SOTW: Mk2 Volkswagen Golf GTI

My love affair with the current Golf GTI is well documented in these virtual pages, but VW's iconic hot hatch played a fairly serious role in my formative car years too.

You see, one of my VHS tapes of a film-off-of-the-TV (think it was The Jungle Book. Or possibly Dumbo) had within one of its ad breaks that Paula Hamilton 'changes' advert for the Mk2 Golf GTI. You know, the one where she leaves her husband/lover/other partner and throws all the expensive gifts away, but keeps the Golf GTI.

This had a dramatic effect on me. I know some people who developed a fairly serious crush on the shoulder-padded Paula, but the power dressing and massive hair had very little effect on me. I was five, after all.

No, what I was interested in was the car. As I grow older I began to realise that the Mk2 GTI was one of the great hot hatches. Chunky, reliable, fun to drive. Not perhaps as engaging as the original, but still a damn cool car. My matchbox 1:72 model would have to be replaced with a real one some day.

That's not happened yet, but every time I spot a GTI in the classifieds my eye lingers over it. Normally I'm put off by a previous owner's inadvisable mods, or a deeply ambitious price tag for an over-cherished example.

Occasionally, however, I find one that really tickles me. And today's SOTW is just such a car. Yes, it's the 8-valve model (boo) and a five-door (likewise). It's also done a hefty-ish 197k miles and runs on some not-especially-chavvy, but definitely non-original, alloys.

But... It looks clean and straight, it's the desirable big-bumper model, the advert makes it come across as though the vendor knows what he's on about and its got plenty of ticket on it. Buy it before I do and stick some BBS cross-spokes on it... Chateau Riggers doesn't have the space for two Golf GTIs...

Advert is reporduced below

Golf Mk2 GTI 8v (Big Bumper) (1991)
197,000 miles £800

Specification: Volkswagen Golf MK2 (Big Bumper) GTI 8v
Mileage 197,000 
MOT: September 2012
Tax: 29/02/2012
History: 13/14 years

Good Points

The car is in fantastic condition for its age. The paint work is immaculate, apart from a few surface scratches, where the car hasn't been cleaned properly. The on-board computer is still fully operational as with the after-market head unit.

The interior is in very good condition with only a minor tear in the drivers bolster, which is expected given the age and mileage of the car.

The engine has been cleaned recently as well as the exhaust tips, and has also had a service which includes:

4 New Iridium spark plugs
A new Dizzy Cap
New Leads
Oil Change
New air intake boot (due to the old one leaking air)
New vacuum hoses

Whilst cleaning the engine, I also cleaned out the idle speed valve (ISV), as the car wasn't idling correctly, this then solved the issue.

The car comes with 2 Toyo proxies (front) and 2 Michelin tyres (rear), which are both well-known performance tyres. The car has around 14 years of history, with all of the receipts of all the work that it has been carried out.

The car has been sitting in my garage for around 3-4 months now on trickle charge; it is started once a week until warm then put back in the garage after cooled.

Bad Points

There are a few rust bubbles in the middle of doors, which isn't serious as the rust is not anywhere near the frame. There are some scratches where it looks like the bonnet used to rub on the paintwork (at the top of the bonnet).

There is a dent in the passenger front wing, there is no visible paint damage, just a fist size dent which you can see in the images above.

The car runs really well, and even now in 2012, is still a head turner to the occasional car enthusiast. The main reason I am selling is that I will be soon moving away, the car shouldn't be stuck in the garage.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any further enquires; I will accept any reasonable offers, as the car is just currently sitting there unused. 

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (206) Join the discussion on the forum

  • RowntreesCabana 25 Dec 2014

    Thats the wifes old car!

  • Dexstar 07 Jun 2012

    Mattbvw, I owned J795 LDF, Oak Green 3dr GTI 16V from 2004 through to 2006. Spent a fortune on it, won Bristol Volksfest show and shine (daily driver) then stupidly sold it :-( :-(

    It wa the best car I have had since, should have never sold it. It was pristine and with. 192k on the clock. The reason I found this is because I was also looking for it. From what I can see from the dvla though I think it must have gone to the Vw graveyard.

  • epom 14 Feb 2012

    Have had a few of these, always did and still kind of hanker over an oak green 16v !!

  • alfettagtv2000 14 Feb 2012

    Always quite fancied one of these, but somehow they seem clinical and boring, compared to other 'hot' hatches....

  • OldSpeed 08 Feb 2012

    I have recently purchased this rust free GTI 8v for £500:

    I've spent a week or so and £100 cleaning it up, servicing it and fixing a few niggles and am now thoroughly enjoying driving it. Still needs a few bits sorting but you'd expect that in this price range I guess.

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