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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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1976: Volkswagen Golf GTI

The car that caused the death of the traditional sports car during the 1980s was created almost by accident, and its maker certainly wasn't expecting the Golf GTI to be as successful - or influentiual - as it was. The engineers decided to squeeze the Audi 80GTE's fuel injected 1.6-litre engine under the bonnet of the smaller Golf, thus creating a limited run special in 1976.

Sales were so fast that Volkswagen upped the volumes, and the GTI became a mainstream member of the family. UK buyers had to wait until mid-1979 before the Golf GTI joined the price lists here - but not before scores were imported in LHD form.


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