Published on April 15th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


From Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in a 1974 VW Golf

In 1974 Volkswagen unveiled for sale a simple car to complement the then best selling Beetle. Called the Golf, it was an instant success and found its way across the globe to every single market that Volkswagen had a presence, including Malaysia where many Malaysians till today have a Mk1. Golf in use with no issues.

The original 1974 VW Golf that took the 94 overland journey

To show the reliability and quality of this compact car, a motoring journalist and 4 friends drove 2 units of this 1974 Golf Mk 1 on an amazing journey over 94 days and returned to Germany in 1975.

They travelled over 30,514 km from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. A somewhat harsh journey as some parts of the journey were actually over streams and rough terrain.

The qualities that the 2 VW cars exhibited in the summer of that same year during spectacular hardness tests were extremely impressive.  The two vehicles used standard 70 horsepower engines and are still surviving today as a testament to their build quality and value.

Painted in Brilliant Yellow with Pine Green Breitcord front seats, the cars stayed almost unchanged apart from added protection for the engine, oil pan and gearbox as well as fog lights and halogen auxiliary lamps.  Special equipment also included an Emden radio, a tachometer and a VDO oil pressure gauge.  The rear seats had been removed, in their place came a loading space with a green tarp.  The cars were running 155 SR 13 Cinturato P3 summer tires provided by sponsor Pirelli on 5J x 13 aluminum Sports wheels.

Both Volkswagen Golfs have been preserved,  one – once traveling as a WOB- V 587 for tire sponsor Pirelli – is in the private “Auto Museum Fritz B. Busch” in 88364 Wolfegg in Allgäu.  

The other car with chassis number 175 3022653 ( WOB V 645 ) is part of the collection of the Volkswagen Foundation Auto Museum. They are important historical examples for the 40th anniversary of Golf and Scirocco in 2014.

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