An incredibly rare Mark 1 Volkswagen Golf GTI – believed to be the best example in the country – is going under the hammer later this month and could sell for £42,000.
The iconic hot hatch is one of the first right hand drive models that ever arrived in the UK in 1979 and has been retained in ‘museum quality’ condition, having covered just under 17,000 miles from new.
To further polish its hot hatch royalty credentials, the Golf GTI on offer has also starred on TV with both Jeremy Clarkson and Quentin Willson.
When the first owner bought the Golf in September 1979 they paid just over £5,100. If it sells for the top end of its estimate next week, it would have increased in value by more than 700 per cent – which is way ahead of inflation.
Rare Golf GTI: This model in particular has ‘unicorn’ status, having been one of the first UK-spec examples to land on UK soil in 1979
The original purchase price would be the equivalent of £29,600 today, our inflation calculator shows.
The car is due to be sold in an online auction hosted by The Market between 19 and 25 March.
This Golf GTI in particular has ‘unicorn’ status, having been one of the first UK-spec examples to land on British soil.
It can be differentiated by the fact it has a four-speed manual gearbox, which was only on sale in the UK for the first three months until it was replaced by a five-speed transmission.
This specific car, which has had three owners in its four decades of existence, has been something of a TV celebrity.
Registration ‘ENT 847V’ has not only featured in a number of specialist magazines, but also two television appearances.
The first was ‘The Car’s The Star’, broadcast by the BBC in May 1995, which saw Quentin Willson describing it as ‘the world’s most complete car’.
It then later features on the BBC’s ‘Clarkson’s Car Years’ in June 2000, in which Jeremy Clarkson names the Golf GTI as ‘the car of the century’.
Having covered fewer that 400 miles on average each year in the hands of three owners in the last 41 years, the Mk1 Golf GTI has been retained in immaculate condition
MOT records show the car has covered 16,838 miles as of last May. However, the odometer in these older photos shows when it ticked over 16,267 miles
It can be told apart from later Mk1 Golf GTIs because it has the early-type rear light clusters
With the government’s MOT database showing it as covering 16,838 miles as of May 2019, it has covered an average of 410 miles each year since it was first delivered.
Finished in black with silver and black tartan seats, the car is complete with many original and rare features.
These include the small, early-type rear light clusters, non-locking fuel cap, Wolfsburg three-spoke steering wheel, genuine Wolfsburg mud flaps, Toric T-76 buckleless seatbelts and golf ball gear knob.
Finished in black with silver and black tartan seats, the car is complete with many original and rare features
Typical of the very earliest models, the car doesn’t have a sunroof, rear fog lamp or even a radio (as you can see from this image). That’s because these would have been expensive optional extras in 1979
One of this car’s biggest unique calling cards is the fact it has a four-speed gearbox. This was only available for the first three months on sale until VW switched to a five-speed transmission
Typical of the very earliest models, the car doesn’t have a sunroof, rear fog lamp, radio, aerial or passenger door wing mirror.
That’s because all of these would have been optional extras that would have been hugely expensive in 1979.
In 2015 the car had more than £7,000 spent on it to ensure it was in tip-top condition.
This included the replacement of suspension dampers, brake components and fuel lines to ensure safety. The engine was also removed for cleaning, the gearbox rebuilt, and the clutch assembly replaced.
The car had a thorough expert reconditioning in 2015 to ensure everything was in safe and quality working order
The tartan seats and golf ball gear knob are features that have been retained through all generations of the Golf GTI, right to the Mk8 model launched last week
The engine was also removed for cleaning five years ago and doesn’t seem to have covered many miles since
Now that it’s being offered to the highest bidder, it’s predicted to sell for a figure in the region of £31,000 to £42,000.
‘This is possibly the last opportunity that any of us will ever have to own what is still an essentially brand-new, unrestored, reference quality Golf GTI Mk1 – and not just any GTI, but the very purist, earliest model of the car that blazed a trail for everything that came thereafter,’ comments Tristan Judge, director, The Market.
‘This is a true collector’s car and a genuinely unrepeatable opportunity. It is also road ready.
‘We believe this amazing Golf GTI will be hard fought over when the auction takes place, potentially providing the opportunity to set a new record price for the model.’
It will be auctioned online between 19 and 25 March and is predicted to sell for a figure in the region of £31,000 and £42,000
This car has been fitted with lots of unique parts, including a Wolfsburg three-spoke steering wheel
The car is accompanied by its Volkswagen Historic Vehicle Certificate, as well as a brand new in box Corgi scale model and a treasure trove of paperwork including its original bill of sale, original log book, brochure, original VW publicity photos, old MOT certificates, bills, correspondence with the BBC and all its old road tax discs.
Volkswagen unveiled the Mk8 Golf GTI earlier this month, with the new model due to debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show until the event was cancelled over the outbreak of the coronavirus.
When the first owner bought it in September 1979 they paid just over £5,100. If it sells for its higher estimate next week, it would have increased in value by more than 700 per cent – which is way ahead of inflation
The car is accompanied by its Volkswagen Historic Vehicle Certificate as well as a brand new, still in box, Corgi scale model
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