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Volvo Amazon Cabriolet

Link to Coune website by Stoffel Mulier
One of the two surviving original Coune Amazon Cabriolets


Belgian coachbuilder Jacques Coune introduced his Amazon Cabriolet at the Autosalon, Brussels in January 1963. Only four cabriolets and one roadster were produced by his company during 1963/4 and today only two of these original cabriolets survived, one in Belgium (Stoffel Mulier) and one in Germany. Many Volvo enthusiasts have tried to build their own version of the beautiful Coune Cabriolet, however only Belgian Volvo dealer Guy Vermant achieved the desired result with his accurate Amazon Cabriolet Replica, which was built with many parts recovered from an original Coune Cabriolet lost in a fire. Nobody knows what happened with the fourth Cabriolet.

Jacques Coune started his coach building workshop in the mid 50s in Brussels working mainly on expensive thoroughbreds like Jaguars, Aston Martins and other valuable cars, but also normal production cars. He had a number of agencies, one of them was for the Italian specialist Abarth in Belgium, the first Abarth agent outside Italy, he also had the Iso agency. As a sideline he started his real passion which was re-designing standard cars into coupes, station wagons or cabriolets. One of the more known Coune creations was the Coune MGB Berlinette of which 56 were produced during 1963-1968 before British Leyland presented the MGB GT, but he also built a BMW 700 Estate and a Mercedes 220 Estate. His clients were mainly rich people looking for individual transport and were quite happy to pay a premium for that.

Couneís staff were mainly specialist coach builders from northern Italy. The Abarth department employed two staff and the panel workshop 17 specialists.

The Amazons were an ideal basis for a cabriolet conversion, it was a sporty car with two carburettors and was solidly built. Volvo supplied Coune with 4 new 122S vehicles and although they were aware of Couneís plans to build the cabriolets, they didnít object or interfere with the projects at all.

The Amazon roadster Coune built for a friend was a very elegant 2-seater, however this car was involved in a crash and written off.

coune_roadster2.jpg (19005 bytes)

coune_roadster1.jpg (21045 bytes)

  The Amazon Cabriolet conversion took around 450 hours and was, apart from chrome work, completely done in their own workshops and all panel finishing work was done in tin. 

All trimming was done in-house. All original Cabriolets were finished in white paint with Bordeaux or black leather interior.

The first step in the conversion was to strengthen the Amazon body with two steel reinforcement structures in the floor, two structures were welded over the rear wheel area. The doors were reshaped and lowered a little and space was created for the canvas roof to be stored by removing the panel between the boot and interior. The windscreen structure was reinforced. All special panel work and window frames were hand made.

Jacques had big plans for the Amazon Cabriolet and he was actually setting himself up for a production line of 5 cars a month, however in the following years he lost many of his specialist Italian workers who one by one returned to their homeland when the Italian economy improved.

.122coune.jpg (16745 bytes)
Coune Replica

Jacques Coune, now retired and in his 70s, lives a very private life in an upmarket area of Brussels, however he is still very much a Volvo enthusiasts, he drives a Volvo V70XC.

Please Note: Details used for above article about Jacques Coune were sourced from an article in "Uitlaat" issue 01/2003 magazine of the Swedish Car Club Belgium written by Michel Landuyt who interviewed Jacques Coune in Nov 2002.  webmaster

                 

Other Volvo Amazon Cabriolets

Since the first Coune Cabriolet was built, many Volvo enthusiasts have tried to build their own version of an Amazon Cabriolet, most of these one-off specials were converted in Scandinavia with plenty of old Amazons around for projects. I haven't seen any coming seriously close to the quality cabriolets produced by Jacques Coune, because most were converted by do-it-your-self-ers who built it at minimum cost. 

However some projects are very interesting. We will highlight some below:


This Cabriolet with a removable steel top was built in 1991
by Mikko Elorinne from Finland

120CMikko8.jpg (52576 bytes)
Cutting the roof
120CMikko7.gif (57269 bytes)
Cutting the roof
120CMikko1.jpg (27738 bytes)
Reinforcement
120CMikko9.jpg (43024 bytes)
Reinforcement
120CMikko2.jpg (28549 bytes)
Under construction
120CMikko4.jpg (39985 bytes)
Finished product
120CMikko6.jpg (62983 bytes)
Lift the roof off

Two other Finnish Amazon Cabriolets:

120CFinland3.jpg (47053 bytes) 120CFinland4.jpg (62975 bytes) 120CFinland2.jpg (64380 bytes) 120CFinland1.jpg (34188 bytes)

Two other Cabriolets:

120C Australia.jpg (62304 bytes)
Australia

120CSwede.jpg (38350 bytes)
Sweden
JeffreyHarrisTexas.jpg (43327 bytes)
Texas Project USA
 

Cabriolet image Links:
www.oudevolvo.nl
www.amazoncoune.be


Jim Hekker
Webmaster

 

 

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