Wednesday, July 06, 2022

VW Mk1 Golf GTI

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

This new breed of hot hatch came with a front wheel drive system, 4 gears and a water-cooled engine.

Wheels magazine 'Car of the Year 1975 VW Golf'

Matey - Matey 2006
A Euro Mk1 Golf GTI with european / US chrome strip bumpers, euro styling and deep dish rims.
The concept car was designed and engineered by a VW team out of work, the deisgn for the final version of VW Golf was by Italdesign studio designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The GTI model was fuel injected therefore increasing the 1588 cc engine to 108 bhp.
In 2004 the Rabbit / Mk1 GTI was named 3rd best car of the 1980's by Sports Car International. Jeremy Clarkson even says its the best hot hatch ever made.
Matey - Matey 2006
A Euro Mk1 with cross hair crystal headlamps dropped on Porsche rims

VW in the US

In 1978 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Volkswagen were the first Euro car manufacturer to manufacture vehicles in the US. James McLernon former Chevrolet exec was giving the task of making it run. McLernon for some unkown reason attempted to "Americanise" the Rabbit by reducing its qualities first he softened the sports suspension and made the interior from much lower quality materials. VW followers and German company execs were outraged. Therefore in 1983, the Pennsylvania VW plant went back back to fitting stiffer suspension and a high quality interior trim. The Rabbit GTI and first ever Caddy were manufactured at the US plant also.
A change?
In 1980 across the Euro range a face lift was applied, larger rear lamp clusters replaced the small design, jetta style headlamps in the US and a new dashboard with display.
Mk1 Clipper Convertible Anodised filler cap M3 lenses and deepdish wheels
Drop top cabby
The Golf convertible, Cabriolet or rag top was manufactured from 1980 to 1993 (A Mk2 Cab was never made, this meant the Mk1 was continued witha few slight modifications, until the intro of the Mk3). The Cabrio came in a range of limited edition designs including the Coco Channel, Karmann Ghia, Rivage and the Sportline, the newer version came with a transverse roll bar, reinforced body, luxury interior and on some models a power hood.
The A1 Mk1 drop top has a unibody construction and built exclusively a Karmann. VW supplied the interior, suspension luxury and water cooled engine and Karmann fitted it. There was a range of hoods available a budget vinyl, standard and a premium Mohair all insulated with horse hair and either manually or powered up and down, later models came equipped Mohair and glass rear window as standard.
2008 and in South Africa the Mk1 Golf is still manufactured, a four-door "Citi" & a Caddy known as the Pickup.
pa friends -

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VW Golf Gallery

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VW history

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

The history of Volkswagen Cars & Campers

The Wolfsberg story and the VW Golf Generation
Although the VW Beetle reached cult classic status throughout Europe, and the camper vans had sold well, the brand popularity began to decline by the mid 1970's. With the drop in Beetle sales, VW had to find another way forward, as people were choosing water cooled engines over their air cooled, German counterparts. This new way was the Golf, hailed as the saving grace of Volkswagen.
By now, VW had bought Audi, and began production on their new front wheel drive car, the Rabbit. Since its inception, there have been many incarnations of the Golf - 5 to date. This new found popularity led to a reincarnation of the beloved Beetle, and a revamp of the Camper into the Micro Bus, among other new vehicles.
Now called VAG - (the Volkswagen Audi Group) things continue to look good for the motor group, with names such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda and Bugatti bringing with them their strength and prestige.
VW beat the Japanese to begin trading in the US market, and by the end of the 1960's, had become the brand name to be reckoned with. Beating Nissan to the Number One spot, the Beetle and the Ghia were shining examples of German automotive genius. 
Yet the Arabian Oil Embargo of 1973 hit VAG hard, and by 1993, the company had hit an all - time low of only 49,000 sales, a top figure that was less than 9% of their peak sales only twenty years before. Another rethink was in order, and a new marketing campaign to focus on the Jetta was organised.
With the new marketing strategy, the emphasis was on fun loving, energetic, young people. Leaving young married couples and parents behind, the brand was seen as the epitome of youth culture - cutting edge and cool again thanks to the successful new Jetta image.

New Strategies

This new rougher edged marketing did the trick, and by 1996, VW was back! Enjoying the kind of success that gave them a sales increase of nearly 700%, the Rabbit and the Passat were selling well by 1997.
Following this major run of success, VW got set to launch its new generation Beetle. Using this as a critical part of future business strategy, the company planned on adding an SUV and pickup ranges. After these would come the luxury range of Volkswagen.
Following on from the success of the Golf at this time, a Plus version was released - the same Golf only bigger! Other variations on this popular theme included an R32 model, which boasted an Audi 3.2L quattro engine. So successful, new versions of the Polo and Passat were also released!
Nowadays, the most recent versions include the Eos convertible, the Phaeton and the hybrid Passat and the next generation Jetta, Fox, Lupo and super mini the Up.
The newest Golf is the W12 - a wider version of the Mark 5 and the Golf R.


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