I’m an absolute fiend for a tidy Mk1 Volkswagen Golf. I can spot one from a mile away, can tell you the probable year from the rear slam panel, and still strive to own a clean example one day.
Part of the Mk1’s appeal is its attractive little shape; the simple Guigaro-penned lines lend themselves well to all sorts of styles. Throw in a chuck-able FWD chassis and you have an excellent base for a project. The ‘white hall’ at Ultimate Dubs UK 2022 showcased just how versatile the Mk1 Golf can be and how varied the ownership is, some 48 years after its introduction.
This pastel blue example is absolutely immaculate with one of the most beautiful engine bays I’ve ever seen in a Mk1.
The 2.0L ABF conversion from a Mk3 Golf GTI has been polished and chromed to within an inch of its life; even the gorgeous exhaust manifold was shining in its state of bronze heat-stain.
Custom carbon fibre, glistening Ronal Racing split rims and tight aired-out fitment mark this as the epitome of 2022 classic VW modification.
Now may I draw your attention to the wide-arched, mud-spattered and aggressively green Mk1 just two cars away.
This thoroughbred looks as though it’s in parc fermé, hot off an RAC historic rally stage. Nothing is clean, and nothing appears perfect. In fact, there’s probably as much weight in dirt and debris on this Golf as there is in carbon fibre on the other!
The fog lamp caps aren’t aligned, and all the exposed wiring behind the rudimentary display panel would give most wire-tucking Dubbers an aneurism.
These two Mk1s couldn’t be more different if they tried, and that’s the beauty of the platform. It’s easy to dismiss most VAG builds as a new car on ‘air and wheels’, but such short-sightedness really does stop you from seeing the bigger picture.
Go to a car show and see for yourself – diversity in the VW scene is alive and well.