Yes! It's an old car ...
Much as we hate to admit it, the Mk1 Golf GTI is an old car. Sometimes it is hard to realise that these models are over thirty years old and in the UK, most early Golf GTIs have long since departed.
Here are a few things to look for:
GTI models: These
models have risen dramatically in value in recent years and are
extremely cherished. Even absolute wrecks can command strong money.
models have risen dramatically in value in recent years and are extremely cherished. Even absolute wrecks can command strong money.
BODY: Look at the bases of the screen pillars, inner wings, sills, front and rear valances and chassis members. Get the car on a ramp if possible. If the vendor won't let you - walk away.
1982-1983 MODEL YEAR: These are the popular buy, especially a 1983 Campaign. But make sure it is a genuine Campaign and not a fake.
BRAKES: Don't expect brilliant performance, but they should pull up straight. If they've been upgraded, make sure you know which bits have been used so you can buy the right parts at a later date.
CLUTCH: Check for slipping by pulling away in 3rd. If the clutch is okay, car will try and stall.
GEARBOX: Watch for the synchro crunch (2nd gear especially) when cold.
ELECTRICS: Frequent problems due to corroded fuse box. Make sure all electrics work properly. Late 1.8 litre cars should have working trip computer known as an MFA.
ENGINE: Listen for knocks, squeaks and rattles under load, and watch for the tell tale blue smoke on initial start up and when revving.
FUEL FILLER NECK and FUEL TANK: Prone to rusting - check visually by removing petrol filler cap. If debris get into fuel system, it can prove expensive. Check car pulls smoothly and ticks over evenly. Inspect fuel tank thoroughly.
INTERIOR: GTI trim becoming hard to find especially for the early GTI. Leather upholstery cars are okay - but it is expensive and has to be done properly.
WHEELS AND TYRES: General condition says a lot about way the car has been driven. Watch out for wheel trim scrapes, gouged tyres, kerbed alloys and uneven tyre wear - as well as different makes of tyres!
BE CAUTIOUS: Of a car that is described as in "mint condition" unless there is clear evidence to support this description.
Buyer beware but this series 1 GTI is worth it.
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