Journal: Can The Humble Volkswagen Golf Be Considered A Classic Yet?

Can The Humble Volkswagen Golf Be Considered A Classic Yet?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
August 31, 2016
13 comments

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

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Bill MeyerRafael LecuonaCraigRichard DeschambaultWes Flack Recent comment authors
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Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

I just came across this article again and found a comment I’d left over a year ago mentioning a Golf/Rabbit I bought in 1975. I guess that car left a mark because a few weeks ago I bought a new 2017 Golf R. 40 some years later I’m sort of back where I was at age 25! The R model is much faster and more comfortable but the lineage is clear.

Rafael Lecuona
Rafael Lecuona

The Antique Automobile Club of America has been around since the 1935, so surely they must know. They define classic automobiles as “fine” or “unusual” vehicles, foreign or domestic, that are between 25 and 50 years old. 50 and older means a car is officially an “antique”.Jul 2, 2017
When Will My Car Be Considered a Classic – The Balance
https://www.thebalance.com/when-will-my-car-be-considered-a-classic-527190

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

I got a brand new yellow “Rabbit” at Foothill VW in La Canada just a few months after they were released in the US. I remember it as being fun to drive and quite peppy with fine handling at sane speeds. I also remember the distressing tendency for the Weber carb to flood intermittently and cause the car to be nearly undriveable until I opened the hood and pounded on the carb casting with a plastic mallet. The dealer never fixed it.

Rafael Lecuona
Rafael Lecuona

’80 Rabbit!

Richard Deschambault
Richard Deschambault

This is my 84 GTI, it’s completely original except for the ATS cups.
He is parked by his Japanese girlfriend an mint 79 RX-7 on magnesium rims.

Wes Flack
Wes Flack

mk1 is soo classic, and imo, mars red mk1 scirocco S may be the best fwd car ever.

Peter Lukáč
Peter Lukáč

I am not big fan of current VW Group, but I love classic Volkswagen, including first two Golfs. You can still see some in my country, but obviously it´s rusty second generation with diesel engine… But I too say, it could be nice classic. Like this one…

Pedro Macedo
Pedro Macedo

Yes, the Mk.I Golf is a classic. Absolutely.

Here in Portugal, since it’s over 25-years-old you can register it as such at a classic car club, and also insure it as such. Like my classic 1989 BMW 316i is.

Rob
Rob

Of course the VW Golf is a classic !
It’s been around for so long and is still around. It stood the test of time.
They are fun to drive (especially the GTi’s).
They are practical , reliable, relatively easy to work on.
Go on line and look up all the previous generations (eg MK1, MK2 , MK3 eg).
There is a huge world wide following. People restoring them (me included) , car shows of the above gen’s.
There are so many websites and forums out there for info and such a helpful community out there.
My opinion only….. Yes it is a classic to me.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

” Can the humble VW Golf be considered a ‘ classic ‘ yet ? ”

In a word … no . That is of course unless one is wiling to suspend reality and accept a mundane – pedestrian – over produced albeit pleasant little family hatchback /econocar as being some alternative revisionist definition of the now often overused and abused term ..

‘ Classic ‘

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

PS; A VW Golf/Wabbit GTi is a ‘ classic ‘ . Everything else is just … an older used car

Sandro Martins
Sandro Martins

That excludes the classic Mini and the original VW as classic cars. Sorry but I can’t agree with you.

Craig
Craig

You’re kind of dumb. Sorry.