The value of our 1965 Volvo 122S increased by $5,000 in value in less than four months.  

On April 19, 2021, it sold on Bring a Trailer for $20,000. There were 851 watchers, 22,150 views, 105 comments and 13 bids.

No Reserve: 1966 Volvo 122S


After being listed again, on August 18, it sold for $25,000. This time there were 708 watchers, 12,428 views, 87 comments and 14 bids.

No Reserve: 1966 Volvo 122S


According to Matt Crandall of the Avant-Garde Collection who markets our cars on BaT for us, the April buyer never saw or took delivery of the car. He simply decided he didn’t want an automatic 122, and asked Matt to resell the car for him.

Since Avant-Garde charges a fee for the cars it represents, this was an easy one for Matt. The car had already been prepped and the photos taken. So it was just a matter of relisting the car.

For the original buyer, he got a nice reward for changing his mind. He walked away with, after commissions, a few thousands of dollars in his pocket for buying and selling a car without ever seeing it.

From my perspective, everyone did better on this deal than I did!

This set of transactions points out the mystery of any auction. Second time around the car was no longer “fresh to market,” it was slightly tainted by being put up for resale so quickly (“What was wrong with the car that the buyer didn’t want to keep it?”), there were fewer watchers, views, comments and bids.

Yet when the dust settled, the winning bid was $5,000 greater than the first time around.

I’d like to say there was a lesson to be learned here, but I think the only one would be the unpredictability of the marketplace. In general, a buyer who has a change of heart is punished by the market. But in this case, he was rewarded.

However, I would not advocate this as a strategy for car flipping in the long run. It just doesn’t play out this way very often.

Congratulations to Avant-Garde and the first buyer.

To the current owner, my thoughts are that this original-paint 122S was a remarkable car, and I regret selling it. If the bidding had stalled, I was stupidly considering buying it back myself. Even at $25k, I think it was well bought and the owner got an on-the-button, no excuses car.



  1. If this car brought $25K, what would a 1967 Citroen ID station wagon in very good condition bring? There seems to be a strong re-calibration needed here.

  2. Hello Keith. I understand your seller’s regret. Several years ago, you published my short essay on our one-family P1800S in SCM, with a kind note from you, telling me I should keep the jewel forever. Well, the time has come for some changes in our life and I want to send the grey shadow to a new, very caring home. I adore the car, and have spent some good money on little fixes that put it in “fine fettle”. It runs and drives very well, starting instantly, and cruising very comfortably on long trips (overdrive). But, we have moved (with it) to the South of France and I never get to drive it. I can easily ship it anywhere in the world, and wonder if you could help us find the right caretaker for it (and happy to give you first choice at it). I have lots of good photos, a full, accurate description, and its history. Also, thank you for your delightful work over the years. I’ll start the story here, and hope it’s not too long. If it is, I’ll continue in a second blog comment:
    – – 1964, snowy, sunny, and Christmas-morning quiet in Pa., with our family starting to open presents, when my teenage ears, always car-alert, heard an engine outside. I ran to a window, but I saw, instead of Santa, a man in a suit and tie placing a big red bow on the windshield of a gathering-storm grey P1800S on our front lawn. It was the owner of the William Berg Volvo dealership delivering my Dad’s surprise Christmas present to my Mom.
    We all ran out, Mom in her normal dressing gown with a fur (oh, no!) coat thrown over it. Lots of amazed adoration, and then Mom jumped in and motored off down our country road. She drove that baby like Andretti would have, until she was 89, when a bad shoulder kept her from lifting the shifter into reverse. It was always kept in her garage, and then later, inside my big garage. It had one excellent repaint, in the original color, and its red leather (not vinyl) seats, coddled yearly by Lexol, and interior are 100% original.
    Several years ago, William Berg retired, and being locally very prominent, was interviewed by the Bethlehem, Pa. paper. He was asked what was the most memorable occasion in his long-lived dealership; he then described the Christmas delivery of my Mom’s car as his favorite memory.
    It sounds elegantly glorious and sporty, is super comfortable on long trips, and has a wonderful personality. It’s been a central element in my life, a reliable, honest old friend. I’m tired of the current, chic term, “full transparency”, but here we go:
    I replaced the speedo ages ago when it had 20k miles on it. The replacement now shows 28,302, giving an accurate total of less than 50k. The oil temp gauge is inoperable, but all else works well, sometimes including the clock. It runs very well, stops correctly (has all new brakes, including front calipers), all new ball joints, steering ends, front shocks and bushings, and front end alignment. The tires are a bit dry, but have very good tread. Like most Volvos, it doesn’t leak at all. It starts instantly, holds excellent oil pressure, charges properly, and has never overheated. As I’m sure you know, a Swedish assembly car, with the bullhorn bumpers and cast eggcrate grille are pretty rare.
    Staying ahead of the ageing curve, I had almost all the exterior chrome redone in triple plate about 4 years ago by Frankford Plating in Philly, who does super work that doesn’t show it’s not factory. The exhaust works fine, as do all the lights. The city/country horn is temperamental, but probably needs just terminal cleaning. The glass is all original and very good, but for a light scratch in the rear windshield, and a wiper trace in the front. The original headliner has nothing wrong with it, other than an inability to all stay attached to the roof! I have the correct new material in a box, but haven’t found anyone over here who I trust to replace it (the Volvo arrived here Feb. 2020). The original carpets are amazingly nice (My mom was light and very neat)! The bulletproof Volvo gearbox is excellent, and its overdrive works well when one follows the factory guidelines and lifts off the gas to engage it. The throwout bearing is noisy, but works well. The original rubbers are all good (the one in the trunk is new as of 2019), except for the engine bay edge.
    There were several spots of rust underneath that were properly welded up, treated with an acid neutraliser, and then undercoated, making it very solid. The radio is a vintage Volvo AM-FM and works well.
    Considering its originality, one-owner (still with its original title) provenance, and the rarity of the bumper, cast-grille, and Swedish assembly, I would like to get maximum money for it, but don’t really know what the market dictates…

    Geoffrey H. Reis France

    [email protected]