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Gallery: 20 landmark Golfs in 30 million sales

News that the 30 millionth Volkswagen Golf rolled off the line at Wolfsburg had the HJClassics team thinking about the production milestone that marks this car out as such an enduring success since the launch of the Mk1 in 1974.

It wasn't a technical or engineering pioneer, though - there were plenty of other mid-sized hatchbacks before the Golf - but it was a perfect case of a right-first-time product that kick-stated its maker's future fortunes - so much so that it underpinned the Volkswagen Group's relentless growth into arguably the world's largest car company today. The Golf did popularise the hot hatch and four-door cabriolet in the '80s, and V6 and super-green diesel hold-alls during the 1990s.

Enjoy then, our gallery of some of the classic Golf's finest moments...

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1974: Volkswagen Golf Mk1

The three- and five-door Golf arrived on the crest of a revolution at Vokswagen in 1974. The new Scirocco and Passat had hit the market the year before, but true mass-market sales followed with the arrival of the chunky Ital Design-penned Golf.

The Golf's technical make-up was the polar opposite to the Beetle - it was powered by a transversely mounted water-cooled overhead-cam inline four, and suspension was by MacPherson struts upfront and a rear beam axle. And although it wasn't the first car to put all of these components together, it certainly popularised it in northern European markets - and within years, all major rivals were building their own Golf clones.


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