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Golf GTI

The original hot hatch

The name Golf GTI is well known as the first hot-hatch.

VW MK1 Golf GTI 1.8 Campaign Diamond Silver The 'Sport Golf', as the engineers called it, was an 'evening and weekends' project, developed in secret outside normal working hours. Even when it was shown to the management, their interest was lukewarm, infact the sales and marketing people were against it, unable to see a market for such a car.

Thankfully, having been developed by engineers, it was devoid of stripes, spoilers and pretensions. It had no rear spoiler because it didnt need one, it had a front spoiler because it was found to reduce front end lift. It had wheel arch trim to protect it from stone chips, not because it looked good. It had wider steel wheels to provide extra grip, a standard, though widened, exhaust system for the higher capacity engine. Lowered and stiffened suspension was there because it provided the best handling and response.

Around 1975 The "Sport Golf" got it's official its official name, 'The Golf GTI', received Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection.

Whilst the engine now developed 110bhp, this 10bhp was not really due to the injection system, but the addition of new inlet and exhaust manifolds and larger diameter valves. The Golf GTI prototype was just completed in time for the September 1975 Frankfurt Motor show. The car was launched in just two colours, Mars Red and Diamond Metallic Silver. Schwartz Black was added shortly afterwards

early golf gti 1600 The car first appeared in UK at the 1976 London Motor Show. It was stated that no RHD versions would be available due to 'technical reasons'. VW dealers in UK lobbied Volkswagen Germany hard for two years and in 1979, the Golf GTI was on sale in the UK with right hand drive. Shortly afterwards it got a 5 speed gearbox.

In 1979 'What Car?' lined the 1588cc 5-speed Golf GTI against its nearest competitors at the time; the Ford Escort RS2000, the Talbot Sunbeam Ti and the Vauxhaul Chevette HS. The Golf GTI won by a considerable margin.

Rivals to the golf gti By 1980, the hot hatch concept had been established, and rival car makers were producing their own versions. Notable ones included the Vauxhall Astra Mk1, the Alfasud, and the new Ford XR3. But each time the various cars were lined up, there was always the same winner. 'Motor' magazine commented that "At the risk of sounding interminably repetitious, the GTI still rules!'.


Logo Link Description
awesome-gti.co.uk Awesome GTI
Good source of parts for Golf GTI
VWGolfMK1 Logo vwgolfmk1.org.uk A Drew Wagar site for all things Mk1 Golf
Not just GTI - covers all Mk1's
vagdrivere.net logo VAGDrivers.net VAGDrivers.net forums
All things VAG
Missing Linkz Logo VW Shift Linkage Installation Good info on VW gear shift linkages
They sell stuff too !
ClubGTI Logo clubgti.com/forum Club GTI Forums
Some good info on all things GTI


My old VW MK1 Golf GTI 1.8 Campaign


1983 VW Golf GTI, 1.8 Campaign, Diamond Silver.
It's a fantastic car, with incredible acceleration and roadholding. Remember it is only around 110 BHP, but featherweight !
I only bought it in October 2006, and put a few thousand miles on it as a daily driver.

Recently I've replaced all the suspension parts, including standard shock absorbers, springs, bump stops, top mounts, wishbones, ball joints, genuine VW bushes.
Next jobs on the list are:

  • Fix annoying electrical fault - flashing oil light, but good oil pressure.
  • Replace sunroof seal with new VW item DONE !
  • Fit replacement inner sunroof panel DONE !
  • Repair some electrical gremlins DONE !


How to remove instrument panel & dash Link to thread of vwgolfmk1.org.uk forum

Link to some technical info & procedures