Build your own Volvo Amazon convertible

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It is both technically and in terms of regulations possible to build an Amazon convertible yourself and get it on Dutch registration. However, this is not easy. The biggest challenges are:

  1. Obtaining Dutch registration
  2. Reinforce chassis construction
  3. Beautiful shape roof and side rear windows

Volvo Amazon convertibles in The Netherlands

As far as I know, there are 6 Amazon convertibles with Dutch registration. Four via import and two built on a chassis of a Duett (one of which is actually still half a Duett). Another one is being converted for Dutch registration.

In addition to these from/in the Netherlands I have a page with many Amazon convertible photos.

Obtaining Dutch registration

An Amazon convertible is already special, and one with a Dutch registration is even more so. There are roughly three possibilities to obtain a Dutch registration:

  • Convert an Amazon and then convertible registration via RDW
  • Amazon coach on a separate chassis
  • Importing an Amazon convertible from EFTA country
RDW Volvo Amazon convertible license plate AM   39   33

PS. No rights can be derived from the descriptions on this website. It is a description of my knowledge and experiences and may also be outdated.

Convert an Amazon and then convertible registration via RDW

The rules of the RDW make it quite difficult for an Amazon to get it registered as a convertible. The RDW writes the following about this:

The vehicle must be presented for inspection at an RDW inspection station. When converting a closed vehicle with self-supporting bodywork to a convertible, the requirement of (type) approval applies. The applicant shall provide a declaration of conformity from the manufacturer/importer or a test report from TCL.

For the Amazon, however, there is no declaration of conformity from Volvo. A test report from the Test Centre Lelystad is a very difficult task (also financially). However, no separate approval is required if:

  • The chassis was put into service before 01-01-1976 and the front axle is equipped with torsion spring.
  • the chassis more than 27 cm has been shortened.
  • the chassis has not been shortened or has been shortened by less than 27 cm, but has been reinforced with a tube of 30x30x3 mm along the entire length of the side edge of the base plate.

For an Amazon, this means that you either have to shorten the chassis by more than 27cm or strengthen it with a tube of 30x30x3mm. The latter is the most realistic.

The construction is visually assessed for soundness. The application card states how the construction was carried out.

So it is possible, but it is quite a task.

Amazon coach on a separate chassis

Based on the sentence: “When converting a closed vehicle with self-supporting bodywork to a convertible, the requirement of (type) approval applies.” from the RDW regulations, the reverse also applies:

When converting a closed vehicle with a separate body, the requirement does not apply.

Volvo Duett Chassis as the basis for a convertible

A Volvo P210 (Duett) has a separate chassis. This means that the car is not dependent on its roof for stiffness. The moment you set up an Amazon coach there, you have an Amazon convertible that meets the requirements of the RDW and should therefore get a Dutch registration.

Imports from EFTA country

As soon as the car is registered as a convertible in an EFTA country, which is equated with the EC, the RDW must in principle (provided it is legal, proper, etcetera) allow this car to enter the Netherlands and issue a Dutch registration.

oppet on Swedish registration
Oppet

For buying a car in Sweden, for example, it is very important that there is “Öppet”, “Cab” or “Cabbe” on the license plate. You can check a Swedish license plate at Transportstyrelsen (say the Swedish RDW).

At the bottom of Tekniska data there should be something from Öppet (02) at Kaross.

Reinforce chassis construction

The need to reinforce the chassis is based on the fact that the car does not yet have a Dutch registration and that the requirements of the RDW must be met in a neat manner.

There is no declaration of conformity from the manufacturer/importer (requested from Volvo Netherlands).
For an Amazon, this means that you either have to shorten the chassis by more than 27cm or strengthen it with a tube of 30x30x3mm. The latter is the most realistic. My first Amazon convertible, now sold, had that too.
Further reinforcements that were included were:

  • A bar behind the rear seat in the trunk
  • An angled beam from that bottom bar to the beam in the trunk at the level of the rear side panels

In addition, I would also apply the following reinforcements myself. That’s what my father’s dark green Amazon convertible has:

  • A bar under the dashboard
  • A standing beam where the door hinges are also located

With my current Amazon convertible it is very nicely solved. Here they reinforced the tunnel.
In addition, the outer sill is a heavy L-profile instead of a normal outer sill.

Volvo Amazon Cabrio reinforced tunnel
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OldVolvo

OldVolvo is a classic Volvo hobby blog by Lars Rengersen.

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