Cars Volkswagen Golf Mk1

Published on March 22nd, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Our 40-year love affair with a car

Share with us your first automotive love.

Our love affair with the Golf started even before we started driving. As an avid builder of model cars and others, our first ever model car build was a VW Golf Mk1 GTi. A two door hot hatch of course. This was brought to reality when we got our driving license and worked towards buying our first ever VW Golf Mk1. It was a 1.3L 4-door. The affair continued with numerous models and versions and at the height of it…..just a few years ago, we had two units of the VW Golf Mk1 sitting in our garage. Both 2-door units. One hardtop and one soft-top. The decision to sell one of them came and the hardtop lost the coin toss and it went to a very good home.

Today, our Mk1 drop-top serves us well and has never failed us. It is showing its age and we still get other drivers giving us smiles, thumbs up and even the odd selfie taker when on the road. It will probably end up with one of my sons with the hope that they will hand it to their lucky child some day. 

Join us and share with us on this facebook posts your first automotive love. Do not be shy.  

Volkswagen Golf Mk1

VW Golf History – 46 years of global success

Officially there has never been any numbering by Volkswagen of the Golf generations, so no Golf Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, Mk5, Mk6 or Mk7 and the most recent VW Golf Mk8. With now eight generations of the car it is easier to place them historically.

The Volkswagen Golf, including its derivatives such as the Cabriolet and the Variant, is one of the most successful cars in the world. More accurate, the second most successful car in the world…..the first being the Toyota Corolla.

VW Golf Mk1 – 1974 to 1983

The first full-production Volkswagen Golf rolled off the production line in Wolfsburg in March 1974 and was in Volkswagen European dealerships that May. In those showrooms, where for decades the Volkswagen Beetle with its rear-mounted engines and rear-wheel drive had dominated the scene, a new era had thus dawned: that of the transversely mounted front engine and a front-wheel drive system. This trend had been heralded a short time earlier by the early model Scirocco and as the first Volkswagen front-wheel drive car, based on the K70 taken over from NSU which was called the Passat, launched in 1973. With the launch of the Golf, the highest volume vehicle category had now also been switched to the new drive technology.

Volkswagen Golf Mk1

The Designer

As the successor to the legendary Beetle, of which over 21.5 million units were made, the Golf Mk1 designed by Giorgio Giugiaro had to live up to the great expectations of continuing the success story of what until then was the world’s most successful car. In the spring of 1974, nobody could really be sure that this would indeed be achieved. However, the modern and reliable drive system, the spacious internal layout with a tailgate and fold-down rear seat and ultimately the design as well won over the market to such an extent that production of the one-millionth Golf was already being celebrated in October 1976.


Volkswagen wrote at that time about the new car: “The Golf offers maximum luggage space and safety. It is laid out uncompromisingly for practical use. The low beltline provides clarity, the sloping bonnet allows a clear view of the road right up to just in front of the car and the low rear window makes reversing easy.” And that applies to this day.

Like every Golf thereafter, the first generation too was already a reflection of the progress and automotive trends of its era. Thus, for example, in launching the first Golf GTI (in 1976) Volkswagen heralded the introduction of greater dynamism in this class, while the Golf D (naturally aspirated diesel engine, 1976) and the later Golf GTD (turbodiesel, 1982) marked the breakthrough for diesel cars in the compact segment. 

By now the Volkswagen Golf had proved itself a worthy successor to the Beetle.

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