Compared to its predecessor, the PV, the Amazon was a more modern car available in a wider range of body-styles though the Amazon shared both the wheelbase from the PV as well as its tall posture and high H-point seating. Notably, the Amazon was the first car to feature three-point seat belts, and the first to have any kind of seat belt as standard equipment. When originally introduced, the car was called the Amason (with an 's'), which derives from the fierce female warriors of Greek mythology, the Amazons. Volvo modified the spelling to Amazon and used the name for the range up until 1961, when it initiated its new tri-digit nomenclature and the line became known as the 120 Series. The Amazon's styling was inspired by American cars of the early 1950s, strongly resembing the Chrysler New Yorker sedan and the Chrysler 300C hardtop Coupe. According to designer Jan Wilsgaard, the Amazon's styling was inspired by a Kaiser automobile he saw at the Gothenburg harbour. Notably, the Amazon(122) featured strong articulation front to rear, pronounced "shoulders", and slight but visible tailfins. These features became inspiration for Peter Horbury when reconceiving Volvo's design direction with the V70 A—after decades of rectilinear, slab-sided, boxy designs.
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