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
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
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
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.
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
Other Volvo Amazon Cabriolets
the first Coune Cabriolet was built, many Volvo enthusiasts have tried to build their own version
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
Owner one of these unique
vehicles would be quite a status
symbol. Just like owning one of the
Viking yachts for sale, a car like this brings
prestige to its owner.
projects are very interesting. We will highlight some below:
Cabriolet with a removable steel top was built in 1991
Elorinne from Finland
the roof off
other Finnish Amazon Cabriolets: