‘World’s best preserved’ Mk1 Golf GTI goes up for auction

One of the earliest right-hand-drive Volkswagen Golf GTIs in existence is expected to fetch more than £40,000 when it goes up for auction later this month.

The “unicorn” car is described as being in museum condition by its sellers, having covered only 17,000 miles in the last 41 years.

The 1979, Mk1 Series 1 GTI has had just three owners from new and as well as being possibly the best kept example of its kind it has starred on TV and in enthusiast magazines.

This example featured in the BBC’s The Car’s The Star in 1995, with Quentin Willson at the wheel, and then again in the Clarkson’s Car Years in 2000, in which Jeremy Clarkson named the Golf GTI as “the car of the century”. It was also the basis for a Corgi model.

The four-speed GTI was only sold in the UK for three months at the end of 1979 before being replaced with a five-speed transmission, making this car incredibly rare. As an early model it’s also pretty basic, despite its GTI status, so there is no sunroof, rear fog lamp, radio, aerial or passenger door wing mirror. It does, however, feature the smaller, early-type rear light clusters, Wolfsburg three spoke steering wheel, genuine Wolfsburg mud flaps, Toric T-76 buckle-less seat belts and iconic golf ball gear knob.

Originally purchased for £5,132.39 in September 1979, the classic VW, which comes with a full service history and folders full of paperwork, is expected to sell for between £31,000 and £42,000 when it goes under the hammer with online auctioneer The Market, with the sale running from March 19 to 25.

Tristan Judge, director of The Market, commented: .“This is possibly the last opportunity that any of us will ever have to own what is still an essentially brand-new, unrestored, reference quality Golf GTI Mk1 – and not just any GTI, but the very purist, earliest model of the car that blazed a trail for everything that came thereafter.

“We believe this amazing Golf GTI will be hard fought over when the auction takes place, potentially providing the opportunity to set a new record price for the model.”