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Volkswagen Golf Mk1 GTI (1976 - 1983)

Last updated 12 May 2017


Buying Guide


  • Giugiaro designed, the original and lightest GTI, 12' 3" long by 5' 3" wide, just 805kg, first with Bosch injected 1.6 but, the one to go for is the 112bhp 1.8 fitted for the last three months of production. A real flying machine and still exhilarating, only bettered by the Peugeot 205GTi which handled, braked and looked even better. Now a collectors piece with the best examples worth £12,000 +.
  • Converting to Mk II 1.8 or 2.0 litre 140bhp 16v engine adds rather than reduces value. Some also running Mk IV 1.8 20v four.
  • The Mk 1 cabrio continued right through to December 1993 after which it was replaced by the Mk III cabrio. PAS from VW Scirocco II fitted to late LHD models.
    A small batch of the very last RHD Mk 1 cabrios has officially commissioned retro-fitted Power Assisted Steering.


  • Complicated left-to-right brake linkage robs brakes of feel and makes action unpleasant.
  • Notchy 'across the gate' gearshift. (The first LHD Golf GTis were 4-speeders).
  • No power steering even on cabrio unless retro fitted using LHD Scirocco GTi 16v parts or a kit from TSR of Bridgwater.


  • Rust. All Mk 1 Golfs rust and though rustproofing was improved by the time official imports of RHD GTIs started, they can still be bad.
  • Also check for accident damage and the general quality of the inevitable modifications.
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