The Golf GTI
Welcome back guys. Today we’re moving on a little from bikes and Harleys to their four-wheeled counterparts. Today’s flavor of choice in the world of cars is a spicy one. We’re going to look at the golden era of the ‘hot-hatch’, which as anyone fortunate enough to have lived in that era would know, I can only be talking about the 80s. You may have tried your very best to forget the ridiculous haircut and the clothes you sported back then but you would never forget the all-time classic that is the VW Golf GTI. After all, how could you?
There has been a lot of controversy of late regarding the popular TV show ‘Top Gear’, and how it’s recently had something of a makeover and an overhaul in heir presenter lineup, namely that Jeremy Clarkson has been replaced by none other than Chris Evans. From what I understand it’s caused a lot of disappointment among die hard Top Gear fans and many of them have rejected the new show. Personally, I haven’t watched Top Gear for years and so I haven’t seen any of the new ones featuring Chris Evans, but I do remember him in my younger days. He was (and still is) an exceptional highly entertaining DJ (The Big Breakfast), a great TV host (Channel 4’s TFI Friday) and I would naturally assume he would do a fine job hosting Top Gear. Though much like the cries and bleats that bellow around offices worldwide whenever a new change is made to the functionality of Facebook, maybe people just need time.
Anyway, what originally got me thinking about my old Golf GTI passion was indeed the man Chris Evans, after I read an article of his online about his first car. He was saying that for as long as he could remember he had always wanted to own a Golf GTI. His reason for that is simply that he wanted one and had never actually owned one. Back in the days of The Big Breakfast - a morning radio show popular in the mid-nineties – when Evans first made it big, he had every chance of buying his first Golf GTI but nonchalantly passed up the opportunity after realizing that as he may never have such a potential to earn big in the future, he immediately went out and bought himself a brand new Ferrari 328 GTS. Fair play to the man. His long held passion for the world-renowned German hot-hatch however, never waned and it was some years later, when he’d calmed down somewhat, before he realized his original dream.
I don’t think any petrol-headed chap forgets passing his test and getting his first car, however bad the car and how much they wish they could forget. For anyone, the very freedom that comes with owning your first car is unparalleled, trumped only by significant life events: getting marriage or having kids usually being the case, whereby your dreams of spending your days rocketing around country lanes with a random blonde in the passenger seat were smashed long ago.
My first car was pathetic: a ‘banana yellow’ 1981 one-litre Ford Fiesta. Internally, I was completely devastated when it was first gifted to me (by my nan of all people) but on the outside I was immensely grateful. What I do remember and it’s something I’ll never forget was my first VW Golf GTI: a rare Monza blue 1987 Golf GTI 16 valve. I can see it in my mind’s eye know and I’m smiling as I write this. Fortunately, at the time I bought it, it had been pre-loved by another Golf enthusiast, who had taken great care of it and had carried out all kinds of upgrades and cosmetic touched. He’d had it lowered, over a set of beautiful after-market alloys with brand new low profile tyres. He’d had the engine tuned to about 157bhp and the front end modified to remove the inner headlights from the grill and include the bottom front fog lights on the bottom sill, which sat provocatively close to the road. To a twenty year old boy, that level of excitement just cannot be put into words, as it eclipses everything else in his life. It was literally, all I cared about.
A good friend of mine had a fiery red MK1 Golf GTI and had spent a good amount of time and money tuning his to a similar spec. The days we had thrashing around the countryside and the stand offs we had at the traffic lights as we neared the city on our way home were some of the best times of my life. Out of the car it was all about the look, and for me it was all about the alloys. I’m twice that age now and have changed immeasurably. But what I wouldn’t give for another afternoon in that little pocket rocket.
Anyway, if you’re still as keen as I am I’ve found a great website offering super deals on used Golf GTI alloys. Check it out as they do heaps of other stuff too!