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VW GOLF GTI

As you will all know the Golf GTI made its debut back in 1976, it made its mark on the world of motoring and forward 45 years its still doing the same, whether it’s the standard GTI, 45 edition club sport or the ultimate daily the 4WD R version...
16/08/2021
My history with the Golf started in the late 80s when my Dad had purchased a ten year old MK1 three door L model in chrome yellow, look it up, now it would be seen as retro back then it was certainly the choice as your first car. I have fond memories of CKO 316T it was nippy, had the blaupunkt stereo with Dolby noise reduction and it hated hills, a trip to the Lake District nearly finished the poor thing off! Two other Golfs followed, a 5 door L in navy blue and then a G plated MK2 driver in white, 1.6 engine and a very cool looking car. Sadly I only had that for a year as I then went in to the world of selling cars and ended up with a demo every few months.

So as we forward to 2021 like most of you I found myself looking to rekindle those golden years (or chrome yellow to be precise)! Collecting cars an online auction site had previewed a mint MK 5 GTI, DSG, tornado red, tartan seats and riding on the monza 17" alloys. The flip side to this prime example is that it was a Japanese import, only showing 25000 KM but with full VW history up until 2018. The last two MOTS stacked up and after some research into the import market I thought a cheeky bid would make me feel good that I’d attempted to purchase my very first GTI.

The car didn’t sell, the reserve was not met and the dream was over for the time being. So you imagine my surprise and others that had bid on the car when it appeared a month later on the same site, no reserve and the seller had to move it on. With two minutes to go and egged on by Mrs D I put a bid in, this was then topped by the previous bidder, 28 seconds to go and I upped my offer, expecting to be outbid again. After what felt like an age I had the notification that I had been successful and the GTI was mine. I was elated especially as the car was under my previous bid a months ago, the only downside was that I live in the corner of Kent and the car was in Glasgow.

A few days later I set off with my friend Al in his X3 to collect the GTI, 7 hours lie ahead for the mini road trip. The weather was good I’d spoken to the seller and we set an eta of 6pm, a few baguette and espresso breaks in between and we landed at our destination with five minutes to spare. The long walk up the driveway and there it was, the tornado red paintwork looked vibrant, I knew about a light scuff in the alloy and some of the interior trims notably the electric window switches and off side front mirror housing, but other than that the car looked fresh.

After a quick drive around the block and putting that DSG box through its paces everything seemed sound and we parted with some fresh pound notes for SJ05. The BP garage was at the end of the road, so we topped up with super unleaded, screen wash and tyre pressures inflated to the correct psi before a slap up meal to celebrate a successful transaction.

An overnight stay in Lockerbie at the Bishopcleugh guest house, highly recommended comfy bed and great full English for the 6 hour trip back down to Kent. Rather than just driving on motorways all day we broke the journey up and went across the stunning Yorkshire dales, some twisting and challenging roads gave the playground for the 200 bhp engine to really sing, and of course couldn’t miss out on that landscape to do a mini shoot of the tornado red MK5.

After getting back down south early evening the car didn’t miss a beat, comfy seats, box, especially with the manual gear changes on those country lanes and the exhaust note sounded warmly and full of character. My biggest surprise was just how good the steering was, none of this electric aided nonsense the car just felt right with every input. The only areas that show its from Japan are the KM settings in the instrument panel, a VW sticker on the rear window and a head unit that has Japanese characters all over it, I think the sat nav is still in Tokyo! Bonus is it takes cds and even minidiscs!

On the list to do before next months report is a little TLC, these were noted on the description prior to purchase, cracked off side mirror housing, electric window switches not working all the time and markings faded plus a small scratch on the off side rear arch and lacquer peeling off on spoiler. Stocks garage in canterbury now have the car to rectify these.

I have taken the car to VW dealer EuroCanterbury where they have giving it a clean bill of health, but it is due an mot soon and a major service so that’s another job on the list. Being in the safe side I’ll get the cam belt done as well, plus it’s advised the front tyres are wearing on the inside edge so may as well bite the bullet and get a

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