1958 - The classic Volvo Amazon is being launched; later the world's first car model with front seat belts as standard equipment.
August 3 In Swedish History
1958: The Volvo Amazon is being launched. A mid-size car manufactured by Volvo Cars, the Amazon shares both the wheelbase as well as its tall posture from its predecessor, the PV. It is being offered in three model configurations: 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan and a wagon. A year later, Volvo provides the car with front seat belts as standard equipment on all the cars, including the export models, becoming the world's first manufacturer to take this step. The Amazon later becomes the first car in the world to feature three-point seat belts. When introduced, the car is called the Amason (with an 's'), which derives from the fierce female warriors of Greek mythology. Kreidler, the German manufacturer of motorcycles, had already registered the name, and the two companies agree Volvo can only use the name domestically (within Sweden), modifying the spelling to Amazon. The car is designed by Jan Wilsgaard (born in Brooklyn in 1930), chief designer at Volvo Cars from 1950-1990. Wilsgaard was one of twenty-five designers nominated for Car Designer of the Century, and was followed at Volvo by the noted designer Peter Horbury.
The Volvo Amazon was launched on August 3 in 1958.