The Golf MK1 marked a major shift in Volkswagen’s philosophy. The company was known for producing rear-engined, air-cooled cars, however when it came to the Golf they moved to a front-engined, front-wheel-drive layout. It’s fair to say they’ve never looked back since!
The MK1 debuted in 1974, and styled by Italian, Giorgetto Giugiaro, it’s modern (for the time!) styling, hatchback layout, and hugely usable water-cooled four cylinder engine helped make the car an instant hit. The Golf also adopted a more complex, but far superior suspension set up to it’s predecessor (the Beetle) using Macpherson struts up front and trailing arm independent suspension at the rear.
Just like that, Volkswagen had given birth to the original hatchback, and other manufacturers would forever be left in its wake – the Golf today (in it’s eight incarnation) is still one of the best selling cars in the world with an eye-watering 35 million cars sold since 1974!
Igor’s Golf is a beautifully presented example of this incredible car. We love the simplicity of it, and admire Igor’s dedication to originality. We’re a big fan of modified cars here at Driveaholics, but sometimes there is something really refreshing about a highly original and very clean example of a car so iconic as the MK1 Golf.
We reached out to Igor to find out more about his cracking little hatchback, and to learn a little bit of his story…
Volkswagen Golf MK1 GLS (1978)
- Igor is originally from Brazil – he always loved the original MK1, but there are none in Brazil, so when, living here in Europe, he saw the chance of "making his dream come true" he simply couldn't miss it!
- Igor says to drive, it feels great, drives smooth, and he sometimes thinks it's better than his modern daily driver!
- …but there is something cool and unique about driving a classic, its a mix of emotions and nostalgia.
- Strictly speaking the only "non original" part on the car is the 15 inch wheels, we didn't ask how, but Igor managed to bring these with him from Brazil!!
- The car originally came with a set of 13" alloys, but these have been swapped out for a similar set but in 15"
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car?Early 2020
- What made you decide to buy a MK1 Golf then?The experts say you always dream of the things you can't have or are hard to get. I guess they are right, because being originally from Brazil we never had the MK1 and MK2 versions of the Volkswagen Golf. This is because of the military power in place back then, they wanted the internal production be higher than the imports, so they put pressure on "Volkswagen of Brazil" to have our own equivalent national design of the Golf, which is called "Gol" by the way!
- So, despite the Brazilian version, you HAD to get the 'proper' Golf then?Yes, I always loved the original MK1, and there are none in Brazil, so when I saw the chance of making my dream come true, when living here in Europe, I couldn't miss it.
- Amazing! So what's it like to drive?If feels great! It drives smooth, if not better than my daily driver!But there is something cool and unique about driving a classic, it's a mix of emotions and nostalgia let alone the amount of head-turners and all the people that roll down their window either to compliment it or to ask if I want to sell it (which I don't!)
- So it gets plenty of attention then?Yes! Whenever I'm at the garage there is not one time where someone doesn't approach me to start a conversation, often to say they had one back in the days and they miss it!
- So it looks pretty original, have you done anything to the engine or is it all standard?It's mostly standard – so the car has it's original 70bhp!
- And did you have to rebuild or restore the car? No, it's in great condition and very original.
- That's amazing. What about modifications, have you done any?The only thing I have changed are the wheels and tyres – it originally came with a set of 13" alloys, so I brought these 15" ones on the plane with me when visiting Brazil last year!NOTE: We assume you didn't bring them as cabin baggage…
- Do you plan to do any further modifications to it?No, I want to keep it nice and original.
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?She's a keeper!
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?I already have my dream car (my Golf of course!) but if one day the lottery money kicks in, I'll definitely be adding either a Ferrari Testarossa 512 TR or a Ferrari 348 (V8), because they were the icons in the decade I was born, and their engine sound is very unique.