establish though, is that Volvo experimented a lot with colors on the Amazon early in the production. Midnight blue with grey beige roof (54) is found already on ch.-no. 19 but was then probably a test paint.

Single toned cars prior to 1961 are uncommon, but Volvo explicitly write in sales brochures already in 1956 that single tone cars are available as option (for instance RK 6112 page 2). Among these are Black (19) and Olive green (56) dominant. Single cars were painted single toned in different colors from factory (often on request) prior to 1961 and then have a different paint code than found in the table below. But fact was that most customers wanted their Amazon two toned and it is easy to see why - it is undeniably one of the real characteristics of the car. None the less there are several single toned cars with low ch.-no. to be found in the delivery books for the first series produced Amazons, such as California white (42), Maroon red metallic (21), red (22) and beige (25) plus several other colors whose meaning have not been possible to establish (for instance 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 32, 41 and 52).

The colors in the two-toned cars are synonyms of eachother, meaning that the black color in 49 and 50 respectively is paint code 19. In the same way the red color in 51 is paint code 46 (which in turn, by the way, is synonym with other red paints that does not occur on the Amazon, such as 43), and the midnight blue color in 54 is paint code 31 (synonym also with 35 and 45). The grey beige color in the two-toned cars is paint code 65. The last two tone cars sold to the public were of model year 1961. The police edition was in black and white and remained in production from 1958 up until 1970 but the first model years typically have color code 19 stated (not 60). The very first police painted cars that Volvo delivered to the Swedish police were Amazons and had white roofs (later black). In total, Volvo delivered some 750 Volvo Amazon in police edition (including unmarked cars) to the Swedish police.

Metallic

In 1952, Volvo introduced the classic maroon paint of so called metallichrome type on the PV 444 (which up until then mostly came as either black or grey). Metallichrome was the metallic paint of the time, a beautiful shining cellulose based paint that was notoriously difficult to maintain - the beautiful shine soon disappeared despite proper care and the paint was generally fragile. The color code was 8 and was replaced with a synthetic paint of the same tone in 1955, now with color code 21. There are a few early Volvo Amazons with paint code 21 (Red metallic) from factory. 21 is together with the test paints 53/90 (Silver metallic), 53/91 (Bluegreen metallic) and 53/102 (Steelblue metallic) the only know metallic paints on Volvo Amazon. The test paint 53/92 is probably also a metallic paint.

Paint codes

The table below lists the official color names that the cars were delivered as. For marketing reasons it was common that the same paint code was named differently on different markets and therefore has more than one color name. Please note that the information on this page is a translation from Swedish. The exact wording of the color names may therefore differ from the official Volvo color name, but their meaning remains the same. Please also note that not all colors listed on a model year below were available on all markets at the same time. This is particularly true around the 1961 model year whith the broader introduction of single tone cars and as Volvo 122 S was introduced in the USA. Further, all colors were not available on all editions. Particularly the Volvo Amazon Favorit and the Volvo 123 GT had limited color ranges, which also differed per market. Volvo Amazon Favorit sold very well in Norway and Denmark and was available there as Cherry red (46) and Light blue (95), colors that were not available on the Favorit in Sweden. Similarly, the Volvo Canadian GT was available as Light green (91) and Light blue (95). The foreign assembly plants in South Africa and Chile painted the cars that they assembled themselves and these were shipped from Gothenburg with the field for color on the type designation plate empty. These cars are therefore found in different colors than the ones produced in Sweden.

There are more deviations. California white (42), for instance, took a break between 1963 and 1968 when Pearl white (79) was the only white alternative. Other minor deviations occur, including specially painted cars - National Road Administration yellow (55) and Military green (58) are two examples, as is Royal blue (31) which was the paint code used on the Amazons delivered each year between 1958 and 1966 to the Royal Danish Court. Another is the fire departments in Sweden that used the Estate as command vehicles which were painted in Cherry red (46), a combination that was not sold to the public.

Another short lived production paint on the Volvo Amazon was blue green (85) which is found on early 1964 cars (and also on the PV 544), but was discontinued due to quality reasons. The paint took too long to dry which caused delays in the production and so it was discontinued. Note also that Volvo is not consistent in their use of their own color codes: for instance 59 denominates Pearl grey in the early years (pre 120-series) and later Olive green. How Volvo managed to keep this mess of colors in order remains a mystery.

The picture above is of the type designation plate of Volvo's first series produced Amazon. From the top type designation (P 1200), chassis number (1), color exterior (12), color interior (12) and upholstery (455). The car is Grey beige with black roof today, but was supposedly painted Pigeon blue with white roof from factory and this is probably the meaning of paint code 12. The car is on display at the Svedino car museum in Ugglarp but is in a quite miserable condition. Pictures of the interior give a hint of what the color Pigeon blue looked like, as the car is not repainted on the inside.

Some paint codes are accompanied by yet another digit, for instance 79-1, which indicates a different tone of 79. The paint is supposed to match Volvo pearl white (79) but slight differences in tone can occur. Most resellers recommend using the exact same paint code when making improvements. However, Volvo sells touch-up paint for both 79 and 79-1 under the same part number (277346). Known tones for the Volvo Amazon are 31-4*, 56-1, 60-1, 67-1, 79-1, 80-1, 80-2 and 95-1.

Please click here for an incomplete list of combinations of paint and upholstery codes.

Please note that the examples below are only for illustration and are not exact color reflections.

* Special delivery to the Royal Danish Court. Including P12134VK182906, S-1217 (?).

Color code
Color
Example
Model year
Comments
19 Black 1957 - 1970 Estate only 1966 - 1967.
31, 31-4 Midnight blue / royal blue 1961, 1966 31-4: P12134VE182906 *
35 Midnight blue / royal blue 1961
42 California white / ivory white 1961 - 1962, 1969 - 1970 Also ch.-no. 2 (1957)
46 Cherry red / ruby red 1962 - 1970 Also the Estate (for the Fire Department: P22134VF33749, P223361P65608)
49 Two-tone: Black with grey beige roof top 1957 - 1961 Black (19) and grey beige (65)
50 Two-tone: Grey beige with black roof top 1957 - 1961 Grey beige (65) and black (19)
51 Two-tone: Cherry red with grey beige roof top 1957 - 1961 Cherry red (46) and grey beige (65)
54 Two-tone: Midnight blue with grey beige roof top 1957 - 1961 Midnight blue (31) and grey beige (65). From ch.-no. 1933.
56, 56-1 Olive green 1957 - 1961
59 Olive green 1959 - 1961
60, 60-1 Police edition 1966 - 1970 Black (19) and white (189). 60-1 see P221341SP72173.
65 Grey beige / light grey 1961 - 1962 Only USA 1961.
67, 67-1 Slate blue / pastel blue 1961 - 1964
72 Fawn brown / brown 1962 - 1963 Not the Estate.
73 Mist green / light green 1961 - 1963
79, 79-1 Pearl white / white 1963 - 1968
80, 80-1, 80-2 Graphite grey / grey 1963 - 1966 80-2 see P22134VE25356.
84 Golden yellow / yellow / desert sand 1964 - 1965
85 Blue green / turquoise 1964 Early cars. Canceled due to quality issues. Also on the PV 544.
89 Light blue / horizon blue 1965 - 1966
90 Dark blue / navy blue 1965 - 1966
91 Light green 1966 - 1967
94 Dark green / green 1967 - 1970
95, 95-1 Light blue / ice blue 1967 - 1968
96 Dark blue / royal blue / Pacific blue 1967 - 1970
97 Light yellow / yellow / sand yellow / Sahara yellow 1968 - 1969
99 Blue / medium blue / sky blue / Mediterranean blue 1969 - 1970

There is some information of another variant of the color black, paint code 63, on Volvo Amazon during the model years 1961-1966 and another variant of the color light blue, paint code 86, during the model years 1965-1966 but these remain unverified and are therefore not included here. It is fully probable that they exist though, especially since Volvo had several other color doubles on the Amazon (31 and 35, 56 and 59).

Black and white police cars were delivered already in 1958, but typically with color code 19 stated. The police cars were based on the regular sport edition (Amazon Sport, 122 S) and equiped for the police at a special station after the car had left the production line. Deviations in paint and color codes therefore occur. Unmarked police cars - typically black (19) - did not have color code 60 but can be distinguished by the ending P in the type designation after the model year letter as well as by the S-codes. The police cars had several different upholsteries, some that are S-coded, but were predominantely red.

Colors per model year

Below is essentially the same table again but listed per model year (i.e. what colors were available per model year). Note that Volvo at least marketed that some colors only came in combination with a particular upholstery (see the section on combinations) and with certain engines and gearboxes, but exceptions should occur considering that marketing differed in different markets, that not all editions where available on all markets and that a paying customer with a firm idea of the equipment level of his/her new Volvo had a pretty good chance of getting what they wanted at Volvo. Test paints or other special colors are not included in this list.

Model year
Colors
Comments
1957 Black (19)
Black with grey beige roof top (49)
Grey beige with black roof top (50)
Cherry red with grey beige roof top (51)
Midnight blue with grey beige roof top (54)
Olive green (56)
1958 Black (19)
Black with grey beige roof top (49)
Grey beige with black roof top (50)
Cherry red with grey beige roof top (51)
Midnight blue with grey beige roof top (54)
Olive green (56)
1959 Black (19)
Black with grey beige roof top (49)
Grey beige with black roof top (50)
Cherry red with grey beige roof top (51)
Midnight blue with grey beige roof top (54)
Olive green (56, 59)
1960 Black (19)
Black with grey beige roof top (49)
Grey beige with black roof top (50)
Cherry red with grey beige roof top (51)
Midnight blue with grey beige roof top (54)
Olive green (56, 59)
1961 Black (19)
California white (42)
Midnight blue (31, 35)
Black with grey beige roof top (49)
Grey beige with black roof top (50)
Cherry red with grey beige roof top (51)
Midnight blue with grey beige roof top (54)
Olive green (56, 59)
Grey beige (65)
Slate blue (67)
Mist green (73)
1962 Black (19)
California white (42)
Cherry red (46)
Grey beige (65)
Slate blue (67)
Fawn brown (72)
Mist green (73)
1963 Black (19)
Cherry red (46)
Slate blue (67)
Fawn brown (72)
Mist green (73)
Pearl white (79)
Graphite grey (80)
1964 Black (19)
Cherry red (46)
Slate blue (67)
Pearl white (79)
Graphite grey (80)
Golden yellow (84)
Blue green (85)
1965 Black (19)
Cherry red (46)
Pearl white (79)
Graphite grey (80)
Golden yellow (84)
Light blue (89)
Dark blue (90)
1966 Black (19)
Cherry red (46)
Pearl white (79)
Graphite grey (80)
Light blue (89)
Dark blue (90)
Light green (91)
1967 Black (19)
Cherry red (46)
Pearl white (79)
Light green (91)
Dark green (94)
Light blue (95)
Dark blue (96)
1968 Black (19)
Cherry red (46)
Pearl white (79)
Dark green (94)
Light blue (95)
Dark blue (96)
Light yellow (97)
1969 Black (19)
California white (42)
Cherry red (46)
Dark green (94)
Dark blue (96)
Light yellow (97)
Blue (99)
1970 Black (19)
California white (42)
Cherry red (46)
Dark green (94)
Dark blue (96)
Blue (99)

In contemporary sales literature, Volvo write that the Amazon's body "undergoes thorough rustprotection where it first is washed very carefully, after which the body is bonderized and given a light etched surface that increases the adhesiveness of the paint. It is then dipped in a special rustprotective paint, dried and checked before being ready for treatement in Volvo's modern paint shop. In the paint shop, the durable priming and middle paints are applied and finally the impact resistant and beautiful top coating. Thanks to the meticulous preparations and the modern paint methods the body is left with a shiny and beatuiful surface, which keeps its luster and its protective properties for a very long time."

Touch-up paint

Some paint codes are interexchangeable, i.e. the same paint is delivered under the same part number for more than one paint code. As an example of this, Volvo states the following touch-up paints in an accessories catalogue. Note that all paint codes do not apply to the 120-series. The table below gives the hint that despite Volvo's great variety of paint codes, several of them are in fact identical (atleast from a touch-up perspective).

Paint
Paint codes
Part number
Black 19, 49, 50 277020
Midnight blue 31, 35, 45, 54 277022
California white 42 277024
Cherry red 43, 46, 51 277025
Grey beige 43, 44, 45, 49, 50, 51, 54, 65 277026
Golden beige 48 277028
Olive green 56, 56-1, 68, 68-1 277029
Slate blue 67, 67-1 277030
Fawn brown 72 277031
Mist green 73 277032
Pearl white 79, 79-1 277346
Graphite grey 80, 80-1 277350
Golden yellow 84 277448

Test paint

A smaller amount of cars were painted in test colors. These cars have the digits "53" stated before the paint code (the "53" indicates that the paint producer was DuPont). With the exception of 53/102 very few cars were painted in test colors, commonly only one unit. 53/102 was relatively common on the 1967 123 GT - maybe as many as 100 cars - and is also found on the 121 that same year.

Some early test paints, like 53/23 and 53/27, later became official production paints on Volvo Amazon. Steel blue metallic (102) is an official paint on the Volvo 164 as well as on the P 1800, but never made it on the Amazon.

More test paint colors than the ones found in the table below could exist.

Paint code
Paint
Model year
Comments
53/23 Mist green 1961 ch.-no. 56087 (P 120)
53/24 Olive yellow 1961 ch.-no. 56088 (P 120)
53/25 Cloud blue 1961 ch.-no. 56089 (P 120)
53/26 Seal brown 1961 ch.-no. 56090, 61396 (P 120)
53/27 Fawn brown 1961 ch.-no. 56094, 61398 (P 120)
53/28 Navy blue 1961 ch.-no. 56091 (P 120)
53/29 Deep blue 1961 - 1962 ch.-no. 56092, 94443 (P 120)
53/30 Night blue 1961 ch.-no. 56093 (P 120)
53/31 Mercedes grey 1961 - 1962 ch.-no. 61397, 94441 (P 120)
53/33 <not stated> 1962 ch.-no. 94442 (P 120)
53/34 <not stated> 1962 ch.-no. 94440 (P 120)
53/56 <not stated> 1964 ch.-no. 8392 (P 220)
53/57 <not stated> 1964 ch.-no. 8393 (P 220)
53/58 <not stated> 1964 ch.-no. 8394 (P 220)
53/59 <not stated> 1964 ch.-no. 8395 (P 220)
53/60 <not stated> 1964 ch.-no. 8396 (P 220)
53/64 Dark blue 1964 ch.-no. 76363 - 76372 (P 130)
53/65 Grey beige 1964 ch.-no. 78416 - 78421 (P 130)
53/90 Silver metallic 1966 ch.-no. 189059 - 189062 (P 130, 122 S)
53/91 Blue green metallic 1967 - 1968 ch.-no. 234837 - 234937, 235787 - 235817, 237351, 237993 (P 130 *), 62767 (P 220, 122 S)
53/92 <unknown> 1967 P 130, 121
53/102 Steel blue metallic 1967 ch.-no. 230401, 233390, 233622, 233982 (P 130 **), 58022 (P 220, 122 S)

* Mostly 123 GT, but also a few 121 (for instance ch.-no. 237351 and 237993) and 122 S (for instance ch.-no. 62767).
** Mostly 123 GT, but also a few 121 (for instance ch.-no. 241848, 241868, 243358, 243366 and 249574) and 122 S (for instance ch.-no. 58022).

Examples of type designation plates from Amazons with test paints:

53/90
53/91
53/92
53/102


Volvo Amazon
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Karl Eric Målberg and Fredrik Lofter