A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £18,000
Now in its seventh generation, the Golf GTi remains the hot hatch by which all rivals are judged. The inaugural version was made available to a delighted German public in June 1976 and, whilst it wasn't until July 1979 that right-hand-drive models landed on British shores, a special order of 22 left-hand-drive cars was imported by Volkswagen the year before in order to give already eager UK enthusiasts a sneaky peek at this new and exciting genre of performance car. The ploy worked perfectly as the car's unique combination of handling, performance, packaging and affordability was an instant hit. Suddenly, there was the perfect solution for the enthusiast who'd forsaken his sports car to transport a young family - the GTi was what you might call a 'cake and eat it' car. Models have a habit of growing over the years and todays Golf is, in fact, larger than the original Golf. Though naturally not as quick as the current offering, the first generation GTi is actually more nimble and immense fun to drive - no wonder then that collectors have long since latched on to these ground-breaking little saloons and tidy Mk 1s are becoming rarer.
On offer here we do, indeed, have one of those tidy Mk 1s and, pleasingly, it's in a remarkable, cared for, original condition. It's a UK, right-hand drive car and dates from late 1981 making it a 1600 (1588cc). The 1800 GTi, which replaced it the following year, had 110bhp which was only 1.6bhp more than the smaller car but offered a bit more torque, however, it's the original 1600 that has that extra cachét. It's finished in Diamond Silver with a duo-tone interior and is in lovely condition having never been troubled by the addition of speakers or sound systems requiring lumps cut out of the upholstery.
It has covered just over 42,000 miles (atoc) corroborated by the original stamped service book, still retains the supplying dealer number plates and rear window sticker and is supplied with a good history file including the original Owners Manual, old MOTs and service records. It has recently been serviced with a fresh cambelt and a new MOT.
Anyone who ever spent some time whizzing around in a Mk 1 GTi will remember just how much fun they could be and this smart, low-mileage, well-cared-for example seems like an unmissable opportunity.