Weekend Golf

The Volkswagen Golf had the unenviable task of replacing the Beetle, a car that had sold squillions around the world and was much loved. Well, the Golf succeeded and is still a big seller today. But the Mk1 Golf is a rare thing to see these days, and Turners Christchurch have this NZ new Mk1 Cabriolet with low kilometres that is ripe for a minor makeover to be ready for Summer. Read on...

The first Golf arrived in 1974, a fresh faced new car to takeover from the Beetle. Sort of like Kieran Read replacing Richie McCaw, and with similar success. The Golf was designed by Italian Legend Giorgetto Giugiaro and used the Fiat 128 as its inspiration. The Fiat 128 was the first mas-produced front drive car with the now ubiquitous transverse mounted engine and separate gearbox that created much more cabin space. It’s a design breakthrough that still endures today.

The Golf Mk1 was a hit and it spawned the first hit hot hatch with the GTI. A Mk1 GTI is highly sought after today and prices reflect this. And most of the standard spec 5 door cars are long gone. Luckily, VW pulled the same trick it did with the Beetle and got coach-building company Karmann to design and build a convertible version of the Golf which extended the life of the Mk1 well beyond the standard cars. The Mk1 Cabriolet was produced right through to 1993, a full 10 years after the start of Mk2 production. With improvements to rust proofing in the later years it is possibly why this 1988 cabby still exists today, and in pretty good shape, too.

This car was sold new in NZ in 1988 and is one of the first cars to get the Clipper body kit. It has the less spicy 1600 engine but does have a manual gearbox. The mileage is just 155,700kms and it appears to be a fairly solid example with WOF and Reg, but could do with a wee bit of TLC.

The Mk1 Golf is a landmark car in automotive history and good examples are thin on the ground. The auction estimate on this one is $16,000 - $18,000. More details here.

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