30 years old this year, recently restored and looking better than ever – YUM indeed!
By Matt Bird / Monday, May 24, 2021 / Loading comments
There’s definitely a sub-genre of cars that complies very nicely with the High Mile Club criteria. As well as the obvious six-figure odo reading, they tend to be German, built between the seventies and nineties and look fit for decades more use. Think Mercedes 450 SEL, Audi RS2, BMW M5 and so on – the cars built for years and years of autobahn use have survived better than most. Or possibly have more people willing to invest the time in them…
Either way, plenty are still out there, and here’s another: a big bumper, eight-valve, Capri Green Mk2 Golf GTI, with 154,000 miles recorded. For many it’s still peak GTI, emerging at the height of the eighties’ boom, improving on the excellent Mk1 and apparently sweeping aside allcomers in the process. That the Mk3 was so insipid only helped its cause. And almost 30 years after production ended, the Mk2 still tends to be more affordable than the original, furthering its appeal. That it remains brilliant will have helped, too…
All of which, actually, poses a bit of a problem. Because those Golf GTIs were so great, because they were built to be driven hard, because they were made so long ago, not all that many are left. Yes, they’re tough, but only so tough, and the scrappage schemes that coincided with the lowest point of their values wiped out plenty. Even early Golf GTIs can’t survive impacts with trees – or the crusher.
So it’s great to see another survivor, especially in such a rare colour. The story of this particular one is interesting; it was taken off the road in 2010 following an especially iffy MOT, then bought by the selling dealer in 2019. They’ve then spent 12 months bringing the car back to its best, passing an MOT last year without a single advisory (after the windscreen washer was fixed) and looking fit for its first proper use in more than a decade.
Who wouldn’t fancy that? One of the hot hatch icons, restored to a former glory and ready for the open road. Sometimes we forget just how basic things used to be – this car still has manual windows! But for something to use sparingly, what more do you need?
Actually, this might be a car to use more than sparingly. As is so often said in these features, something like that Golf that’s both high mileage and recently restored should represent best of both worlds: the work should ensure it drives really nicely, but the mileage means you wouldn’t have to worry about using it whenever the right opportunity arose. Which would probably be quite often.
At £12,995, this GTI currently ranks between the most affordable Mk2s and the low-mileage collectors’ items. That’s about par for the course for this era, too; a contemporary 205 GTI like this onehas fewer miles but without as much restorative work. With seemingly no area left untouched, the Golf should be all set for many more years and miles of driving. Which sounds like quite privilege, especially in this anniversary year for the Golf GTI. Who wants to take it on?
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