MK1 Golf GTI

Back in 1973 VW engineers were have said to be plotting a revolutionary car, the Mk1 Golf Gti. This car was designed for performance, there were no unnecessary additions, just pure engineering of a ‘Hot-Hatch’. It was a 1588cc, producing just over 100bhp, stuffed into a lightweight hatch, planted on stiffer suspension and wider steel wheels that gave this car its renowned performance. It wasn’t until 1979 that us lucky Brits were privileged to seeing this car being sold over here. It was my parent’s lust for a performance car within a budget that led them to buying a second hand version of this car; for me I had a back seat view (on a booster seat).

From what I can remember, it had the squat design from the outside, which ours had the additional BBS body kit, in the mean Mars Red. The journey in the back seat was stuffy, as the back windows didn’t open, but instead there was a sunroof that gave relief. The interior was black including the dash and steering wheel; the horn was in the centre. Being picked up from school was great and often dad would be in a rush to get somewhere, which for a 9-year-old lad was a hoot. The addition of a tow-hitch and small trailer seemed to make little difference to the pulling power; since then our family has been VW happy!

The car was a popular hit in the UK and I could easily see why. Its close competitors, such as the Peugeot 205 Gti, Ford RS Escort and Alfa Sud (which we also had), often came worse off in tests and it became known that this was the Hot-hatch to own.


Engine: 1588
Performance: 0-60 9.6 seconds; top speed 108mph
Time owned: 1985
Bought and sold for:
Mileage owned:
Parts/Servicing costs: Tyres every 8,000 mile