Can The Humble Volkswagen Golf Be Considered A Classic Yet?
Photography by Martijn Demeulemeester
There’s no official international organization to certify which older vehicles get stamped with a “classic” badge, while others may not. Just because something is old doesn’t make it a classic, but equally so, a vehicle cared for well beyond its intended lifespan may indeed become classic. When’s the last time you saw a 1.1-litre 1980 Mk1 Volkswagen Golf, anyway?
Petrolicious reader Martijn Demeulemeester’s example is pristine, down to the fact he’s the car’s second owner (!).
“After going through a lot of second hand websites we stumbled on a Golf Mk1 1.1 which was completely stripped down. It belonged to a guy near Antwerp,” Martijn said. “He started the restoration progress but didn’t continue when he had the chance to buy a Volkswagen T1 Bus.”
He says his family has always driven Golfs, and adding one of the more basic variants to the stable was a long-rooted desire. This one was taken off the road after 20 years in 2000 in anticipation of a restoration…that took more than a decade to finish (including the 6 months of intense work spurred by Martijn’s purchase).
“It still has some punch to it and sounds rather raspy,” he says. “Driving it through the East-Flemish countryside always puts a great smile on our faces. This car was the first one we restored, its simple mechanical construction and the great community behind the Mk1 makes it the ultimate car for a first project. By owning this car, we’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of great people.”
Besides a long road trip to the UK for a show this summer, Martijn is continuing to use the car as intended; you can follow along on his excellent restoration blog at vwgolfmk1.org.uk and his Instagram @martijndemeulemeester